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Anxiety in children

12th October 2007

A study of education in England has found that primary school children and their parents are suffering from “deep anxiety� about modern life.

Researchers from the Primary Review organisation ran 87 discussions with groups of children, parents, teachers and others with a total of 750 people taking part.

The Cambridge-based group found that children faced a range of pressures such as SATs tests with children also exposed to other stresses such as concerns about climate change, pollution, and terrorism.

Primary Review director Professor Robin Alexander said: “What people wanted to talk about was the stress of government tests, then life outside school, road safety, physical dangers, the sense young children are having to grow up too soon.�

But the report found where schools engaged children with global and local realities as aspects of their education they were noticeably more upbeat.

Parents and teaching assistants spoke to the authors about the influence of electronic media and gadgetry the “national obsession� with celebrity and also the “loss of childhood.�

The government rejected criticism of testing and the Department for Children, Schools and Families said: “We are committed to improving the lives of children and young people right across the country and we are making substantial progress.�

A spokesman added: “The vast majority of children go to better schools, enjoy better health, live in better housing and in more affluent households than they did 10 years ago.�

However, children’s charity NCH said the findings were a wake-up call to the government that urgent action was needed to tackle this problem.

 

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