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'A grinding litany of assessment'

Parents said too much internal assessment detracted from teaching. "For my academic son the year has been an endless grinding litany of internal assessments," said one.

Another said: "Workload became excessive because of the number of subjects. Internal assessments are good in theory but stressful in practice."

A further parent said: "The timing of the final exam combined with the amount of course work meant that several assessments were being sat in the one week before finals began."

Again: "Stress built up when an internal assessment was failed and had to be resat at the same time as revising for another."

Art and design and English attracted most comments. These covered course content, the way the subject was taught, lack of time in the final exam, lack of specific resources, poor teaching, the amount of work required and a failure to cover the course completely.

Parents also criticised the spacing of external exams.

As one commented: "Our son had two exams within the first three days, then none for 11 school days and the rest packed into four days when he should have returned to school and sixth year."

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