Schools Are Removing Analog Clocks From Exam Rooms Because Kids Can’t Read Them

UK schools are removing analog clocks from examination rooms.

It has been claimed that school kids cannot read them having been spoilt by digital time on technology apparatus.

Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary at the Association of School and College Leaders, told The Telegraph that students below the age of 18 have become used to using digital devices.

“The current generation aren’t as good at reading the traditional clock face as older generations,” he said. 

“They are used to seeing a digital representation of time on their phone, on their computer. Nearly everything they’ve got is digital so youngsters are just exposed to time being given digitally everywhere.” 

Trobe, an ex principal, said that teachers want their kids to be as relaxed as possible in an exam setting. And apparently a traditional clock could add unnecessary stress. Schools are going out of their way to make everything as “easy and straightforward as possible,” he claimed.

“You don’t want them to put their hand up to ask how much time is left,” Trobe explained.  

“Schools will inevitably be doing their best to make young children feel as relaxed as the can be. There is actually a big advantage in using digital clocks in exam rooms because it is much less easy to mistake a time on a digital clock when you are working against time.” 

Stephanie Keenan, head of English at Ruislip High School in north-west London, told The Telegraph that her school was one of many to switch their clocks. Cheryl Quine, a head of department at Cockermouth School and chair of the West Cumbria Network, said they did the same “when some [students] couldn’t read the exam room clock”.

In 2018, Sally Payne, the head pediatric occupational therapist at the Heart of England foundation NHS Trust, warned that children are finding it harder and harder to hold pens and pencils as a result of technology. 

“To be able to grip a pencil and move it, you need strong control of the fine muscles in your fingers. Children need lots of opportunity to develop those skills,” she warned. 

“It’s easier to give a child an iPad than encouraging them to do muscle-building play such as building blocks, cutting and sticking, or pulling toys and ropes. Because of this, they’re not developing the underlying foundation skills they need to grip and hold a pencil.” 

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