Two out of three parents believe that the education system places too much emphasis on exams, The Times reports.
A survey carried out by YouGov for the newspaper finds that a majority of people in every political party, age group and region feel that the education system is too focused around formal assessments.
Only 16 per cent of parents with school-aged children believed the balance was about right.
Among all adults, including those who do not have school-age children, only 19 per cent said the present system balanced tests and learning appropriately, while 57 per cent believed there was too much emphasis on examinations.
In other findings, a third of parents said the number of exams was bad for young people’s ability to take part in extra-curricular activities and more than half believed tests were bad for children’s mental health.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said: “The problem with GCSE is we use it to judge the child, judge the teacher, judge the school and the people who I represent lose their jobs if they do badly in it. We need a system which doesn’t have as much collateral damage.”