Leading private school considers controversial step to boost student mental health

Awareness of mental health has led to a leading school in the UK banning homework to try and help its stressed pupils.

Cheltenham Ladies’ College has announced that it is considering scrapping the age old tradition of homework and begin meditation classes because of the epidemic of mental health problems among students in this country.

The school saw 92 per cent of GCSE grades for last year be either A or A*, proving what a successful independent school it is.

However, the school seems keen to prioritise the mental health of the students over forcing them to wear themselves out clawing for better grades.

The head teacher, Ms Eve Jardine-Young, said that: “if our obligation as educators is to try, to the best of our ability, to set young people up as best we can for whatever the future may hold, then to ignore [the mental health epidemic among adolescents] or to trivialise it is really irresponsible.”

The next five years will see the school assess how homework affects the lives of the students and whether they would benefit from removing it from the curriculum. It can then decide whether this move would be worthwhile.

It is nice to see that establishments that are tasked with guiding our children and their lives are opening their eyes to the damage that they and the rest of society can do to youngsters, especially in regard to the mental pressure of the fight for good grades.

Boiling student’s lives down to a letter or number that they get for sitting an exam is a huge cause of stress among young people, and can cause long lasting effects.

However, public schools are a long way behind this kind of consideration, but at least Cheltenham Ladies’ College is the beginning of a step towards better student mental health.

Anthony Seldon of Wellington College raised a good point saying that we “shouldn’t be shielding girls or boys from anxiety and stress, we should be helping them to cope with it because they are essential and inevitable in life.” Whether students are being taught decent stress management or not is up for debate.

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