Exam Nation by Sammy Wright

Exam Nation by Sammy Wright

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Exams, grades, league tables, Ofsted reports. All of them miss the point of school and together they are undermining our whole approach to education. What is school for? In theory, it equips young people to become independent and productive, to get jobs and forge lives, perhaps to be 'good citizens'.

In reality, it means one thing: exams. By focussing on the grades pupils get in neatly siloed, academic subjects, we end up ranking them and our schools into winners and losers. Some pupils are set on a trajectory to university - the rest are left ill-equipped for the world they actually face.

Meanwhile, the 'good' schools become middle-class enclaves and the most disadvantaged lose out. Drawing on his twenty years as a teacher, hundreds of interviews and his experience on the UK Government's Social Mobility Commission, Sammy Wright shows that schools are - and should be - so much more than this. Ending with a series of practical recommendations for change, this entertaining and hugely important book interrogates one of our most beloved institutions and shows us a better way.

Praise for Exam Nation 

‘At last. A report from the front line of schooling that shows how British education has become swamped by the cult of the exam’ SIMON JENKINS

‘Extraordinary and brilliant . . . the book education has been waiting for’ LAURA MCINERNEY

‘Written with heart and humour, Exam Nation brilliantly illuminates the realities and blindspots of the exam system’ JEFFREY BOAKEY

‘Finally. A book that tells the truth about Britain’s national exam obsession - and the harm it does’ ANTHONY SELDON

‘A tremendous book, like the best lesson ever – informed, funny, fair’ RICHARD BEARD