Letters: `Narrow' exam focus

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The Independent Culture
`Narrow' exam focus

Sir: Although I commend this government for its commitment to improve education, I am horrified at the lack of imagination in its implementation.

First we hear that the Government is concerned about the flight of "gifted" students to the independent schools. The proposed solution to end this flight is to offer "early GCSEs" to bright pupils in the state sector. What then?

Will we have an epidemic of 14-year-olds applying for university places? It might cost more money but offering these "bright" pupils extra or more challenging work in subjects of interest, or offering them opportunities to try out new subjects would certainly be more stimulating.

Then we hear that the Government is going to reward teachers who produce good exam results. Are "good exam results" the only indicator of good teaching? What about innovation, creativity and dedication? Education in this country has become so exam-oriented that the concept of learning for pleasure has been lost.

Children, our future leaders, spend at least 12 years of their lives in school. These years should be fun. Why not present awards to schools which show innovation, creativity and imagination? These would allow the school, the teachers and the students to fulfil some of their dreams.