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Exam system stress.

Exam system stress.

The summer term places huge stress on exam officers with serious consequences – for them, for the students sitting exams, and for the system as a whole, says Andrew Harland


At the moment, the education press is full of articles about the “wellbeing” of both teachers and students. And quite rightly too – we now see regular reference being made to the growing rise in mental health problems among young people as well as the work-related stress that comes with the life (and workload) of a teacher.

Much of this has been associated with exam stress, certainly at GCSE and A level. But exam pressure also affects another group of school professionals. In our 2018 survey of exams officers, 86 per cent told us that they were becoming more stressed because of a growing examinations workload. Some of our members stated that part of that increased workload – where they were “expected to work longer hours, for less pay and with no offer of time in lieu” – is a knock-on effect because of stressed teaching colleagues.

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