Tough new GCSE exams risk pupils' mental health, warn school leaders

‘Tough new GCSE exams brought in for the first time this year are taking a toll on pupils’ mental health, experts have warned.

Young people taking a typical set of new reformed GCSEs will sit about eight hours more of exams than under the old system, analysis by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has found.

As thousands of teenagers wait to receive their exam results on Thursday, pupils in England are the first to receive grades under the new assessment structure – scheduled to roll out across all subjects by 2020.

So far only maths, English language and English literature are affected by the reforms, which include a move towards more end-of-year exams rather than regular coursework assessments.

The changes come as part of a government drive to counter grade inflation and bring UK pupils up to a “world-class standard”, but school leaders say they are already seeing increased levels of stress and anxiety in pupils.’

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