Hey everybody, earlier yesterday a letter was sent to the Guardian newspaper to be published this morning but unfortunately it hasn’t been published.
Nevertheless, we’ll just show you the letter that should’ve come out this morning:
Title: Take The Stress Out Of Exams: GCSE Results Day
Today many thousands of teenagers will be receiving their GCSE exam results, one of the authors of this letter being one of them. We wish those students all the best. But in getting to this point many of those students, and their teachers, have suffered unnecessary stress.
According to research done by Barnardos 48% of 12-year-olds in England feel sad or anxious at least once a week. By the age of 16, 70% report feeling this way at least once a week, and 22% report having negative feelings as often as once a day. 65% of secondary school aged students report that school is the main cause of stress in their lives, above issues at home or online or offline bullying.
Our current high-stakes testing system has constricted the curriculum, shackled teachers, subordinated assessment to testing, dealt ruthlessly with those schools (and their communities) that do not make the grade, as well as significantly contributing to mental health problems amongst school-aged students.
It is time to scrap it, and replace it with a well-resourced, publicly accountable system which supports and educates individuals by engaging them rather than pressuring them, which would require a generic campaign to unite for demands to fight not only the impacts of stress but also the causes: hence, http://www.tsos.blog. Because your worth is in your person and wellbeing not your grade.
– Joe Booth, 16 year old student in East London and activist with the Take The Stress Out Of Studying (TSOS) campaign
– Mandy Hudson, National Education Union Executive -NUT section representing Disabled Teachers, and a teacher in West London