Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland received their A Level results. Well done to all of them. I hope that every one of them has a fantastic future.
Amongst the many success stories, a couple stand out for me. Kensington Aldridge Academy lies in the shadow of the burnt-out shell of Grenfell Tower in London. Four students died in the disaster, fifty were made homeless and the school has had to move premises. As students enjoy their A Level results I have no words to describe my admiration. Some students had exams the morning after the blaze.
Malala Yousafzai arrived in Britain from Pakistan aged fifteen. Having campaigned for girls’ education she had been shot in the head by the Taliban. Since then she has recovered, become a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and completed her school education. Yesterday she tweeted to confirm her place at Oxford University.
These students have performed fantastically. Like all students they couldn’t have done it without their teachers. For every Kensington youngster or Malala there are a dozen students who have suffered illness, lost a parent or simply lost focus. Their teachers have worked tirelessly with them all the way.
Having worked for two decades in secondary education I can say unequivocally that the huge majority of teachers don’t just go the extra mile for their students, they go further still.
Without teachers we couldn’t have education. Without education we couldn’t have nurses, surgeons, programmers, refuse collectors, cab drivers or more teachers. Quite simply, teachers shape, and nurture our world.
This week the celebrations are for the students, but let’s hear it also for the teachers.

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