Primary school children sitting national tests are showing increased signs of stress and anxiety around exam time, with some suffering sleeplessness and panic attacks, according to a survey of school leaders. Eight out of 10 primary school leaders (82%) who took part in the survey, seen exclusively by the Guardian, reported an increase in mental health issues among primary school children around the time of the exams. One child was said to have lost all their eyelashes due to stress, while others worried about academic failure and some had to be comforted after being found sobbing during their exams, according to teachers who participated in the survey. The survey – details of which were released on Monday, a week before children are due to sit controversial national standardised tests in English and maths known as Sats – coincided with the launch of a highly critical report on primary assessment by the Commons cross-party education committee. It warns that using Sats results as part of a school’s accountability measures is creating a “high-stakes” system of testing which is damaging teaching and learning in primary schools. It also says the Sats, as they currently operate, are affecting the wellbeing of both pupils… Read full this story
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