‘Farewell summer holidays 2018. It’s been strange’

Friends and family, we are gathered here today to bid a fond, and somewhat bitter, farewell to the summer holidays of 2018. As we watch them being laid into the autumnal ground, we will take this moment to pause and reflect on the six weeks that have just passed. Tes reports.

Here’s what has stood out to me.


This summer was unusual for many reasons, not least because the weather in July was actually discernible from spring and autumn. Normally, we can expect good weather up until the last bell of the summer term, and then rain for the rest of July and August. But this year we were spoilt with the hot weather, and we could all start the holidays by sitting in our gardens, closing our eyes, and pretending our paltry wages could pay for a month-long cruise around the Caribbean.

Pay rise for teachers?

Speaking of wages, summer had barely begun and headteachers up and down the country were anxiously hitting “refresh” on their emails in anticipation of the long-awaited announcement about teacher pay. Would it be funded, or unfunded? Would it be within budget, or push the school completely into financial crisis?

And then the announcement came. The headlines might have claimed a 3.5 per cent pay rise, but the truth was more complex, and far more depressing. As it turned out, the longer you had been teaching, the smaller the pay increase you would receive. The sun was still shining, but our hearts were cold to it.

Results days

A levels came first and the gap between boys and girls narrowed for the top grades. Universities were doling out unconditional offers as the A*s dropped. Correlations were being drawn everywhere. The finger of blame wasn’t just being pointed, it was waggling furiously, in desperate search for the culprits

Then, GCSEs. The papers were filled with pictures of pupils jumping into the air, clutching brown envelopes of joy. On the whole, the results were surprisingly unsurprising. Ofqual swooped in to stop the GCSE science tiered entry from being a disaster. Across the board, we moved from letters to numbers to join maths and English without much fuss.

Read more ‘Farewell summer holidays 2018. It’s been strange’

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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