School tests causing pupil stress, Wales teachers’ survey finds

The BBC is reporting claims from a survey of teachers in Wales that annual school tests for children aged seven to 14 are causing so much stress some pupils are refusing to go to school…

Members of the union NUT Cymru said the reading and maths tests put too much pressure on children too young, with one child even stopping eating.

They also raised concerns it affected pupil morale and said the tests had little impact on attainment.

The Welsh government said they were fundamental for raising standards.

The tests were brought in last year in a bid to improve performance after Wales fell behind the rest of the UK in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

But teachers who took part in the survey claim they “destroyed pupils’ confidence”, “caused major stress”, and one said they caused a child to stop eating.

Another wrote: “When the tests were completed I have never seen children’s morale so low. It had such an impact on me I reported it to the head.

“Too much pressure, too young, the government do not care about little Billy or little Lucy, they have simply become data. What a shame.”

Owen Hathway, NUT Wales policy officer, said the feedback was “very concerning” and showed teachers were not convinced with the current system…

The union has sent the responses to Education Minister Huw Lewis urging him to examine the nature and delivery of the tests…

A Welsh government spokesperson said: “The tests and the data they provide are fundamental to raising standards in Wales and schools can use the diagnostic information from the tests to identify learners’ strengths and areas for development.

“This means that a school can intervene if a pupil is falling behind, and also stretch the more able pupils.”…

More at: School tests causing pupil stress, teachers’ survey finds


Always a bit cynical about claims made in anonymous surveys, but do you recognise the kind of scenarios described? If the children are this stressed, is that the fault of the tests, the schools, the teachers, the parents or something/someone else? Please give us your feedback in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Wales.


  1. neilayates

    SchoolsImprove In my experience children only ever become stressed due to unreasonable or excess adult expectation. Adults should protect.

  2. allcobblers

    SchoolsImprove and then exam boards give thousands of children the wrong marks at the end of it all, national disgrace

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