There’s a price to pay for pushing pupils to obtain top results

As GCSE and A-level exams come to a close, Jeremy Thomas examines the cost of pushing for the best exam results

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These days, June, July and late August cause pupil and parent’s stress meters to hit peaks normally only seen by the National Grid at Christmas. It’s the super stress zone of GCSE and A-level exams.

With so much riding on the results, everyone involved has been experiencing performance stress. Years of hard work and study are coming under the microscope and stressed parents often end up bullying teachers to ensure their children succeed.

Then there are results driven headmasters, desperately hoping their school will be top of the league tables.

However, there is a large price to pay for pushing so hard to obtain top results, and that is pupil’s mental health.

Eton College recently announced it will be conducting random drug tests on students. Prevention is better than cure, yes, but wouldn’t it be far more useful if all schools conducted discreet random tests on pupil’s stress and self esteem?

Many parents today seem obsessed about their children’s performance in exams. So great is their fear of failure, pupils in turn demand more of themselves to do well academically, and socially. Some cannot take the strain and fall prey to anxiety, self harm and depression.


Please click here to read the full article on the Daily Telegraph website.