Headmaster at a 30,000 a year elite school has condemned pushy parents for putting too much pressure on their children
Headmaster Richard Harman thinks students are under too much pressureHe argues that pushy parents and teachers cause long term damage
Harman, from the Uppingham School in Rutland, said they need to be prepared for the difficulties of life beyond school
02:07 GMT, 3 March 2013
02:24 GMT, 3 March 2013
The headmaster at an elite public school has called on teacher and parents to stop putting students under too much pressure to get good grades.
Richard Harman, from the elite Uppingham school in Rutland, said that teenagers need to be shown how to cope in other areas of their lives, not just in the exam hall.
He argues that the pressure they feel put under when young could cause 'long term damage'.
The 30,000 a year Uppingham school prides itself on producing students that excel at university
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph he said that the current approach 'may get short-term results but risk long-term damage.'
He added: 'Good exam scores are important but the hothouse atmosphere and the paranoia that can create can be damaging.
Richard Harman has said that he believes children must be prepared for the failures and disappointments of life, not just to pass exams
'Instead of focusing on results, schools and parents must help children handle failure, develop different strengths and become resilient people who can make relationships with others because that is what brings proper happiness in life-long terms.'
Harman also argued that outside worries, such as the economic climate and shrinking job market were causing pupils to panic and that they needed help to cope with it.
Harman, who is taking over as leader of the Headmasters and Headmistresses Conference next year, added that: 'the entire social life of some London parents is consumed by whether or not their children is going to get into the school of their choice.
'They put their children through seven, eight or nine entrance tests. There is paranoia and a pressure that is just unhealthy for parents as well as their children.'
Uppingham school was founded in 1584, and boasts that its first pupil, Henry Ferne became chaplain to Charles I.
Other famous pupils include world water speed record holder Donald Campbell, Carphone Warehouse multi-millionaires Charles Dunstone and David Ross, TV personality Stephen Fry, Charlie Simpson of pop band Busted, and Harry Judd of pop band McFly.