Stop whining about Sats: Mollycoddled children will turn into hyper-sensitive students

Adult campaigners grumble that focusing on test results is at the expense of “children’s happiness and joy of learning” says Claire in

Even if you’re not a parent, a teacher or a primary school pupil, you can’t have missed that it’s Sats week. The media is drowning in tales of tearful tweens and the trauma being inflicted on the nation’s children by the tyranny of testing.

To be honest, while headlines scream “factory-farming education” and “inhumane testing treadmill”, I want to scream back: “Oh please stop whining”. Of course, starting a blog suggesting you all rush out and buy my new book I Find that Offensive! (being launched tonight) by showing zero sympathy for sobbing seven year olds may not be the best PR strategy. But the two things are connected, honestly.   

My book was prompted by the relentless offence wars at British universities that are eating away at free speech on campus. Ideals of liberalism, previously associated with progressive causes, rarely cut it with younger generations. A recent survey reveals two thirds of students support NUS’s censorious No Platform policies.

It is tempting to conclude this is because my generation has failed to force-feed Generation X, Y and Z with a diet of JS Mill and Thomas Paine. However, the puzzle I wanted to solve was less why freedom of expression is so unfashionable and more why today’s thin-skinned youth seem so genuinely upset when confronted by ideas and speech that they find offensive. While no doubt some of the most egregious safe-spacers are making a career out of playing the victim-card, most seem honestly incapable of coping with the most innocuous of slights or the normal rough and tumble of everyday life.

Read the full article here.