Jon Wingfield, Deputy Head (Whole College), writes about whether exam results are the best way to judge the quality of a school and it pupils in the 21st Century.

When we are interviewing teachers we routinely ask which of the following is most important for a pupil: that they leave school with outstanding qualifications or outstanding manners. Inevitably their first response is ‘both’, but when we take that option away from them the vast majority, indeed all but very few, will say ‘outstanding manners’. Prospective parents will also tell us that what they want most from a school is for their children to be treated as an individual, to be inspired, to be prepared for life beyond school, but most importantly to be happy. Very few will admit to simply wanting the very best examination results. And yet, even though it would be difficult to find anyone who would disagree with the fact that there is more to a quality education, and indeed their children, than how good they are at sitting exams, results continue to be the benchmark by which schools are judged and so form an important part of what parents look for in the school they choose for their children. On the one hand results are still the most tangible, most obvious and significantly, the most comparable measure of a school’s success and unfortunately that of its pupils. As such, whereas many of us would argue that qualifications are perhaps not the best way to judge the quality of a school, they are certainly the most convenient, and while that remains the case we are unlikely to see universities change their entrance requirements from ‘A*, A*, A’ to ‘happy, kind and creative’. To read the rest of this article, in Expat Life in Thailand, please visit