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“Grammar Schools: Who Will Get In?” On BBC2 tonight.

Discussion in 'Education news' started by MacGuyver, May 29, 2018.

  1. MacGuyver

    MacGuyver Occasional commenter

    Possibly the wrong forum, if it is the Mods feel free to move it, but a three part series looking at grammar schools is starting tonight at 9 on BBC 2.
  2. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Fluffy bunny TV disguised as social commentary: A single term is not going to give any indication of how selection affects children's education.
  3. Jenkibubble

    Jenkibubble Occasional commenter

    The HT at the primary was very passionate about a fair system wasn't she - I guess in a school in an area which has grammar schools , she is in a difficult predicament !
  4. Catgirl1964

    Catgirl1964 Occasional commenter

    The overriding worry of the children was that if they did not pass the entry exam then they were 'failures' and would 'fail' in life. This is wrong on so many levels. These kids need reminding that many successful and famous people did not have a selective education and indeed may not have even achieved many if any qualifications. How can they be failures. Also of concern was that in areas where there are grammar schools, the comprehensive schools are perceived as a lesser options and only for failures. This is so sad.
  5. Jenkibubble

    Jenkibubble Occasional commenter

    Yes , and comprehensives in areas that have grammar schools will have many children who have had their self esteem knocked before they've even started !
    Makes me cross that money is being available to expand them when budgets from other schools are so squeezed . HOW they will ensure disadvantaged kids get helped to get in I have no idea !
  6. Admin Princess

    Admin Princess Occasional commenter

    Interesting - the only child I picked that feeling up from was Joanita, whose mother seemed very much a driving force behind her reaction. Many of the others - both parents and children - seemed to take it in their stride in the same way that they do SATs.

    In this particular instance it would seem that at least one of the local comprehensive schools IS a lesser option. Which would I choose for my child: an outstanding school with a 93% GCSE pass rate, or a school with a 28% GCSE pass rate (I think) that requires improvement?
  7. moscowbore

    moscowbore Lead commenter

    I switched off when the little girl said that to be a success you need to go to a grammar school. Turned my stomach.
  8. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I couldn't watch it actually.
  9. Catgirl1964

    Catgirl1964 Occasional commenter

    My daughter went to reasonable secondary as the area we lived in then, near Portsmouth, only had fee paying grammars. She excelled there as she had the right mindset plus parental backing of course. She is now a commercial lawyer having read Law at Cambridge University. Possibly because of the school system in the area, bright kids who came from working and middle class families who couldn't afford the fees attended the local state schools so there were many motivated kids. Her year group achieved 58% A* to C's in English and Maths, so a fairly average school but it does go to show that kids can do well despite being in a state school. However, both my children would have got into grammars had there been non-fee paying ones nearby.
  10. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    I don't know why they were comparing grammar schools to that particular alternative
    Jenkibubble likes this.
  11. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    A bit like "Benefits Street".

    When the government have an agenda (in this case, letting schools for most kids fail, whilst the "cream" enjoy success), they foist it on us through the media - and the agenda becomes absorbed and normalised.

    Quite sickening, really.
  12. Jenkibubble

    Jenkibubble Occasional commenter

    The city we live in is the same - other than the indepensant school, there is one school where church attendance is crucial or 15 places for musical / academic ability . As a result , the comps get a good mix of abilities . I totally agree with the mindset argument - a child will do well with support and a good attitude!
    palmtree100 and agathamorse like this.
  13. Oscillatingass

    Oscillatingass Star commenter

    It is all about demographics and the argument over selection only masks this. Let me explain. If you have a school built in a rough area the kids who attend it will generally be rough with little interest in education and generally will not have supportive parents. The teachers in the school may well be dedicated hard working professionals but at the end of the day achievement will be limited by circumstance.

    You can parachute in a kid with high ambition and good motivation but it will be extremely difficult for that kid to achieve as highly as his/her dedication and ability deserve. Kids of the latter type will be few and far between because any parents who care enough will find ways of getting their kid to a better school. One way of doing this is via the Grammar school route.

    There are many school which serve mixed areas and those are the ones that are more likely to suit kids of all abilities. The problem is because of ideology, people demand grammar schools in areas where the schools are perfectly fine and then all the able kids go to grammars transforming the previously good schools into sink schools because the best kids dont go to them. The voiciferous middle class parents think this is great because they are sure their kid will go to the grammar schooI. I am sure we can all work out who loses out.
    palmtree100 and agathamorse like this.
  14. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    This is the aspect of the programme that struck me most - the whole experience of the students was very different from that in my area, where there are only five small grammar schools for the whole county. Only a minority of my daughter's class took the 11+ and only three students from her school are at her grammar school. The results letters gave only the score and a rank - no pass mark (or qualifying score), so you didn't know whether you'd "passed" until the school places were allocated.

    I get no feeling that there's a sense of failure, or being left behind, for the other students who didn't get a grammar school place, and we'd have been happy for our daughter to go to the local comprehensive school. I think the situation you see in the programme occurs in places like Kent, where there are 30-odd grammar schools, and you really only need to be above average to get in - the more students that go to grammar school, the greater the sense of being left behind if you don't.

    PS. There's also a longer thread on this programme in the Personal section.
  15. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

  16. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Birmingham also has few grammar schools, so rather than painting a more rosy picture, the earlier programme might be supporting my point about selection being more damaging where a greater proportion of students go to grammar schools.
  17. Clive_Candy

    Clive_Candy Occasional commenter

    Just watched the second episode. The honest portrayal of what it's like in some schools - for teachers and kids - was a surprise to be honest. Bears little comparison to the sanitized picture we've seen recently in Educating Wherever.

    And you really should see the bit where the classroom teacher gives the behaviour management person what for!
  18. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    The 'other schools' in an area where there are grammar schools are not Comprehensive Schools. They are Secondary Modern Schools. It's quite different.
  19. carterkit

    carterkit Occasional commenter

    I was horrified when I watched episode two to hear a head of year at Erith use the term "best kids" to refer to those who get into the grammar. It is such a loaded term.
    They are not "the best". They are generally academically more able and lucky enough to come from homes with parents who are not only supportive morally but able to help them academically.
    The girl from episode one who did not get in to grammar would be a joy to teach whatever her level of ability as she had an amazing work ethic and determination. Why is she not a "best kid"? She would be just that in any of my current classes.
    What people tend to mean when they say this is that grammars don't have to deal with the disaffected and disruptive. So why not just say it instead of using a term which puts down so many other children.
  20. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    The two schools are a couple of miles apart. The primary school shown in the first episode is a feeder school for both. I think it was comparing outcomes for children from the same primary school depending on their performance in the eleven plus exam.

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