The anxious wait for thousands of sixth-formers and college students finally came to an end last week as young adults across Tameside and Greater Manchester received their A Level results, with many more youngsters receiving their GCSE results today.

As a parent with a son who received his results last week I know all too well that waiting for exam results is a nerve-wracking experience, for pupils and parents alike. Students and teachers across the country worked incredibly hard for these results and they deserve all of our congratulations for their achievements.

However difficult further education might be, exams are an important part of the process because it leads to qualifications and a strong foundation in life. Experiencing the hard work associated with exams offers young people the chance to experience some of the more challenging aspects of adult life, such as personal responsibility, forward planning and commitment. But it’s also their chance to show the rest of the world what they can achieve.

It’s so easy to forget how stressful the exam period is for many students and it’s important that whatever their results this summer that they have the support of their family, friends and schools to make the best choices for them as they enter young adulthood.

We’re fortunate that Tameside has some excellent schools, led by school leaders and teachers who care passionately about the futures of their students, which also comes through in the results they achieve.

For several years schools across Tameside have made great progress and actually performed better than the Greater Manchester average in gaining top grades in maths and English. This year has been no less encouraging as sixth form colleges across Tameside received excellent results.

Armed with strong A Levels many of our young people now have to decide whether to follow a vocational path which involves hands-on training or an apprenticeship, or a career centred on further education through a university degree.

Whatever direction the next generation choose to take they must be guided by a focus on good education and training so they can ensure that they have every chance of success in life.

I wish them all the best of luck in the years ahead in whatever path they choose to follow.

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