I’m a 15-year-old socialist from the London Borough of Hackney. I’m currently in my final year at secondary school at an academy in Hackney Downs called the Mossbourne Federation.
My school is a pressurising experience: students are giving at least two pieces of long homework a day, the examination structure is 100% just exams, students get long detentions just for standing up without permission, students have to wear spotless black socks, school opens at 8.17am, and so it continues.
It’s even pressurising for teachers and other members of staff. Some work from 7.40am to 6.30pm, teachers spend their entire weekends with marking, classes often have over 15 students in total, a lot get overwhelmed responding to over 20 emails and organising their duties simultaneously, and so it continues.
This simply cannot continue! The stress and overload gets in the way of our learning and teaching, and has led to loss of self-esteem, demoralisation to get into higher education and high suicide rates.
That's why I and others launched a campaign in September this year called Take The Stress Out Of Studying, calling for the unity and solidarity of students, workers, parents, trade unions and the rest of the labour movement to draw up and mobilise for demands that will reverse education cuts, improve mental health, improve education, abolish school authoritarianism – i.e. exam pressure, bullying, large class sizes, curriculum rigidity, uniforms, UCAS – and give students and workers the individual attention they require.