The publication of A-level examination results in England, Wales and Northern Ireland has become one of the major diary items in the news media's calendar. This paper is based, in part, upon the findings of an inter-disciplinary study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). It explores two key questions about the relationship between the education sector and news media in the UK. Firstly, it asks why educationalists appear to have become pessimistic about the possibilities for raising the quality of media debate about education. Secondly, it takes the example of the annual coverage of A-level results, in order to discuss why education news coverage tends to adhere to templates that many educationalists criticize as producing ritualistic and polarized coverage. The paper concludes by exploring some suggestions for those who are seeking ways to influence the quality of education news coverage.
- examination results