Merely asking pupils how they’re feeling about their exams dangers piling on the stress, England’s chief inspector of faculties has warned.
As pupils started their SATs and GCSEs, Ofsted boss Amanda Spielman stated even speaking about them can elevate anxiousness.
Ideally major faculties ought to run the checks with out pupils even realising, Ms Spielman stated.
Her feedback got here forward of the launch of a brand new Ofsted inspection framework which places much less weight on examination outcomes.
“Good major faculties handle to run key stage checks usually with kids not even realizing that they are being examined,” she stated.
“Seven-year-olds [think], ‘oh we did a maths booklet immediately, nice’.
“I used to be in a major faculty not way back the place I noticed one thing that did concern me, the place the top was going round clapping the Yr 6s on the shoulder, saying: ‘So are you feeling OK in regards to the take a look at, is every part going effectively for you?’
“And I believed really perhaps that’s well-meaning, however perhaps that is really subliminally encouraging kids to really feel anxious.”
Ms Spielman was talking amid rising issues that faculties’ concentrate on examination outcomes is harming kids’s psychological well being.
“Clearly testing occurs in each system all through the world,” stated Ms Spielman.
“It solely turns into a giant deal for youngsters if folks make it so for them.”
From September, Ofsted says inspectors will spend much less time taking a look at examination outcomes and take a look at information, and extra time contemplating how training suppliers have achieved their outcomes.
The watchdog says it needs to make sure that good grades are achieved via a “broad, wealthy curriculum and actual studying” somewhat than “instructing to the take a look at and examination cramming”.
The brand new framework will:
- crack down more durable on dangerous classroom behaviour and bullying
- introduce separate judgements for pupils’ “behaviour and attitudes” and “private growth”
- empower faculties at all times to place the kid first
- discourage “off-rolling” the place faculties take away low-achieving pupils
Inspection reviews will even be redesigned and shortened to offer mother and father the important thing info they want.
The adjustments observe a three-month public session, which had greater than 15,000 responses.
“Our aim is absolutely easy, to be a power for enchancment via our inspections,” stated Ms Spielman.
England’s Schooling Secretary Damian Hinds referred to as the brand new framework “a significant step in supporting our shared drive to boost requirements throughout the college system, so that each baby can have entry to a world-class training”.
However the Nationwide Schooling Union stated it represented a “woefully missed” alternative.
The union’s joint common secretary, Dr Mary Bousted, stated information would stay on the coronary heart of the inspection course of, with faculties judged towards nationwide attainment scores which could bear little or no relationship to the native inhabitants.
“We imagine faculties and schools will nonetheless not be evaluated precisely or be supplied with worthwhile suggestions,” stated Dr Bousted.
Nick Brook, deputy common secretary of the Nationwide Affiliation of Head Academics, stated he feared the framework would “show to be unworkable in apply”.
“Inspectors are being requested to do an excessive amount of with too little useful resource and with too nice a level of subjectivity,” stated Mr Brook.