An era of accountability, assessment, and compliance requirement now has a major influence on education. Times have changed. People are now called to account more zealously than used to be the case. Appreciation is less forthcoming and demand for results within narrow academic strands of accomplishment are front and centre. Trust in teachers and school staff to do their jobs without their efforts being closely monitored has all but vanished. Conversations with school based educators confirms that most feel under growing stress and pressure.

Accountability and compliance pressures have resulted in a refocus of teaching strategies and data collection. Data is all about justification. It is the number one topic that occupies the agendas of educational meetings in both schools and higher departmental levels. Focus on data, student results and comparisons of students with those elsewhere are the major drivers.

This pressure puts educators under constant stress. There is no respite, no letup and no longer an underlying enjoyment of teaching. This in turn is transferred to students in classrooms. Teachers and students are educational game players who MUST meet predetermined teaching and learning outcomes.

It may be a cry too late, but teachers and students must be trusted to teach and learn without the need for their every move to be minutely examined.

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