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May backs grammar school expansion

Discussion in 'Education news' started by emerald52, Aug 7, 2016.

  1. redlamp2

    redlamp2 Occasional commenter

    I don't think you understand the system at all either.

    Yes you can pass the test. This does not mean you can afford to pay for the bus unless it happens to your nearest school or if you're authority will make an allowance (doubtful).

    It does not mean you will not receive the same kinds of stigma as that described by people discussing those kids that receive free lunches etc.

    It does not mean you will be able to receive the tutoring that richer, less clever kids will.

    It does mean there will be some children who turn out to be clever at a later age who will find themselves in schools considered to be the lesser schools with the lesser kids.

    It does mean there will be an increased divide between those who attend the grammars and those who do not (parents and kids).

    It won't in any way tackle the root causes of the current problems which include that education is not valued enough by those who need it most.

    I'm interested as to why you believe smaller class sizes are the solution?
    vannie and emerald52 like this.
  2. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    I went to a very well known grammar school. The teaching was awful, dictated notes and little to inspire. I have taught in comprehensives for 35 years and seen extraordinary inspiring teaching of all abilities. I have been thrilled to have succeeded with those the grammar schools would have rejected as well as those who could have been grammar school students. We need to get all children to do their best rather than concentrating on a few but that is expensive so the easy option is to concentrate on the few who will do well without much effort.
  3. redlamp2

    redlamp2 Occasional commenter

    I think this is a much better system. Much, much better and far more aspirational.
    palmtree100 likes this.
  4. redlamp2

    redlamp2 Occasional commenter

    It is you that said you were teaching feral students at Scumsville High though isn't it?

    What is it that keeps you there?
  5. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    Our Cathedral cities are rarely typical of the area around them. I've not been, but I am sure it's lovely. I have also enjoyed my trips to Fen country. Still wouldn't want to be a teacher there though.
  6. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    I liked it. Then the Head changed. Then many SLT left. Then behaviour nose-dived. Then students found out their rights. Then parents found out theirs. Then quite a few great students voted with their feet. Then a lot of Eastern Europeans arrived, making teaching all but impossible. Then workload. The salary was frozen effectively. And things went downhill from there.

    Peakster: "So you are in effect asking primary school teachers to condemn a child at 11?"

    Teachers make decisions all the time about students' future. Personally, I'd like to ensure there are enough places in grammar schools, so that those who do turn around their behaviour and attitude can move up from Scumsville High at a time appropriate to them.

    What I've noticed about some posters is that they are glass-half-empty type of people. You find it easy to nit-pick, criticise, take issue with etc so that is what you do. When did you last come up with any ideas or post what you would like to change? You hardly ever put forward what needs to happen, and clearly the dreadful state of affairs that we are now in cannot continue. This race to the academic anus has to stop. A sort of teachery version of Corbyn, perhaps?
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
  7. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I'd like to make further contributions to this thread but I will probably get myself banned so I'm not going to.
  8. redlamp2

    redlamp2 Occasional commenter

    Schools are not the problem. Parents and attitudes in general are.

    Interesting that Easter European students make teaching all but impossible. Our eldest missed the 11+ because we moved after Easter while he was in year 6. Consequently he went to Scumsville High where he's in the top sets and most of his friends in those classes are Eastern Europeans. No doubt there are plenty of others in the lower classes along with the native feral students too, but the friends he brings home are all bright, friendly, ambitious kids.

    11 is too young to make such a division. 14 would make more sense.
    palmtree100 likes this.
  9. Dave1C

    Dave1C New commenter

    The intake of current grammar schools is overwhelmingly of people above the median income level. The argument that this is to do with social mobility is nonsensical. Of course, I want my children to go to a school with "with high academic standards and good behavior" (sic) but to suggest that this is only possible in a grammar school system is simply ill-informed.
  10. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Dave1C - you are perfectly at liberty to send your own children anywhere. You seem another poster who can only criticise but can't make any constructive proposals.

    14 might indeed be a better age for a split to either a grammar or vocational school. They are (slightly) more mature, they are but one step away from potentially working for a living anyway. I like it. Mind you, the rate teachers are leaving schools, you have to wonder who is going to teach them at all wherever they are. Workload, salary and behaviour are driving teachers to seek alternative careers, work abroad or head off to grammars / independents. The state of education is truly dreadful in many state schools. It has been since the Blair days when qualifications were dumbed down across the board so everyone was Number One. Schools haven't ever really recovered from Labour's dreadful experiments.
  11. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    I wish I could double like this Peakster.
  12. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    I fundamentally disagree with any kind of selection. I sent my son to the nearest school. Bog standard maybe but a bright child should be able to do well anywhere and I trusted him to do that. I even joined the governing body - until it academised but that's another story. what makes you think that there aren't other parents like me?
    curlyk and emerald52 like this.
  13. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    I went to grammar school and I understand the system perfectly thanks. How do you propose to stop the sharp elbowed middle class monopolising place then? Like they do in every area where there are still grammar schools. Grammar schools as tools of social mobility have ceased to exist. The middle classes will do everything they can to ensure their kids get first dibs. And that takes money. And guess who doesn't have any?
  14. redlamp2

    redlamp2 Occasional commenter

    It's also the period of life where the balance shifts a little from parental control. It would allow students and teachers to see how they perform in the secondary environment and provide a period for the more motivated and skilled students to look at what they'd need to do to get to a selective school.

    Likewise for those that wouldn't make it there would have been a period to (attempt to) discover what kind of future options and approaches would work best for them.

    The current step from primary to secondary is too different and too great to make any kind of sensible judgement as to what best suits kids.
  15. redlamp2

    redlamp2 Occasional commenter

    It is for this reason we're happy with our children attending the bog standard. We're confident in their abilities and so far they're thrived in an environment where they're the stand out students and the teachers look forward to teaching them. The shock on other parent's faces when they learn where our kids go to school is another thing. The most recent was a lecture that they may be ok now but within another couple of years they'll inevitably become drug taking wasters. Ah the social mobility...
    needabreak, emerald52 and vannie like this.
  16. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Me too. It could be a bit like when we had fabulous middle schools, only even better.
    Lower school, Rec - year 4. Lots of practical learning, a focus on the 3rs and how to get along and behave.
    Middle school, years 5 - 8. Much more formal learning, teaching from specialists. 13+ exam at the end of it in all academic subjects.
    High school
    yrs 9-13: focus on exams and high attaining, expectation of A-Level and university
    Practical yrs 9 - 13: focus on art, drama, music, sport, whichever specialism the school has
    Vocational yrs 9 -11: focus on skills such as: beauty therapy, hairdressing, bricklaying, car maintenance, etc. Then paid apprenticeship type courses for year 12/13.

    Right then, that's me sorted for Education Secretary...NOT!
    But it is better than we have at the moment and means everyone is doing something useful until 18.
    ViolaClef and monicabilongame like this.
  17. redlamp2

    redlamp2 Occasional commenter

    I'd add to that list for schools to have specialisms relevant to local industry and therefore potential relevant local sponsors/work experience options etc.

    All of which will be far too sensible and rational to ever happen.
  18. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Yesss, brilliant idea @redlamp2

    In fact the companies could sponsor the schools, which will of course be academies.
    (Yeah that bit might be controversial, but they will end up being academies anyway, so no point fussing about it.
  19. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    I was citing the example of the fens as people who live there will know about the lack of public transport between isolated hamlets and the difficulties children already face getting to school. Ely is effectively Cambridge overspill, it has a direct train line to London, so is not typical. If you live up a drove, some miles out of Downham Market, where the bus can't physically access and you have two kids at different schools, how will you actually get the brainy one to school, if it is presumably not in your local town which is too tiny to make two secondary schools viable. What if your child gets a place in a grammar school in Norwich? They'll never see daylight in winter.
    The point I was making, and I assume people in Cornwall or Cumbria will have similar experiences, the concept of a network of schools in every (every?) town is not practicable in isolated rural areas.
    One well run local school with a range of opportunities is far more cost efficient that a fragmented system. Just invest in the existing infra-structure.
    If you really want social mobility that badly, apply for a scholarship at a private school. Do it yourself. Or be like Geoffrey Archer and just make up a stellar CV for yourself.
    Some independent schools award free or assisted places. Couldn't they just get grants to extend that provision? Wouldn't that be a whole lot cheaper than setting up a new school on the offchance that someone who has a good day in the exam room when they're 10 is now fixed on a relentless upward trajectory for the rest of their lives and is going to be very good at everything for ever and get a marvellous job in the never to be completed Northern Powerhouse. And even if, five years down the line, they do nail a dozen or so A* equivalent GCSEs, where will they go to sixth form now all the colleges in Cambs are being cut? Then assuming they find an appropriate place, who will pay for them to go to university? No grants for kids from low income homes (i.e. those who can only afford to live up an isolated drove on the fens because it's cheap). Invest in infrastructure, trains, houses, schools. Right now there isn't even physical mobility let alone social mobility.
    Grammar schools were complacent and out of date in the 1970s when I went to a very well-known one. It was like St Trinians. Some of us were running rings round the teachers who were academics but (with one or two exceptions) not teachers.
    It's all about the wrong priorities. A questionable assumption about what aspiration is, what success is. This is the most corrupt government ever. Unelected, no mandate, no consultation. A biased Press propagating their dogma. Does anyone really believe that opening a handful of elite schools will fix the ever widening gap between rich and poor.?
  20. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    I live in an area where we still have the middle school system. A 13 they arrive at High School where they are put in either A band or B band. i.e. grammar and non-grammar streams. 50/50 split which means there are more in A band than would have passed the 11 plus. (All the upwardly mobile parents send their children to the local independent school or move to a 600k property down the road so that their children can attend the 'outstanding' academy).
    Generally speaking, the A band parents are interested in their children's education. The B band parents are not. A band kids work hard, B band do not. A band stay or for A levels. B band have been told, by their teachers, that they will never amount to anything and they are a waste of time. They go to college.
    I work in FE. We pick up the pieces for B band kids. Haven't got time to write the book but I am not impressed with what I see after 11 years of schooling.

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