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The danger of excessively high academic expectations

Fraser Halliwell reflects on the importance of promoting ideal mental health. 

I read this article today about the link between excessively high academic expectations in school and problems with mental health among young people.  For me, this is further evidence of the disconnect between the pressures imposed on children by modern life and their aspiration to flourish as happy and secure young people.

Don’t get me wrong – a strong academic foundation is essential for future success, but I believe this can best be achieved within an environment that promotes ideal mental health. The purpose of schools is not to do exams. The purpose of schools is to equip young people with all they need to enter the next stage of their lives with optimism and confidence.

We do not simply want our children to be well qualified – we want them to be properly educated with all the depth of meaning this implies. The approach to supporting (and sometimes challenging!) young people in their education must be nuanced and highly personalised.

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