Mental Health and Wellbeing of Students in Exam Factories

NUT Conference 2017

15 April 2017

Commenting after the debate on Motion 16, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The impact of an education system obsessed with the excessive testing and measuring of children’s progress is undermining pupils’ wellbeing and the education they receive. Very often the current assessment regime does not tell teachers anything they don’t already know about their students, but is simply a tick-box exercise to keep bureaucrats happy.

“Teachers speak in despair of the stress this ‘exam factory’ approach to education is causing to some of their pupils. It is a sad indictment of Government policy that, although aware of the issues, they are not doing nearly enough to change it.

“For many teachers this exam factory culture is the final straw, not only for the huge amount of time it adds to their workload but also in the knowledge that it generates a stultifying education system that can damage the health of the children they teach.

“Education should be about inspiring confident young people who have the ability to move onto the next phase of their lives. For this to happen there has to be a serious change in education policy that puts children and young people at the heart of it and ensures all children are given the education they deserve.”

Editor’s Note:

Exam Factories? – a report by Emeritus Professor Merryn Hutchings, London Metropolitan University:

The NUT’s Annual Conference is taking place this Easter weekend in Cardiff. For the Final Agenda, please visit

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