Government’s exams ‘fetish’ is ruining children’s lives – Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman has accused the Government of having an exams “fetish” that is “ruining” children’s lives. ITV reports.

An education that focuses only on facts is a “terrible recipe for the destruction of the soul”, the celebrated author warned.

In an interview with the Press Association, Pullman said he was concerned that youngsters’ childhoods are being destroyed by a need to pass tests.

The His Dark Materials author said “They seem to think the function of a book for example, a storybook or a poem, the function of that is to provide exercises for grammar and it’s not, of course.

“The function of a book or a poem or a story is to delight, to enchant, to beguile.”

“Yes, we have to test children, at some stages of education. Of course we do. They have to have exams, but to make them a complete fetish and to make the very existence of the school depend on their success in the league tables is just monstrous. It’s absolutely monstrous.

“There’s no need for it whatsoever. It’s damaging, it’s destructive, it’s entirely counter-productive.”

A Department for Education spokeswoman responded: “We want to unlock the world of reading for pupils so that every child can not only read and write to a high standard, but can also develop a love for reading that will last until adulthood.”

Read more of the author’s comments at education Government’s exams ‘fetish’ is ruining children’s lives – Philip Pullman

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

Are you a trainee teacher, NQT, teacher, headteacher, parent or  just someone who cares about education and has something to get off  your chest in a Schools Improvement Guest Post? Follow this link for more details at the bottom of the page.

Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link.

We now have a Facebook page - please click to like!


Damian Hinds: “Education can do amazing things in the world”
One in five grammar schools prepare expansion bids in wake of £50m funding, analysis finds
Categories: Exams, Learning, Primary and Secondary.

Let us know what you think...