Reader Letter: Our children deserve more than this

PUBLISHED: 10:34 13 June 2018 | UPDATED: 10:12 15 June 2018

An exam hall. PHOTO: Press Association

An exam hall. PHOTO: Press Association

One reader says the UK education system is failing children. Do you agree?

Ian Clarke considered it bizarre that he still dreams about the impact of his school days and even years later they impact upon him. I do not find it bizarre at all.

As a psychotherapeutic counsellor I see the impact of intense all year round testing rising to a crescendo in exam season. It has been a common thing for me to see an increase in self harm and eating disorders at this time. If anxiety and depression are illnesses they are being partly created in the petri dish and culture of our education system.

Our education system at present is teaching our young to excel in standardisation and learning by rote, setting the scene for self-critical mindsets, and a deep seated fear of never being enough. Surely our children deserve an education much more than this?

I worked in education for 10 years and many young people questioned the syllabus and how it was preparing them for the wider world.

These experiences impact upon our young and are stored in both explicit and implicit memory and are lodged in our nervous systems. A fear of failure that we can carry with us into adulthood which may rise up as anxiety in challenging situations. I work with many adults now with depression and anxiety who recognise the impact of their formative years.

It is not only the children and young people who are struggling with this, there are many wonderful teachers who are challenged by the impact of stress on their own nervous systems and anxiety and depression are rife in the staff room too.

When will this be taken seriously I wonder?

Do you agree with our reader? Do you think there is too much pressure on children in education? Let us know in the comments below or write to us at

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