THERE were heartwarming scenes at schools across town yesterday morning as plenty of GCSE students reaped the benefits of months of hard work.
The tension was palpable before the relief shone through, and despite the cliché a number were in fact jumping for joy.
It was not only the straight-A students who were euphoric, but those who had grafted for the grades that meant they could take up their A-level places or apprenticeships.
Often young people in this particular age group are negatively stereotyped as wasters, and no doubt some deserve it, but at the two academies, at William Parker, and Helenswood, were young men and women taking their future seriously.
Watching the students collect their results, and on hand with advice and support, were those who helped to make the success possible, the teachers.
All of the emotions on the faces of the students were reflected on those of the teachers, whose guidance has been crucial to producing some outstanding results, and of course who are there to lay out the options for those who unfortunately did not make the grade.
The impressive GCSE results follow hot on the heels of last week’s A-level success stories, and so perhaps now is the time for those who criticise teenagers and teachers, and schools, to remain quiet just for a while, and for considerable praise to be given where it is due.