As a parent it’s been very disheartening to watch my eldest child, along with her friends become more and more stressed, tearful, anxious and self doubting their worth. They look pale, with dark circles under their eyes and prone to crying lots.
What is the cause of this? In one word – SATS. Like thousands of other children up and down this country, they are all being forced by Educational policy to undertake intense tests to determine if the teaching is up to scratch. People may say,”Oh don’t worry about it. It’s not you they are assessing, it’s your teachers.” but those words are meanless. Why? Because our children are being told they have to pass or they fail. If they don’t pass then they will be forced to retake the tests again in the future.
In the run up to SATS the children aren’t learning, they are cramming. They come home every day drained of colour and red eyed from crying, clutching yet more practice papers to do in the vain hope that this will help them crack the SATS to get a pass.
The problem is that they are screwed. Education big wigs changed the goal posts, they are expected to know far more stuff, beyond that of their age and abilities. Their teachers don’t know whether they are coming or going, as they are told to “raise standards” further. How far is too far? We’re developing a nation of children, stressed out with low self esteem, because they are told they are “failures”, because they cannot meet the impossible education goals set by those in government responsible for the nation’s education.
We’re losing fantastic teachers by the day, who cannot cope with the sheer pressure that they are being placed under. They are no longer teachers, just drones imparting words and facts to children, who in turn lose the zest to seek knowledge and to learn from it, because they doubt that they can.
Government policy may be to increase the standard of education in our nation, but at the moment it seems to come at a price, the loss of a generation’s belief in its abilities to succeed, when all they hear is “Failure! Failure!”