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I would find highly unlikely in the UK that teachers are assigning anywhere near 3-5 hours of homework per day with the exception of exam years and even then I think that seems extreme. I'm also sceptical of homework beyond a bit of retrieval practice on past content. But if I assigned anymore than an hour per week (usually it's 30 minutes) I'd be inundated with parent emails. Perhaps you're focusing on elite schools?

I'm sure constructivism works for some people some of the time but for a public mass education system it doesn't seem scalable. One of my goto bloggers on education has written a lot against this idea, this is one of his posts.

I think your experience is very typical, if not a wee bit better, than most uk school kids. I am in my third year teaching in a nice middle class area yet there are still huge behaviour issues at my school. One kid in year 9 burnt down the toilets last term...! I hear many similar reports from my colleagues in other schools across the area.

I would make some disagreements on the inspections. Schools now get far less notice. Its just the night before were told ofsted will come. Also, if a school was found to be taking trouble makers out i imagine they would find themselves in special measures very quickly.

Also, I'm not sure how a school could game assessments which have external examiners? With coursework that could be an issue but thats all but eliminated now.