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Mental health of students

Discussion in 'News' started by bigwig1, Aug 29, 2020.

  1. bigwig1

    bigwig1 New commenter

    How can it be said that the mental health of students will improve by returning to school?

    One of our leading newspapers reported that in the annual Good Childhood Report from the Children’s Society more than a third of 15-year-olds scored low on life satisfaction. They also fared badly across happiness measurement including satisfaction with school friends and sense of purpose. Possible causes quoted were Uk child poverty and school pressures along with fear of failure. The Uk were tenth in a list of European Countries. Also fifteen year olds had the greatest fear of failure across 24 European countries assessed by OECD Programme for International Assessment.

    Schools are frightened of failure who in turn pass that pressure onto teachers who then pass that onto students. Education is not about students being happy and satisfied about with what they can achieve but it is a constant drive for exam results. The school day is a constant rush from beginning to the end. Society is to blame for this as the behaviour of a small minority of students have forced schools to compress the school day. The internet, constant television, games consoles and the idea that everything must be entertaining have reduced the focus and concentration span of pupils to an absurdly short period of time. Now we have no gap between lessons, a shorter lunch break (or as one member of staff called it ‘the great sandwich dash’) and no 15 minute break on the morning (this shows you how long I have been teaching). Even with the changes, in many schools, we still have noise, bad behaviour and pupils who try to talk constantly. What is the solution? The way schools and the curriculum are structured I cannot see one. Maybe some of you have suggestions.

    To say that some schools achieve a high degree of academic success to some extent is true but many staff over the years, from different subjects, have stated that in the last forty years the academic rigour of exams has dropped by possibly 25% or more.
  2. averagedan

    averagedan Established commenter

    I'm more worried about mental health of staff to be honest. After 6 months of news stories people are pretty wound up.
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    And 6 months, or more, of the dire warnings and generalised negativity such as the OP has posted really doesn't help.

    Not in all schools by a long shot.
    Reinstate a sensible length lunch break, a decent length morning break, a couple of minutes between lessons, an enforced positive behaviour management policy, visible SLT.
  4. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    What, you mean like things used to be? But back then, the headteachers were teachers. May school managers aren't. Many of us have managers who know nothing about teaching, numeracy, literacy, decency etc...
    It is interesting that the mental health of teenagers has improved since schools have been shut (surveys listed by other posters on here)-and that many think they learn more at home than in schools.
    It's true that many are seriously worried about returning to schools, not so much for themselves, but because they know teenagers can pass this virus to their parents and grandparents.
    agathamorse and nervousned like this.
  5. averagedan

    averagedan Established commenter

    I sincerely doubt that. Wait until you're in the position of having to make unpleasant decisions and then judge. Often you're forced into carp decisions by financing, OFTED/DfE requirements, student need and staff need all conflicting.

    No-one wakes up thinking "I want to pi$$ people off and do a bad job". The worst part of my job is having to stand up with a smile and say "here's a new initiative, I'm really enthusiastic about it and it's going to make a real impact!" when inside you know it won't, it means more work for everyone and the only reason you're marching people in that direction is because a bad OFSTED is worse.

    Often we're making what we know are bad decisions to avoid the worst possible outcome. Remember your managers are human and generally they're trying to do their best for everyone.
  6. averagedan

    averagedan Established commenter

    Quite - I've seen normally rational friends sending off some pretty interesting messages. Unfortunately sensationalism sells.
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Oooooo that comment will be deleted by mods for breaching the terms and conditions of TES. ;)

    I agree with all you've said though.
    averagedan and jarndyce like this.
  8. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter

    Yes - every two weeks since lockdown started, I've had one more friend (rational, intelligent, sensible) who has suddenly completely flipped and started sharing the most sensationalist nonsense on Facebook or Twitter. They seem to distribute themselves evenly between the "a second wave has already started and 50 billion will die a week!" camp and the "COVID doesn't exist and masks are a fascist plot" camp. There is, of course, no in between.
  9. Newidentity

    Newidentity Occasional commenter

    Sorry, this is just sensationalist nonsense. Everyone knows that managers are robots.
    ajrabab786 and averagedan like this.
  10. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    Nah, robots behave in logical and predictable ways. I'm reasonably sure my headteacher is actually a magic 8-ball.
    averagedan likes this.
  11. averagedan

    averagedan Established commenter

    Does not compute. Please return this model for servicing.

    I've known a few SLT in my time who work into the later hours of the evening and you could slowly spot their e-mails becoming less and less rational/readable/coherent as it got later and later.

    I've always suspected wine was the cause.
  12. Jonntyboy

    Jonntyboy Lead commenter

    This may well be so in many cases. But unfortunately too many of them are also incompetent, irrational and weak.

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