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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 October, 2003, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Pupils 'stressed' by homework
exam
Many say pupils have to sit too many exams
Parents say their children are under too much stress because of exams and homework, a survey suggests.

Four out of five parents questioned said the burden of schoolwork and was putting a strain on family life.

The survey of 2,000 parents in England and Wales found 30% had moved house to get into a good school catchment area.

Many had lost faith in the state system, with 62% saying they would opt for private education if they could.

The stress being heaped on children from a young age is unbelievable
Sian Rees, Real magazine

The Childhood Stress Survey, commissioned by the magazine Real, found nearly two thirds (64%) wanted to see the return of grammar schools.

Although national exam pass rates have improved significantly over recent years, only 23% of those surveyed thought children had got brighter.

On the contrary, 61% thought exams were easier or pass marks had been lowered.

'Pushed too hard'

The editor of Real magazine, Sian Rees, said the survey backed up the concerns of critics of the current vogue for testing children regularly.

Many critics say children in England are some of the most over-tested pupils in the world, with national curriculum tests (SATs) at ages seven, 11 and 14, followed up by GCSEs at 16, AS-levels at 17 and A-levels at 18.

"The stress being heaped on children from a young age is unbelievable," said Ms Rees.

"Schools are turning children into homework robots in a bid to get further up the league tables.

"Children are simply being pushed too hard. The current homework and exam burden placed on today's youngsters is wrecking family life and has turned exhausted working parents into stress counsellors and teachers."




SEE ALSO:
Demand for school counselling grows
19 Aug 02  |  Education
Social workers in schools call
25 May 01  |  Education



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