GCSEs: 'Is a student with a low grade 9 really any brighter than a candidate with a high 8?'

Top-slicing at the point of grading doesn’t add much to the integrity of the qualification – it is based on identifying differences where they don’t exist, writes one leading educationist 

In his famous philosophical paradox, the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Zeno of Elea imagined a race between Achilles and a tortoise.


As long as Achilles gives the tortoise a head start in the race, fleet of foot though he is, he will never catch up. Before he can overtake the tortoise, he first has to catch up with it.


But each time he reaches a point previously occupied by his shelled adversary, the tortoise has moved on. The new gap might be smaller, but it is still a gap.


And by the time that Achilles reaches the next point, the tortoise has moved on, by however small a distance. And so on.


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