Rescue Our Schools

Unprecedented GCSE exam stress

Natasha Devon backs the results of our own survey

As thousands of teenagers get their GCSE results, Rescue Our Schools is calling for an urgent inquiry into the mental health impact of the new exams.

Our own survey of parents and teachers – which we are publishing in full below – suggests that students have been put through unprecedented anxiety.

* A third of parents told us their child was “very stressed” and they were worried about them

* Three quarters of teachers said their students were “very stressed and anxious – more than usual”

* Three quarters of both parents and teachers said the new exams were “less fair” than the old ones

Natasha Devon, the expert on teenage anxiety and the government’s former mental health czar, has supported our findings. She told us: “My work visiting three or four schools every week all over the UK confirms the findings of Rescue Our Schools’ study. Academic anxiety has now replaced body image worries as the number one reason pupils give for feelings of panic and distress.”

Their survey reinforces findings from the Association of School and College Leaders – their poll revealed this week that nine in ten heads thought the new exams had harmed pupils’ mental health, triggering panic attacks, sleepless nights, self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

We have launched our petition, calling for action from the secretary of state for education, Damian Hinds.

Read our full report here

+

Sign and share our petition today…


People are mobilising against needless turmoil in state education. They want schools rooted in their communities, where teachers are trusted as professionals and every child can flourish. Now is the time for families and communities to speak out.

Here are the six points of our manifesto:

  • INVEST IN ALL OUR FUTURES
  • PROVIDE INCLUSIVE EDUCATION FOR ALL
  • PROMOTE EDUCATION OVER EXAM FACTORIES
  • DEVELOP CREATIVITY IN ALL ITS FORMS
  • LET EXPERT EVIDENCE INFORM POLICY
  • ENSURE LOCAL ACCOUNTABILITY FOR ALL SCHOOLS