Tests-and-targets culture lowers pupils’ self-esteem, claims report

The Independent is reporting a survey of almost 1,000 teachers by the ATL which claims that the target-setting culture does little to improve pupils’ grades or raise standards – but it does leave them stressed and anxious, and lowers their self-esteem…

It has also prompted more “teaching to the test” – with 60 per cent of teachers acknowledging that they prioritise learning methods geared to better test results, and 36 per cent saying they spend as much time as possible getting their pupils to practise taking tests.

Furthermore, 58 per cent of teachers say that, when it comes to encouraging creativity during lessons, they have less time to spend – and 26 per cent say they have no time at all for bringing out their pupils’ creativity…

A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “We totally agree that education should not be an endless treadmill of revision and testing. That is why we are scrapping modules and January assessments to end constant exams and ensure pupils develop an in-depth and lasting understanding of a subject.

“The new national curriculum is also far less prescriptive and has almost halved in size, allowing teachers to use their creativity to shape the curriculum to meet the needs of their pupils.”…

More at: Tests-and-targets culture lowers pupils’ self-esteem, claims report

Thoughts on the findings from this survey and the DfE response? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…

Teachers 'denied pay rises for not volunteering to do school clubs'
English pupils 'are among the worst behaved in the world' study says
Categories: Policy.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Who are DfE trying to kid? Scrapping January modules makes no difference. Still have to test in to track progress properly

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Gove does nothing but insist upon testing and rigour. No time to go in depth, or you won’t cover the curriculum.

  3. beyondbehaviour

    MaryMyatt PeterElliott3 SchoolsImprove + staff’s Endless accountability & educating pupils in ways at odds with profl and personal values

  4. CromwellConsult

    SchoolsImprove Measuring and focus on accountability culture don’t bring improvement in standards. New freedom big opportunity 4 schools

  5. Suparl

    SchoolsImprove Yes, certainly makes for a certain sense if joylessness in the classroom..c’mon kids, lets keep jumping through hoops…!

Let us know what you think...