Mental health concerns as Gordano headteacher report exam stress rise

PUBLISHED: 13:00 26 August 2018

Gary Lewis and his successor Tom Inman. Picture: Ian Johnson

Gary Lewis and his successor Tom Inman. Picture: Ian Johnson

Ian Johnson

Increased pressure on exams has impacted on students’ mental health and schools are ‘grappling really hard with the issue’, according to a headteacher.

Gordano School boss Tom Inman believes the restructuring of GCSE exams has had a detrimental impact on the wellbeing of pupils, who are enduring greater stress and anxiety when sitting their exams compared to previous year groups.

Coursework in most subjects has been scrapped – as has the traditional A, B, C style of grading – and there are fewer exams which count towards a grade, ramping up the importance of success in each test.

And Mr Inman believes the new system has presented students with more difficult challenges which have affected their state of mind.

He said: “The exams are more difficult, there is no doubt about that.

“It has provided real challenges, particularly for accessibility of students who are not at the higher ability end of the scale in terms of literacy and writing demands.

“The removal of coursework and the increased pressure on the exams process itself, with exams counting for more and, in most cases, all of a subject’s grade has real impact in terms of pressure, and we’ve seen the impact of that on the students’ mental health.

“That is something as schools we are all really grappling hard with at the moment.”

Nailsea School headteacher Dee Elliott revealed parents, too, are suffering from the mental strain of GCSEs more than ever before.

She said: “The stress on parents has been the greatest we’ve ever seen.

“The strain on parents coming in has also been something we’ve noticed and the fact we have worked so well together has enabled students to flourish and subsequently celebrate these wonderful results.”

Mr Inman told the Times he breathed a ‘strong sigh of relief’ after the Portishead school earned ‘another set of strong results’.

He added: “It’s reassuring we’re at the point where we’ve now had the first set of exams and we’ve got some results, papers and evidence which we can work forwards with, but it’s worrying and stressful for people when you don’t know the context of the new world of exams so it’s been tough.”

For a full round up from exams season, see the Times on Wednesday.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 16:00

Wrington Primary School pupils finished in first and third positions during a day of friendly competition.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00

A Nailsea couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with more than 80 family members and friends and raised hundreds of pounds for charity.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:00

A Pill cancer charity urgently need more volunteers.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:02

People driving illegally in the area could get six points on their licence, a £300 fine or have their vehicles destroyed – if they do not adhere to Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s letter of warning.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

There is still time to sign up to Santas on the Run and raise money for a children’s charity.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00

Concerns over the amount of vehicles travelling through the centre of Yatton have been raised, with 1,000 motorists recorded using its roads in just one hour.

Read more
Saturday, November 17, 2018

Portishead pool is gearing up to celebrate 10 years since it was saved from closure thanks to the hard work of supporters.

Read more
Saturday, November 17, 2018

With Christmas little more than six weeks away, some lovely gifts were on sale at the weekend to help shoppers seeking a bargain.

Read more
Friday, November 16, 2018

The government is set to invest more than £1million to improve pothole problems in North Somerset.

Read more
Friday, November 16, 2018

A rescue centre in Portbury is desperately appealing for foster carers so it can help more abandoned cats in the area.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the North Somerset Times e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 4°C

Useful Links

Reader Travel

Clevedon Tide report

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

North Somerset Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Find planning applications