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May backs grammar school expansion

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

  1. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    But @saluki you don't see a fair representation.
    You don't see the successes from schools, just those who needed something much different sooner. You see those who have been given what is considered 'education' even though they end up in a B band because they are totally unsuited to it. Had they been given a different kind of education as soon as they arrived in high school, they probably wouldn't end up fed up and in the pieces you have to pick up.
  2. SteveKindle

    SteveKindle Occasional commenter

    There are all sorts of reasons this would be a bad thing, but I'll offer one for now.

    The grammar system, if you believe it works, helps to improve the education of the top 20%.

    But surely, this isn't where the current system is going wrong, if you believe it's going wrong at all, of course.

    Just look at our universities. Three of our English universities are in the world's top 10, and take mainly British children. For that, and all sorts of other data, we don't appear to be underperforming in that top 20%.

    Where we're falling short (if we are at all), is in raising standards elsewhere. Allegedly, too many students leaving school not being able to read, write or add up properly; one has to presume these students are not the ones the grammar system is designed to help.

    Similarly, if you want to look at PISA rankings (if you really must), these look at the abilities of all students tested, and don't just report on how the best do.

    So how about a different split? Let's say 50:50? Well that doesn't really help either, does it. If we want to improve standards, we won't do it by casting a drift all those marginally below half way.

    Someone has suggested a reverse system, 80% going to grammars and 20% elsewhere. But then that's not really a grammar system, is it. And apart from threads like this, I don't see it being proposed, and certainly not by our new PM.

    Before going any further, perhaps we should be asking what our education system is supposed to be for.
    vannie, emerald52 and stupot101 like this.
  3. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    "But @saluki you don't see a fair representation."

    Where is the evidence for what is or isn't a fair representation?

    "Had they been given a different kind of education as soon as they arrived in high school, they probably wouldn't end up fed up and in the pieces you have to pick up."

    What is this different type of education you speak of? We have had 30 years of dumbing down qualifications right up to degree level, abject failure and students now with very little self-control, parents who are muppets and even basic reading, writing and maths are at a baby level for many. It's a disgrace.

    All I know is that when I walk into a classroom, there is nearly always 3 or 4 students who are out of control, cannot be controlled and there is not a single thing anyone can do about it, because of the bleeding hearts constantly making excuses for them.
  4. Dave1C

    Dave1C New commenter

    I'm not criticising anybody merely pointing out that the claim that Grammar schools promote social mobility is nonsense and that you don't need grammar schools to have high academic standards. Many schools manage it.

    You seem more interested in making political points than having a serious discussion about education.
    curlyk and vannie like this.
  5. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Top 25% in most areas (like Kent & Medway, for example) which have selection.

    Arguably - if your analysis of where the current system 'is going wrong' is correct - removing the top 25% of the ability range would allow non-selective schools to focus their efforts more effectively on the other 75% than comprehensives now appear to do.

    Mind you if those with behavioural problems who disrupt so many lessons were also removed, and it may only be 5% or so, then the remaining 70% would certainly have a better education than many currently appear to do, as would the 'grammar' stream, and even those with specific problems who could be taught in small groups (& schools) by specialists. .
  6. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    The money's not there to do any of this.
    Why not invest properly in the existing infrastructure?
    Stop sacking competent teachers.
    Stop cutting sixth form provision.
    Stop cutting financial support for university students.
    Stop turning education into a political football.
    An oversimplification, I know, but this red herring, designed to make us squabble amongst each other and launch another round of back-stabbing has to be ignored. What impact will this, if it ever happens, have on pay structures?
    Do we want elite teachers in elite schools full of deserving kids and rubbish teachers in rubbish schools full of undeserving kids? Again a crass over simplification, but post Gove, it's not too far from the truth.
    It's divisive. I know how angry and hurt friends and relatives were when I got a place at grammar school and their adorable and biddable child didn't. I was a naughty, uncooperative child. I didn't deserve it (according to some). But I maxed out on the 11+. I always did. I was that kid who rocks in at 10.00, no tie, no pen, no work, all attitude, walks out of detention, passed every exam. Unconditional offer from University. Poor family. Full grant.
    That's gone.
    The whole question is based on a false premise.
    cazzmusic1, vannie and emerald52 like this.
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    And we need to stop dumbing down qualifications in order to make them suit everyone. Give the less able a different, totally different system/education and let GCSEs return to being a real, high quality academic qualification.
    Exactly my point! Those 3 or 4 children shouldn't be there. They should be in a different environment doing something different.
  8. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    I feel sorry for you Binary if you nearly always have 3 or 4 children out of control. It must colour your view of education. That is not a situation that I would be able to tolerate. What can you do about it?
    palmtree100 likes this.
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Nor me. Not in a million years.

    But many people thrive on teaching in schools where they spend more time policing behaviour than teaching their subject. I imagine these amazing people (Amazing, because I could never do any such thing.) will thrive in a school without all the academic nonsense where they can really make a difference to a child's life.
    sabrinakat likes this.
  10. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    There is little point having 3 or 4 feral students in the class if they can't access what you teach. They're kids. If you arrived in year 7 unable to read or write after 6 years in primary school, of course you are going to play up big time. Of course you are going to stop everyone else cracking on. But students are rarely removed from class and I don't think I can remember a single student being expelled in the last half dozen years, despite sexual assaults, GBH, drug taking and pushing.

    They need removing and put in an environment where they can be helped. What is the f****** point little Jimmy "learning" Chemistry or Geography with level 6 students in year 7 if, on a good day, he can just about spell his name in legible handwriting and work out that 2 + 2 is about 3? In Computer Science, he has not one hope in hell of learning basic algorithms and is 100% certain of doing everything possible to stop others learning them.
    saluki likes this.
  11. redlamp2

    redlamp2 Occasional commenter

    Exactly - it would also help with promoting local culture/traditions/identity and have more relevance than the Govt. imposed ideas of 'Britishness' and so on and so on
  12. SteveKindle

    SteveKindle Occasional commenter

    Presuming the overall education budget remains the same, then smaller class sizes in grammars = larger class sizes in secondary moderns. How does that help?

    It's also missing the entire point of my post. The top 20/25% are the ones the grammar system would help, but few of the arguments about things being wrong with our education system rely on evidence that it's this top 20/25% where the help is needed.
    vannie and emerald52 like this.
  13. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    I have taught boys mixed ability in a comprehensive for over 30 years. I found that the more able were great at helping those struggling. Even a traveller child who by year 8 had 2 weeks of school was lovely to teach, seeing details in pictures that I had missed. You have to start from where the child is and make a difference to them. I suspect you are a young teacher Binary who has not had the mentoring you need.
    sabrinakat and vannie like this.
  14. SteveKindle

    SteveKindle Occasional commenter

    Have I just walked into a Daily Mail editorial meeting?

    Degrees are dumbed down, but 3 English universities are in the top 10 in the world.

    'A' Levels are dumbed down, but they're what Oxbridge use as a yardstick to measure performance.

    GCSEs are dumbed down, but almost all of the top public schools feeding these top universities use either GCSEs or iGCSEs, with many 'bog standard secondary schools' now teaching the two alongside each other.

    For a country with such a failed, dumbed down education system, there are an awful lot of people from across the planet who want their offspring to be educated here.

    And where are our secondary school teachers disappearing to? Apparently, many are going abroad to work in schools for the children of ex-pat Brits, ex-pats who are setting up schools based on the British system, rather than the local one.
    curlyk and emerald52 like this.
  15. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    I remember a survey done at a grammar school I worked in years ago. One of the things that emerged was that the brightest students really resented being used to teach the weak kids in class. They found it boring and unfair and were clever enough to realise that they were learning little new stuff while they were repeatedly being used as teacher's little helpers. They thought it was more to do with helping the teacher out than helping them. And they were right.

    I suspect emarald that you are just starting out and haven't spent the 25 years I have working out what is fair for the best students. So you would keep the status quo?
    monicabilongame likes this.
  16. SteveKindle

    SteveKindle Occasional commenter

    I went to a grammar school and have spent almost 25 years teaching in the current system, and I think a return to a two-tier system would be a disaster.
    emerald52 and vannie like this.
  17. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    I would have a lottery at age 11. For places at local schools. With no appeals. No creaming off of effective teachers or bright kids. Completely fair, open and honest.
  18. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    Thanks for that Binary!! Good laugh! I have just retired! I spent many years mentoring NQT's and your comments seemed to me to be those of someone who is struggling to cope. Teaching in a comprehensive means you use a variety of strategies to engage all your pupils.
    needabreak and vannie like this.
  19. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Some kids who can't keep up do nice line in copying other people's work and keeping out of trouble.
    Bad behaviour is not the exclusive territory of the underprivileged or the less able. Clever kids rebel because they are clever.
    Rich kids can afford cigarettes, booze and class A drugs, the scourge of many an independent school, with parents who can afford a decent barrister and a stay at The Priory, if I am not mistaken.
    It's a flawed argument which does not justify selective education.
  20. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    "Some kids who can't keep up do nice line in copying other people's work and keeping out of trouble. "

    Are you a teacher? That's not learning. That's a disgrace.

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