Teachers and students reject system of terminal examination

Our system of GCSE examinations has become “obsolete” and is now harming both pupil and teacher mental health.

The Independent Assessment Commission (IAC) has reiterated its calls for fundamental reform after a new poll showed the impact of the high-stakes nature of England’s exam system on pupils and teachers.

The IAC-commissioned survey featured more than 1,000 18 to 22-year-olds and more than 1,200 teachers and found a clear majority favoured reform of secondary assessment.

The survey found that 49% of teachers and 40% of students believe the current exam system has a negative impact on student mental health.

Meanwhile, 43% of the teachers believe their mental health is affected negatively by the current exam system.

Shifting to a mixed mode of assessment combining coursework-based assessment alongside some exams would be welcomed by a majority of teachers (68%) and young people (51%). Furthermore, 72% of teachers and 63% of young people felt mixed mode assessments would be fairer.

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