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All Saints’ deputy head teacher Vic Klays warns of exam strain
9:28am Friday 18th October 2013 in News
THE deputy head at a York secondary school claims changes to A-levels could create a mental health “time bomb” for pressurised teenagers.
Vic Klays, 56, of All Saints’ RC School, who has taught for 34 years, says plans to return to an A-level system where pupils sit exams at the end of two years instead of continual assessment will lead to increased stress levels in youngsters which could lead to long-term mental health issues.
“We need to look out for our young people and the fact that the Government is pushing students to achieve well is right enough, but you need to think of the big picture. I see really good people who all of a sudden, through working too hard – and it’s often people that you wouldn’t expect – having problems.
“Going back to a linear system where everything rides on exams at the end of two years is a potential timebomb of pressure building up for kids. It is a system I remember well as a traumatised teenager doing my own A-levels and it’s not something we should be going back to.
“Some people say it will be like the good old days and there is nothing wrong with a bit of pressure, but they are under pressure anyway.”
Under the reforms, AS-levels will no longer count towards final A-level grades, and will become stand-alone qualifications. A-levels will revert to traditional two-year courses with final exams at the end.
Mr Klays also said that constant criticism about exams getting easier did not help.
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