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Last week at the Festival of Education held at Wellington College, Dame Stella Rimington, former head of MI5, ‘criticised the pressure put on children to perform in school and the rivalry this breeds between them’ (The Independent).

Dame Stella stated:

I didn’t take my career seriously and in many ways it was a great help in my life because I look at the young constantly being asked what they are going to do and they are really focused by the time they leave school and on some kind of profession and I think it is quite stressful for them.

Pressure on pupils can come from many areas within school, for example, the pressure for looming exams and achieving top grades in order to progress on to whatever they choose to do after leaving secondary education.

It is also apparent that these pressures can begin early in primary schools and can be emphasised if pupils struggle with aspects such as literacy and numeracy, perhaps becoming increasingly disillusioned if they feel they are falling behind their peers.

At this stage, early interventions to increase motivation and engagement can make the difference between a pupil feeling supported to catch up to their peers, or falling further into disillusionment and becoming disengaged with their studies.

We would like to know what interventions your school has in place to support pupils who feel they are falling behind their peers. Share your views in the comments below!