‘The assessment system is broken’, says school head

The Telegraph is reporting that head teacher Peter Hyman has warned that the intense exam focus is “destroying” education, and advocated project based learning as a potential answer…

Speaking to the Telegraph, Peter Hyman, head teacher at School 21 and former head of communications at Downing Street, said the current assessment system was “completely broken”.

He said: “I think we’ve got into a spiral of panic about standards. The result is a system nobody thinks is conducive to a decent education or getting most out of children or staff…”

He commented: “The written exam as the only method of assessment is just wrong. There’s no other walk of life where you would assess someone’s worth, purely by shoving them in a room for three hours to write down all that they know about a subject.

“It is just destroying education, it’s destroying teachers, who want to leave the profession, it’s making school for far too many children just miserable…

Mr Hyman jointly set up School 21 – an all-through school – in 2012, due to “ a belief that schools were not preparing children for the world they were going into in the 21st century.”

School 21 recently hosted the REAL Projects Celebration and Exhibition Event, which promotes project based learning that connects subject content to real-world problem solving…

More at: ‘The assessment system is broken’, says school head


Peter Hyman goes on to sing the praises of project-based learning, a method he has implemented at School 21.

Your thoughts and reactions both to his comments on the current exam-based assessment system and his praise for project-based learning?

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  1. He makes good points, but the education system is riddled with well-meaning people with their own ‘good ideas’
    Let’s see the outcome in a couple of years…

  2. teach_well

    He is right about people leaving but if he thinks it is due to highly academic exams then he is foolishly wrong.

    Many people are choosing to leave precisely due to initiatives like PBL which are just one more in the line of progressive methods rebranded and introduced which are failures. They have never worked to improve educational outcomes and teachers who still support this need to realise that the very definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again while expecting a different outcome. 

    Let’s just do what worked, do it for everyone and end this endemic failure in the system.

  3. teach_well

    Oh and you are not preparing children for the 21st century – they are already living in it. It may be worth examining the evidence that evolution takes hundreds of thousands if not millions of years, it has not to my knowledge taken place over the last 140 since progressives started running the show and certainly they don’t need a different kind of education to those in past because of it.

    So far it looks like the progressives have yet to produce any geniuses – maybe that’s because instead of building on what we already know they are instead still unfortunately ‘discovery learning’ everything from scratch.

  4. TW

    Hyman is one of Blair’s mates and ipso facto just as guilty as the rest of them for creating the destructive nightmare that the Tories have found so attractive.  Him moaning about written exams just mimics what people said in the 60s and therefore shows how ignorant and unfit to be involved in government or schooling he is.  Other than nutters, no-one should care what he has to say.  He ought to focus on spending the rest of his life apologising for his activities in government thereby helping to utterly destroy the Labour Party as a serious force in politics.

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