I do not usually have much sympathy for teachers but I do not have a heart of stone. This piece in The Guardian made me think:
Teenagers will be forced to continue studying English and maths if they fail to get good enough marks in the two subjects at GCSEs under government changes.
Under the rules that come into force this week, 16-year-olds will be required to get at least a C grade in the two subjects or face carrying on until they do. Ministers are keen to improve the performance of British schoolchildren in what were called the "most important [subjects] in the world".
The education secretary, Michael Gove, said: "Good qualifications in English and maths are what employers demand before all others. They are, quite simply, the most important vocational skills a young person can have. Young people must be able to demonstrate their understanding of these subjects."
Aye, well, Mr Gove. But you're not the poor sod of a teacher who has the unenviable task of teaching English or mathematics to a bunch of bolshie 16 and 17 year-olds who have already demonstrated a fairly convincing inability to deal with the subject matter.