Are our schools just exam factories?


Sidcot School is delivering an education for purposeful lives

The Institute of Directors’ (IoD) recently criticised schools for failing to prepare children for the workplace with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. It begs the question, what’s the point of the current obsession with exam results? Have schools just become exam factories? How are they measuring intelligence? What about creativity and interpersonal skills?

We have an education system that was designed and conceived in a different age, based around the thinking that there are only two types of ability – academic and non-academic. This has led to many brilliant people thinking they are not ‘intelligent’, as they are being judged against this limiting mindset.

The education system has become a production line – ringing bells, children educated in batches based on date of manufacture (their age), siphoned off into separate subjects and separate facilities. Instead of nurturing those skills that are valuable in a computerised age, the current model stamps out innate creativity and divergent thinking and prizes standardisation instead. 

The exam factory model squashes children into an antiquated education machine and spits them out as conformists, experts in rote learning and memory challenges rather than deep thinking and enquiry. 

Sidcot School are determined to buck the trend in order to deliver an education that prepares their students, not just for the process of the exam system while it remains, but with the resilience, skills and aptitudes that will help them lead interesting and purposeful lives. 

For more information, please ring 01934 843 102 or visit



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