At the chalkface: Average


Daisy is in the 11th year. She is an average pupil. Someone has to do it. But average is not good enough anymore. Who said? The sometimes Minister for Education, Michael Gove. He famously pronounced that all children must be better than average, all must achieve above average test scores. Ian Whitwham, a former inner city London teacher writes in SecEd.

Marvellous. And to bamboozle their tiny minds just a little bit more, he made it tougher to be average by making the tests more difficult and opaque, thus lowering the mean score. Or not. What a clot!

Daisy isn’t bothered by these things. Despite the school becoming only an exam factory, a swotting shop, a fever of facts, a nest of stress, she chooses not to be complicit in the conspiracy. She remains calm, sane and balanced.

She needs to work on her stress levels. Shall we put her in detention? No. She cares not a jot. 

The head frightens management to frighten teachers to frighten pupils like her: “Keep the pressure up!”

Dear me. I suppose it works. Most pupils turn into crazed drones and go quietly bonkers. But not Daisy. She remains serenely immune.

Well, good for her. She refuses to join the frenzy. Most exams bore her. She’ll give them the attention they deserve. They’re nowhere near as important as her teachers say. And she’s passionate about subjects, which aren’t on the syllabus, like modern dance and playing the drums.

I’ve had my share of wretched, trembling, hot-housed, high-flyers with helicopter mothers and a Valium habit. Daisy’s going to be alright. She just won’t be photographed by The Telegraph leaping about on results day. Anyway, she’s not blonde.

Read the full article At the chalkface: Average

What do you think about Daisy view of exams? Shouldn’t we be celebrating the achievements of the ‘average’ pupil more? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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