1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

May backs grammar school expansion

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

  1. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Birmingham - that dreadful area. Used to have grammar schools, no longer. What they do have are some selective schools- King Edward's, which are way over subscribed. These exist alongside comprehensive schools. When Brum did have grammars they existed alongside both secondary moderns and comprehensives. Many academies are selective and sit alongside non-selective academies/comprehensives.
    I do not see the new grammars being like the old grammars. They probably won't even be called grammars. I do not foresee that children will be forced to take the 11 plus unless they or their parents so wish. I do not see that conveyor belt factories for 1200-1500 students, where staff don't even know their names, are the way forward. Remember, I work in FE and see the results (failures) of these comprehensives. If I had a fiver for every dyslexic kid who has spent 11 years in the system without being diagnosed I could go on a world cruise. Stop telling me these comprehensives are great. They are not. The kids who have been through them say they are not.
    I also think that the ban on LAs opening schools needs to be rescinded.
    Politicians and teachers may be against grammar schools but the public are either in favour of them or couldn't care less. If there was a referendum I suspect that those who wanted (grammar) let's call them selective schools, would vote in favour and those who couldn't care less wouldn't vote.
  2. loopylala1

    loopylala1 New commenter

  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Whoever it was talking about the new free/grammar schools I think that's spot-on.

    I see OFQUAL are already preparing AS students for lower results, what's the betting that the GCSE results will be lower too.
  4. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    The new Grammars May wants are just like the old Grammars. In Marlow Bucks is Borlase Grammar. Campaigners in Maidenhead, Berks, May's constituency, near Marlow, want Borlase to run a satellite school in Maidenhead, which is all comprehensive. So 11+ entrance tests provide a free private style, education for the middle classes who are priced out of independent school refuges.
    JosieWhitehead likes this.
  5. SteveKindle

    SteveKindle Occasional commenter

    Unfortunately, this is not true.

    My LA is non-selective, and they gave up on the 11+ years ago, but there's still a grammar.

    This policy looks like allowing people/organisations to set up free schools with entry via selection. If that happens, in an area where a new free-grammar is opened, the schools that are comps now will remain comps. They'll teach from the least able to the very brightest.

    I certainly agree that we're better off having excellent comps for everyone.
    emerald52 likes this.
  6. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    All the grammar schools I know about use tests such as the NFER verbal and/or non-verbal reasoning tests (sometimes alongside Maths, sometimes alone) for selection as they are much more difficult to 'coach' pupils for, and are therefore more accessible to the bright pupil from a poor background.
    FWIW all the grammar schools I worked in (and it was several in different areas) wanted intelligent pupils, not middle class ones.
  7. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    There is not much chance of a grammar school providing a "private style" education - the class sizes in grammar schools are far too large, they don't have the range of facilities and the ancilliary staff found in independent schools (stage managers, concert hall administrators, professional sports coaches etc) , and the independent school ethos is as much rounded as academic. An awful lot of sport and extra-curricular, in particular, and while academic achievement is valued, it is not seen as the be all and end all in most indies - hence all the music scholarships, art scholarships and sports scholarships.
    sabrinakat and wanet like this.
  8. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Birmingham! Oh God, no! Dreadful memories. Cold sweats return just thinking about it.

    Before moving South, I had my first two Bog Standard Comp jobs in Brum. Hell on Earth is an understatement. They could use the schools there to train police in riot control techniques or the army, to toughen them up. There are some truly fabulous schools in Brum, but they are all selective or independent. If you don't make it into one of these, you may do well in life and climb the greasy pole of whatever career you decided on, but it isn't likely. If you want to really understand what 'feral student' means in practice, Birmingham is the place to research.

    Everywhere needs more selective schools, so the vast majority can get on with learning. The bar doesn't have to so high as to exclude lots of students, just those who won't behave. And more help for the feral students, who should be in smaller schools, with smaller classes, higher teacher ratios, plenty of activities to keep them busy, a social services office in each school, a solicitors office so they can exercise their rights and lots of councillors for them and their family.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  9. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I really wish you would stop using that term.
    emerald52 and SteveKindle like this.
  10. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    No can do. From the Oxford English dictionary:

    Feral: (Of a young person) behaving in a wildly undisciplined and antisocial way:gangs of feral youths.

    I would concentrate on making positive suggestions about how to change schools for the better rather than nit-picking and getting your knickers in a twist over other posters' use of our rich and expressive language. Feral is an accurate description of the way a significant minority of students behave in Bog Standard state schools now. By bringing in more selection and more grammars, in whatever guise, feral youth can be put into smaller schools with the support and activities they need, whilst the vast majority can be educated to much higher standards. It's this relentless focus on the needs of feral students that are letting down the vast majority of students in the UK, who are desperate to get a world-class education, but can't. They are given a so so education, average, okay, nice. It's a national disgrace. Focus on the many and remove by whatever means those who can't or won't behave.

    swampyjo likes this.
  11. SteveKindle

    SteveKindle Occasional commenter

    I can only repeat what I said earlier.

    I work in a school with high levels of social depravation, on a council estate in the inner city in the north of England.

    I see very little of the behaviour you describe, and when students do misbehave it's dealt with by SLT.

    And we're not a grammar.

    Selection isn't the answer. I'm sure you could get grammar schools with poor SLTs who allowed poor behaviour to flourish.
  12. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I did a teaching practice in a Boys Grammar school - behaviour was pretty dire.
  13. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    As a matter of interest I also teach in a school where parental incomes are very average and we have all ability children.

    There is perhaps ONE child who vaguely fits the description - and he is rarely in lessons.
    emerald52 likes this.
  14. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    As directed by loopylala1 I have read the dyslexia thread. As expected, secondary school teachers do not know, do not care about dyslexia. One commentator said that he would not differentiate for dyslexic learners and had no intention of using blue or green paper for them. Also disparaging remarks about their mental ability.
    Another has commented that they used to work in FE and it is the first thing that we are taught. We are expected to differentiate for dyslexics, we are expected to use coloured handouts, powerpoints with blue backgrounds, large print handouts if necessary. We would be marked down in an observation if we were not doing so.
    Come September the new students will arrive. Those from private schools will be carrying a statement whereby they have been assessed by a dyslexia specialist and it will state what access arrangements they need. They will still have to be assessed by our dyslexia specialist but at least we will have some idea of their needs.
    Those from Boggsville comp will not know that they are dyslexic. When we suggest there is a possibility that they may be the standard answer is: 'I'm not bloody thick you know' Reading the comments on the dyslexia thread we can see where the idea that dyslexics are thick comes from - Their Teachers. Well done! 11 years of being told they are thick. Einstein had the same problem, so did Richard Branson.
    Then there is the quiet student sat up the corner. They may or may not know they are dyslexic, they are keeping quiet, they do not want their peers to know how much they are struggling - and laugh at them.
    The gobby kid is also dyslexic, he is going to disrupt the lesson as much as possible in order to cover up his little secret. Again he probably doesn't know he is dyslexic but he knows he has a problem keeping up.
    Once they have been assessed by a specialist and access arrangements put in place the relief is palpable. They have a problem, we can deal with it, don't worry.
    There is no place for these students in a grammar school. But the comps who are supposed to be so wonderful for them are failing them. They are also holding back the high ability students in mixed ability classes.
  15. delnon

    delnon Lead commenter

    Isn't all this Justine Greening's territory rather than Teresa May's?

    It's already looking a bit like the forced academisation plan being revealed in the white paper rather than by Tricky Morgan.

    Is Greening heading for the exit already or is May just asserting herself a bit?
    emerald52 likes this.
  16. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    I'm not surprised that some students play up if they have teachers who label them in that way. I get the feeling that some comments are coming from a disgruntled parent. Luckily I have never worked with teachers like that.
    JosieWhitehead likes this.
  17. redlamp2

    redlamp2 Occasional commenter

    You consistently miss the point that the problem you have identified will not be solved by selective schools.

    Grammar schools cream off the more able students. They don't take all the nice kids or all the well behaved kids. They only take the minority that pass the entrance exam.

    This leaves a majority at other schools who did not pass (or take) the entrance exam. It doesn't in any way deal with the small minority of 'feral students' you describe.

    What you are advocating is not a need for grammar schools. You are instead suggesting a need for more PRUs or similar - pretty much the polar opposite to what you think you are arguing for!
    JosieWhitehead and emerald52 like this.
  18. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    PRUs that are big enough to take thousands of children into a sort of holding camp - I think not.
  19. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    You continue to nit-pick and continue to make no suggestions yourself. You are a poster of protests, not a poster with ideas. You are Jeremy Corbyn and I claim my £10.00

    When you say 'grammar school', you are thinking of the current model. Who is to say that the model can't be adapted? In my view, some adaption will be necessary to keep any system cost-effective and to exclude feral students and get them into a place where their needs can be catered for, and where they can't hold back the vast majority of students. Whose to say all current academies can't become selective or greatly expanded to take only kids who will not destroy others' life chances? Why not make parents in selective academies sign a binding contract about their children's behaviour, and then remove children to a feral school if they break their contract? So we need more schools to cope with feral students. Okay, they could be built or some current ones adapted specifically for them, with smaller classes, specialist teachers and more activities designed for them. The aim should be a high class education for the vast majority of students.

    It is not happening at the moment because of a small smartphone-owning, human rights aware, behaviour-out-of-control minority in many classes, where SLT are a mixture of gutless, powerless and bleeding hearts' Labour apologists, determined to prioritise the few over the many. Their priorities are stupid and continue to hold back the life chances of the many.

    So, oh poster of protest. Nit-pick your way through that. Bet you make no suggestions except the usual carry-on-as-normal, or spend more money, train more teachers etc, putting my taxes up. Come on Jeremy. What would you do?
  20. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Tell you what chum - go and find yourself a job in a nice school with none of your "feral" kids in it and then you might be happy.

    Well managed schools are well run schools - spend money on sorting that one out

    Not educational apartheid.

Share This Page