Whether or not pupils should be taking extra exams is something that has been regularly debated in the education sector. Now, the school standards minister, Nick Gibb, has revealed that he believes pupils should be taking exams from Year 7 onwards. Nick Gibb believes that this will be a benefit to pupils’ mental health, as it will enable them to get more used to taking exams, meaning it won’t stress them out as much. However, not everyone seems to agree with Mr Gibb, as many teachers have voiced their opinions on social media. The opposing argument is that the wellbeing of pupils is already being impacted by academic pressure, and more exams will only make this worse.
What does Nick Gibb propose? - Nick Gibb’s proposal is to make children sit at their school desk and take exams at the end of every school year, starting from Year 7 onwards. He believes this will get them used to taking exams. He presented this argument at a joint session of the parliamentary select committees for health and education. The meeting was designed to talk about the different government proposals that had been put forward to tackle mental health amongst students in the United Kingdom.
The school standards minister also claimed the GCSE system reforms that have been implemented by the government are not having an adverse impact on the mental health of students in the UK. He said he doesn’t believe it is right to say that the reforms are causing mental-health pressure or anxiety. Instead, he argues that the cause of mental ill health amongst pupils is down to celebrity culture, as well as online pressures. He said exam pressure has always been part of being at school, and that nothing has been done to make this worse. However, these new pressures did not exist when the school standards minister himself was in education.
Are we putting added pressure on children? - While it is clear that Mr Gibb does not believe GCSE reforms have caused added pressure and that extra exams would not result in greater anxiety, there are many teachers who would argue otherwise. Are you in favour of more exams being added to their schedule? Or, do you believe that there is already too much pressure on kids to perform well academically?