News ID: 118997
Published: 0306 GMT May 29, 2015

Hot housing children is damaging their health

Hot housing children is damaging their health

Parents who hot house their children to get them through private school entrance exams are damaging their health and taking their childhood away, the head of leading prep school said.

The warnings follow earlier calls to parents to let their children develop more naturally as they put them under growing pressure to do well in exams, Telegraph reported.

Others have also called for children to be engaged in more extra-curricular activities to develop their character.

Richard Foster, headmaster at Windlesham House School in West Sussex, told the Telegraph: "Even more pressure is put on the children and parents taking the 11+ and the growing number of schools who are pre-testing. Over half of primary school age children in London now receive extra tuition.

"All of this can’t be healthy."

Foster, who has been a headmaster for 28 years, added: "For goodness sake, let’s get away from children being hot housed at the expense of having a really sound, all round education. Let’s find a way round the pressurized 11+ testing system.

"Above all, let’s give children their childhood back and society and parents will be much the better for it and life will be considerably less stressful."

But pressures extend well beyond exams. He also said prep schools were increasingly providing shuttle buses for children who couldn’t get into over-subscribed London schools as competition for places at top schools grew.

He said this added to the already-pressurizing environment for both parents and pupils.

He continued: “Year on year, more prep schools in the home counties have been introducing shuttle buses which take your child out of London in the morning and return them later that evening just like a commuter goes to work.

The reason for this is simple. With the competition and pressure to get into a good and therefore over-subscribed London day school increasing, bussing them out to a good school outside London is an attractive alternative.

Surely this travel is even more pressurized and exhausting for both parents and pupils especially in the winter months.  Some of the children will then have an evening of extra tuition and extra-curricular. Both parents and children commuting means even less quality and undistracted time together and probably, unfortunately more time spent on electronics.”


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