I was moved and fired up in equal measure as I read ‘This beautiful profession has been transformed into a beast that is damaging mental health. Who will break the spell?’ in Tes last month.
As a former teacher and now a politician who is passionate about education, this article summed up the fears I have long held about the damage we are doing to both pupils and teachers with the exam and league-table obsessed culture in our schools.
I know all too well, from my own experience and that of my friends and colleagues in the teaching profession, the damage that can be done to the mental wellbeing of pupils who are made to feel that all of their future opportunities in life may hang on the outcome of one short test. Not to mention what being forced to teach to the test is doing to destroy the creativity and enthusiasm of our teaching workforce. I have always believed there are better ways of doing this. Now I’m in Westminster, I am more determined than ever to fight to change them.