Thursday, 19 May 2016
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As the heat around the testing debate dissipates following SATs week, we can start to evaluate how detrimental (or not) the effects on our children have been.

Have children emerged as over anxious or in some way mentally shaken or damaged? Has the testing experience been in any way beneficial and can the stress-related risks be turned into a positive for young people?

Natasha Devon stated, just before departing from her post as the government's mental health champion:

“Time and time again young people – and the people who teach them – have spoken out about how a rigorous culture of testing and academic pressure is detrimental to their mental health. At one end of the scale we’ve got four year olds being tested, at the other end we’ve got teenagers leaving school and facing the prospect of leaving university with record amounts of debt. Anxiety is the fastest growing illness in under 21s. These things are not a coincidence.”

Is she right?

We'd love to hear your views as well as your take on some of the research and advice around teaching character, grit and resilience. (See the useful reading list in 'This Week', published today)
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