2 April 2018
Commenting after the debate on Motion 22, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT section of the National Education Union, said:
“The exam factory approach to education, forced upon schools by Government, is squeezing the joy out of teaching and learning and impacting on the well-being and mental health of students. Teachers frequently speak of the despair they feel about the consequences this testing and accountability culture is having on many of their students.
“From the age of four, pupils are faced with a series of hoops to jump through to meet a series of high-stakes tests that have little to do with good teaching or learning. The focus on core subjects at GCSE and A-Level is resulting in subjects such as dance, drama and music being dropped from the curriculum, while far too much time is being spent drilling students to hit ever-changing arbitrary targets.
“This is no way to run an education service, not least one fit for 2018.
“Many organisations including the CBI regularly state that our curriculum is far too narrow and the approach of Government flawed. The National Education Union agrees.
“Successive politicians have decided that they know better than teachers about how children learn. Those who pay the price for this blinkered approach are our children and young people. We need a generation of children and young people who are inspired by learning, and have a range of skills that will see them well equipped to make their way into adulthood.
“We will continue to pressurise Damian Hinds to listen to the profession and give our children the education they deserve. We will take our own initiative, as teachers, to explore and set out new approaches.”