Narrow academic focus leads pupils to 'risk behaviours'

Schools which focus solely on achieving academically can push pupils into "anti-school peer groups" and towards "risk behaviours", like smoking, illegal drugs and violence, according to experts

Writing for a leading medical journal, a group of academics lead by Professor Chris Bonell said:

This is associated with many students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, disengaging from school and instead investing in 'anti-school' peer groups and risk behaviours, such as smoking, taking drugs, and violence.

Furthermore, research suggests that 'teaching to the test', which commonly occurs in school systems with a narrow focus on attainment, can harm students' mental health.

– Academics led by Professor Chris Bonell


Children's wellbeing neglected as schools 'focus on academics'

School children are having their health and happiness neglected because they focus purely on academic achievement, experts have warned. A report published in the BMJ warned focusing solely on achievement could push pupils towards "risky" behaviour.