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May backs grammar school expansion

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

  1. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Calm down, I know. I won't justify what I didn't say. You know as well as I do that many kids who can't do the work don't want trouble and don't want to draw attention to their shortcomings.
    If you want to assume that I give kids work that they have no chance of understanding and turn a blind eye when they give up and cheat, it's up to you.
    I was, as you well know, opposing your assumption that less able students disrupt.
    If I have pushed a student too far out of their comfort zone, I'll adjust the task and help them
    I certainly don't assume that a noisy or rude student is dim or that a quiet one is absorbed in their work.
    Your argument seemed to rest on the premise that there is a correlation between low intellect and unacceptable behaviour.
    emerald52 likes this.
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    For someone who describes children as "feral" - that's a bit rich.
    emerald52 and vannie like this.
  3. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    No grammar schools I worked in had smaller classes. I think you misread my post - smaller classes for those pupils with behavioural problems...
  4. Benbamboo

    Benbamboo Occasional commenter

    This is one of those debates (grammars vs non-grammars) which takes place on an idealistic level rather than a realistic one and, as such, completely misses the point.

    What galls many people I imagine, is the silly argument that grammar schools will aid class/social mobility. This is a terrible argument and holds virtually no weight at all. However, I don't think there is anything wrong with saying "Look, some classrooms are totally ruined by the minority of badly behaved children, what can we do to fix this?". If you're in the top 20% and your child is capable and competent then I get the appeal of grammar schools. Hell, if I had children I would be encouraging that as an option. Who wouldn't want their children to get the best education and the best opportunities in life? Is it the best solution to the actual problem though? No, probably not.

    The problem is, the people who make these decisions a) belong in the top 20% and will have children who will be going to grammar/independent schools and b) don't have the nouse or will to change what needs to be changed in society. Grammar schools are an easy option which can be sold to the people they want to vote for them, but what they leave behind will not be pleasant.
  5. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    Agree Benbamboo. Grammars are to me a form of social apartheid. I speak as a teacher in a comprehensive who sent their very able child to a comprehensive. Said child went on to excel at exams and at a Russell Group university. The grammar system was an option rejected as was independent. I valued the wider social mileu and other advantages of a comprehensive. Teachers who struggle may find things easier in an independent or grammar. My comprehensive regularly receives the pupils chucked out of our local grammar in year 9 and 11 and independents all the time. So to me their success is based on taking in a chosen elite and spitting them out if they falter. I would hate to teach in that atmosphere. Invest in good local schools, ban independents and selective schools, pay teachers well and give them good working conditions.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
    palmtree100 and vannie like this.
  6. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    "and other advantages of a comprehensive"

    Such as?

    I would love to know what they are, as I suspect Diane Abbott MP would, when she decided, despite being on the Hard Left of the Labour Party, not to embrace the 'advantages of a comprehensive', but to pay for her spawn to avoid them like the bubonic plague and get them into a high achieving private school. God bless the Labour Party and its ideals.
    wanet likes this.
  7. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    My son turned down a scholarship at a well-regarded private school as he didn't want to be the charity boy who couldn't afford to go skiing and sailing and went home to a terraced house. That level of astuteness in a 13 year old was all I needed to reassure me that he was well able to take his chances at the local comp. from where, as yours, he went to a Russell Group, got a great degree and now has a highly responsible job in a prestige business.
    I appreciate that one anecdote doesn't prove the point, but it is illustrative that quality will out. If you're clever, you'll find a way.
    palmtree100, vannie and emerald52 like this.
  8. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    I hasten to point out that this doesn't refer to me but I assume the previous contributor. Don't forget to quote folks to avoid unpleasantness.
  9. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    The advantages of a comprehensive include making friends across the social and ability spectrum, having a wider choice of subjects than just academic, having teachers who make learning fun for all, developing independent learning skills. I recall one of my quiet studious pupils who lived in a home that was overcrowded. He spent a lot of time in his local library and was always prepared to listen to advice. He went to read Maths at Bristol university. Many successes like him give a lot of satisfsction.
    vannie likes this.
  10. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    It hasn't gone down well. It cannot be denied. But what has that got to do with the matter in hand? It's incorrect to assume that an objection to selective education is a purely ideological issue and it falsely polarises a complex issue.
  11. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    A real shame that a 13 year old had no idea of what many private schools are like.
    We take children on a skiing trip, less than 10% of them go.
    The vast majority live in perfectly normal terrace/semi houses.
    The vast majority walk, cycle or come in normal type cars (no Chelsea tractors for us!).
    Some come on a normal public transport bus.
    Many have teachers, policemen, doctors, etc as parents.
    Some have beauticians, nail artists, pizza delivery men as parents.
    We aren't selective, have children with aspergers, ADHD, dyslexia, etc and those who are just not all that bright, as well as those who are scarily clever or advanced.

    Snobbery works both ways.

    I enjoyed teaching in the state sector for 19 years, was very good at it, then got sick of all the box ticking and rigid thinking so moved to where there is more freedom. That's really the only big difference I've noticed. And I am aware that there could well be state schools who don't go for the rigid prescriptions about teaching and private schools which do.

    @nearmiss your posts read as someone who would relish teaching those pupils not at a grammar. Those where your care and nurturing will make a massive difference; one of the excellent teachers the non-grammar school needs and would have. I honestly don't believe the grammars will get all the best teachers and the non-grammars get the less good, certainly not if the posts on here are any indication.
    DYNAMO67, claire_jean_ and sabrinakat like this.
  12. loopylala1

    loopylala1 New commenter

    binaryhex- Diane Abbott MP would, when she decided, despite being on the Hard Left of the Labour Party, not to embrace the 'advantages of a comprehensive', but to pay for her spawn to avoid them like the bubonic plague and get them into a high achieving private school.

    She didn’t opt for a Grammar school. Should we conclude that she doesn’t rate them either?
  13. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    Diane Abbott had an affair with Jeremy Corbyn so that's another error of judgement! Grammars are not the answer. Investing a lot of money in education based on research with evidence is the way to go. Good schools for all.
  14. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Fair point. I can see how that might look like inverted snobbery. I respected my son's opinion. Some of his rugby club teammates attended the school in question and they were very wealthy types who had the funds to take the whole family to the Alps twice in winter and go sailing on each other's boats. They were perfectly proper, did not patronize us, but we were one of the few families who just had one house and one car, one holiday and no horses.
    This was an expensive selective school and he didn't want to go. I have no prejudices about anyone and I was happy to let my son have a say in his own life. It was his perception.
    palmtree100 likes this.
  15. SteveKindle

    SteveKindle Occasional commenter

    One of the best posts I've seen at these forums.

    I disagree with public schools. I disagree with grammars. But given the chance, I'd have my children in either.

    Having worked and studied in both systems, I'd offer the following.

    It's not the schools that are the worry, not even the behaviour of other kids, but their attitude.

    If your son/daughter falls in with a crowd who don't value progressing, and who are not aspirational, then they're likely to follow that route, if they're impressionable.

    True story. I know 2 girls, both now early 20s. One was a bit more 'common' and marginally less intelligent, also would constantly tell parents to f*** off (and that's at age 11) but has a granddad with (an awful lot) more cash.

    They went to primary school together, but come secondary school age the girl with the rich granddad was sent to public school.

    10 years later. The girl who went to the (pretty good) comp scraped her GCSEs, went to college, dropped out in less than a year, now a mum - with boyfriend - working on minimum wage. Decent sorts, but made the wrong choices aged 11-16.

    The other girl (rich granddad/public school) went to Uni and has a 'career/graduate' job.

    My abiding memory is mid-Year 11. The comp girl doing minimum revision, the other girl having revision notes spread over the kitchen table.

    For some, no matter what the school they attend, they'll follow their own path. But 95% of kids will follow the herd, and it depends who they fall in with.

    Nothing is guaranteed. But public school = more chance of falling in with the right sorts.

    And truth be told, age 11, you really don't know exactly the sort of person a child is going to be.
    claire_jean_ and saluki like this.
  16. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    So what you're basically saying Steve is that you're a hypocrite. Define 'given the chance' ... Given the chance via an expensive house in catchment? Expensive tutor? Expensive fees? How can you say you disagree with it then say you'd send your kids? I sent my child to my local comp. he's come out with GCSEs and has just completed his A levels at a good 6th Form college. He's fine but he's no more important than everybody else's kids.
    emerald52 likes this.
  17. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    So basically you are saying thatvpoor oarenting equals poor outcomes? Grandfather may have done more than splash the cash. Swearing at parents at 11 is dreadful. My comprehensive had plenty of hard working pupils who achieved excellent results. My results put my students in the top 10% nationally.
    palmtree100 likes this.
  18. SteveKindle

    SteveKindle Occasional commenter

    Is it hypocrisy?

    A question: do you think healthcare should be shared out baccording to wealth? No, of course not, no reasonable person does.

    But if your child were seriously ill, and the NHS wouldn't provide a drug you believed would work - an expensive drug for which you had the money - are you really saying you wouldn't splash the cash?

    Not only would you do it at the drop of a hat, any parent would be hugely suspicious of someone who wouldn't.
    sabrinakat likes this.
  19. SteveKindle

    SteveKindle Occasional commenter

    Just telling a true story, that's all.
  20. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    Of course I would. That's a very silly argument. Life and death healthcare IS NOT THE SAME as choice of school at 11. One of the main problems in this country though is that do many deluded middle class parents seem to think it is. You can send your child to a local school and guess what? They won't die.
    emerald52 likes this.

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