The BBC is reporting research that suggests primary pupils in England are self-harming and having panic attacks because of anxiety over national tests…
…The research, by Prof Merryn Hutchings of London Metropolitan University and released at the NUT conference in Harrogate, is based on a survey of 8,000 teachers and in-depth interviews with staff and pupils at seven schools.
Nine out of 10 teachers said many pupils became “very anxious/stressed in the time leading up to Sats/public examinations”.
And three-quarters (76%) of primary teachers and 94% of secondary teachers said pupils had “developed stress-related conditions around the time of Sats/public examinations”.
In the interviews, one teacher said: “Many girls self-harm, have panic attacks and emotional problems because they cannot be perfect”…
The study found that in primary schools, many teachers report that the amount of time spent on the core subjects of English and maths increases in Year 6 in order to prepare for the Sats tests taken by 11 year olds, with other areas taught less, or not at all.
NUT general secretary Christine Blower said her union has “long argued that league tables, high-stakes testing and other accountability measures have a negative effect on children and young people”…
Unfortunately, as mentioned in the related article, there’s no obvious sign of this research on the NUT website or anywhere else I can find. If you have a link please share in the comments below.
This sounds awful, but presumably it is also the case that many children are not having panic attacks or self-harming over SATs. Indeed, many seem barely to know they are happening. So whose fault is this kind of reaction? Is it the tests or it the teachers/heads/putting putting the pressure on the children?
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