Are children just exam machines?

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Over the weekend I read this emotionally charged blog from a mother who quite rightly, resented her daughters being called “mediocre failures,” should they not pass their SATs.

For me, it highlighted just how stressful and potentially damaging exams can be for students, parents and teachers alike. The reality of constantly hitting targets is exhausting for all involved.

I completely understand and in fact agree, that students’ progress has to be measured in some form, if only to see how and where we can improve the education system as a whole. Yet this unhealthy pressure for a child to perform in an exam is unsustainable.

When I spoke with Nicky Morgan at the Women’s Conference in March about enterprise in education, she expressed a desire to create well – rounded individuals who were prepared for life beyond school. So when I went one step further to question if this is reflected within the 2015 – 2016 curriculum and exam changes I got a look that could have killed and a bog – standard, waffled politician response that I can’t even remember.

This begs the question – can we have both? A curriculum that has an equal emphasis on CORE topics and life skills? And can we have children measured fairly in both? Essentially, can we have an education system that doesn’t fail a large proportion of students?

There isn’t an easy answer and right now we have to do the best by our students. Teachers across the UK are doing just that, but it would be great to hear your thoughts on this. With the General Election looming it is more important than ever that teachers’ and young peoples’ voices are heard.

Feel free to comment below, share or tweet your thoughts with @LPerformance or @CarrieStarbuck

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