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Teaching union leader Alison Sherratt warns of exam ‘drilling’ of schoolchildren


Children are being subjected to regimented school days in which they are drilled to pass tests rather than enjoy their education, a union leader has warned.

There is no room and freedom in modern education to make youngsters feel excited about learning, according to Alison Sherratt, the incoming president of the Association and Teachers and Lecturers (ATL).

Schools can no longer spend weeks on topics such as Humpty Dumpty due to the pressure to tick boxes and pass “arbitrary” levels, she said.

“School days are too broken up into regimented tasks, with the days dictated by a strict timetable – maths at 9.30am, reading at 10am, spelling at 10.30am – with little room for changes to reflect how children learn and what’s best for specific children,” Mrs Sherratt suggested.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “We agree that the constant ‘teach to the test’ culture should be tackled. That is why we are scrapping modules and January assessments to end the treadmill of exams and ensure pupils develop a real understanding of each subject.”