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Examination Pressures on Children and Young People: Are They Taken Seriously Enough?

Putwain, DW Examination Pressures on Children and Young People: Are They Taken Seriously Enough? The British Academy. (Accepted)

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Abstract

There are widespread concerns among those who work in, and with, English primary and secondary schools, over the pressures that children and young people are experiencing when preparing for, and taking, Year 6 National Curriculum Tests (NCTs), General Certificate of Secondary Education examinations (GCSEs), and General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (A-Level) examinations . The concerns regarding Year 6 NCTs are not new. Since the late 1990s teachers’ professional bodies, educational commentators, and researchers, have drawn attention to the potentially damaging effects on the motivation and self-esteem of pupils, and a narrowing of the curriculum, arising from an excessive focus on testing in the latter stages of primary education resulting from top-down accountability pressures . Concerns regarding GCSEs and A-Levels are more recent and have arisen since the reform of curriculum content, assessment, and grading, from 2014 onwards . The move to increased, and more difficult, curriculum content that is largely assessed through terminal exams, has coincided with an increase in the number of students requesting support or counselling to cope with the pressures and reporting adverse effects on mental health (including self-harm, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts) , . Concerns regarding the stresses of taking exams were rejected by the incumbent Minister of State for School Standards, Nick Gibb, in April 2019 . Nonetheless, the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation published in 2019 a blog on understanding exam anxiety and a student guide for coping with exam pressures .

Item Type: Other
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Divisions: Education
Publisher: The British Academy
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2020 13:27
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2020 13:27
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12214

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