Excuses for kids failing

Usually invalid excuses I’ve heard for when a class gets poor examination results:

  • the parents don’t support the school
  • the child doesn’t do homework
  • the Key Stage 2 data was wrong/ made up by the junior school
  • the data from last year was made up by the previous teacher
  • a C grade/ D grade is ‘not that bad’ for a kid like him/ her
  • it’s not all about results
  • the course is hard
  • the kid was too focussed on his English coursework to succeed in my lesson
  • the school puts pressure on them to pass English and maths so my subject isn’t given a look in and they don’t take it seriously
  • the kids have too much humanities controlled conditions to focus on maths
  • we only get 2.5 hours a week to teach them
  • we only get 3 hours a week to teach them
  • we only get 4 hours a week to teach them
  • they only had an hour a week in key stage 3
  • how can they focus on achievement when they’re worried about where the next meal comes from?
  • the exam board put the pass marks up by 10 marks
  • we guessed the wrong questions on the exam
  • the exam board changed question 3
  • the exam/ coursework marking was harsh
  • the coursework was marked down
  • the cohort just wasn’t very good
  • they’re great speaking, but can’t write it
  • they freeze in exams
  • it was the best they could have done
  • the parents have no history of achievement
  • the parents are on drugs
  • they didn’t buy the book
  • they didn’t come to enough ‘intervention’
  • they came to too much ‘intervention’ and didn’t think they had to work for it
  • I used to get great results
  • the kid only came to us in year 10
  • Michael Gove

Usually valid excuses (but you should still be able to do something about this):

  • SMT do not support teachers with behaviour

Valid excuses I’ve heard:

  • they were in prison for the whole of year 11
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