A YOUNG woman from Tenbury achieved straight ‘A’ grades, and students at Tenbury High School Ormiston Academy will get their GCSE results today.

But a Tenbury councillor who has responsibility for economic development on Worcestershire County Council says that too much importance is placed on academic exams.

Sarah Blake of Tenbury picked up the results at Hereford Cathedral School, and after achieving A grades in all of her subjects will now take up a place at Warwick University to study biochemistry.

But Ken Pollock, who represents Tenbury on Worcestershire County Council, says it is wrong that students and schools are judged so much on the basis of exam results.

He made is comments as students from the Tenbury High School Ormiston Academy prepare to collect their GCSE results with the school hoping to built upon a record of improvement.

The school will be hoping to continue the improvement in performance over recent years.

This has led to the High School claiming to be amongst the best in the country when it comes to raising the performance of children from when they arrive from primary school to when they finish.

The councillor believes that careers advisers can be conflicted and condemns the looking down upon people that do not have great academic qualifications but offer other vital skills.

Mr Pollock, who also holds an economic development portfolio on the council, believes that the value of vocational qualifications and other skills are not fully appreciated.

“For many young people, the summer is tainted by the thought that exam results will determine their futures, when they are published in August,” said Mr Pollock.

“Will they be able to go on to sixth form or university, as a prelude to a successful career?

“Sadly, this can become a dominant theme at most schools, when in reality, society needs a wide range of skills, not all related to academic ability. School careers advisors face conflicting objectives.

“Firstly, they wish to achieve the best possible exam results. This will help the school in the league tables, ensure a large sixth form, and hence a healthy income.

“Of course, if their pupils are destined to be captains of industry, university professors or brain surgeons, such results will also meet their needs.”

However, Mr Pollock says a successful economy does not just need the academically gifted.

“But there is a second objective, to seek the best job for all students, not just the academically gifted,” he added.

“That may mean them leaving school at 16 and taking a humble job. The former boss of Tesco’s started stacking shelves. Could our society survive without long distance lorry drivers, let alone white van man? We need to see everyone as capable of making a contribution to suit their talents.”