An education expert from Edge Hill University is training teachers to help students tackle issues around exam stress.

Professor Dave Putwain, who researches exam stress in the Faculty of Education is helping teachers help students to tackle the problem.

Professor Putwain said: “Most students suffer from increased stress before and during exams. For the majority the distress is transient and does them no harm, however for some students exam stress can have a detrimental effect on their wellbeing and lead to academic underachievement.

“Teachers do a fantastic job of supporting students during this difficult time, but there are few resources out there to help them, and they often end up referring students to other services.”

Professor Putwain has joined forces with Clinical Psychologist Dr Ben Aveyard to provide a series of hands-on workshops designed to give teachers the knowledge, skills, and materials to support anxious GCSE and A Level students. The workshops will provide practical support to help schools tackle the distress and underperformance caused by exam stress.

Professor Dave Putwain

Professor Dave Putwain

Professor Putwain said: “This course will equip school staff with the psychological knowledge and therapeutic tools needed to teach resilience skills to students suffering from exam stress. By upskilling teachers and giving them the confidence to provide in-house support during stressful exam periods, schools can reduce the effect of stress on their students’ wellbeing and ensure they perform to their full potential.”

The courses are part of a suite of resources for teachers developed by Professor Putwain in collaboration with Exapt CIC (Community Interest Company), a social enterprise organisation that brings together researchers, clinicians, educators and designers to create innovative and effective ways to promote wellbeing in schools.

The training courses are designed to complement STEPS (Strategies to Tackle Exam Pressure and Stress), a computer-based self-help programme for students, developed in response to Professor Putwain’s long-term research into the causes of exam stress.

David Putwain is a Professor in Education whose acclaimed and much publicised research focuses on the psychological effects of exam pressure. A former teacher who has also worked for a UK exam board, David has contributed to several books and had work published in numerous international academic journals.

More information on the workshops can be found here