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May backs grammar school expansion

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

  1. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    "Bet you make no suggestions"

    I win.
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Do I need to ? - I'm not education minister.

  3. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    You are starting to froth. You're the only one on here trying to score points instead of discussing the issues. I am afraid that you are not sounding very rational. You seem quite overwhelmed by your experiences. I am sorry that you have not been supported with behaviour in your current school. It sounds as if your relationship with some of your students is not a positive one. That's a shame. It can be a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy and unfortunately for you respect is a bit of a two way street.
    CraigCarterSmith and emerald52 like this.
  4. loopylala1

    loopylala1 New commenter

    binaryhex When you say 'grammar school', you are thinking of the current model.

    Which is?
  5. SteveKindle

    SteveKindle Occasional commenter

    I would worry about just scraping off the bottom 10-20% with behavioural problems to send to some PRU.

    What sort of young people would these produce? They don't just turn into responsible adults when they hot 16, you'd eventually end up with 10-20% of the entire population having being educated in this way.

    Even if you want to imagine your wildest fantasy as to how much better the remaining 80-90% would perform, they'd be hard pressed to improve society enough to deal with the remainder.

    Imagine it. You'd get a child with relatively modest behavioural issues aged 11, and enforce them into a 'PRU+' dominated by those who behaved the very worst for five years. Who'd give a job to the product of such an institution?

    We should be looking for ways to drag the bottom up, not for the quite bad to be dragged down to the level of the very worst.
    emerald52 and redlamp2 like this.
  6. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    What about 'selecting' the worst 5 or 10% as regards behaviour and teaching them in smaller, more specialist schools?
  7. SteveKindle

    SteveKindle Occasional commenter

    I can see the attraction, but I can also see potential problems.

    The cash needed to make class sizes small enough would be significant.

    The ethos of the students would almost certainly be one of 'who can be worst'.

    A student with short term behavioural issues towards the end of Year 6 may end up stuck in one of these places.

    Parents may refuse to send their child, and opt to 'home school'.

    Academic standards would inevitably be low, but some poorly behaved pupils may be quite bright.

    This 5-10%, what if it were just 1-2%?
  8. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I'm not sure how this would work, but I think it worth considering even in comprehensive systems. We all know just a few (say 2 or 3) pupils in a class of 30 can quickly destroy learning for the rest (& that is some 10%). But I'm not wedded to that % exactly.

    It would be expensive as you'd need expert teachers, small classes and personalised learning programmes. But I think all money spent in education worthwhile.
    delnon likes this.
  9. redlamp2

    redlamp2 Occasional commenter

    Or refocus the emphasis to parental responsibility. You behave like a ******, you get expelled and your parents will be expected to find arrangements for your education until and unless you can be considered fit enough to attend mainstream schools again.

    And then tackle the underlying issues: an overwhelming sense of entitlement, a lack of personal responsibility, a lack of ambition and poverty of aspiration. All of which need to be tackled directly in communities and with the parents themselves. Not in schools.
  10. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    So you're seriously saying teaching was ok ten years ago? From the complaints on this forum, I think you'll find you're in the minority. I think most would agree that things got worsewhen the NC/Ofsted/forced 3 part lessons/focus on data came in. Most teachers I know would say it got worse from the mid 90s-though I'll grant you it's got no better. Just please don't pretend it was great being a teacher in say 2008!
  11. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    In principle yes-but look how much money is spent on Ofsted and the latest wheeze/PM and they'd claim that's spending no education!
  12. delnon

    delnon Lead commenter

    In my experience the politicians started vandalising education when Baker became SoS. I still remember my HoD and I coming upon one Statement of Attainment and being unable to understand what it meant. We contacted the NCC, the D of E and one other quango whose name escapes me now, and received three different interpretations. It's been incompetence and arrogance ever since.
    emerald52 and FrankWolley like this.
  13. SteveKindle

    SteveKindle Occasional commenter

    I can see why that's an attractive argument.

    However, it still potentially leaves us with a large number of young people hitting the streets at 15/16 ill prepared to contribute to society, and likely to be worse than just 'non-contributors'.

    Currently if a student is excluded they move to another school, and then ultimately to a PRU if they keep failing, but schools are reluctant to permanently exclude.

    We need something in-between. We need schools to be able to permanently exclude without risk of penalty if a student consistently prevents others learning. But we can't just pass them from one school to another, nor throw them immediately into a standard PRU. We need something in-between.

    I've no idea what, though.
  14. Thursdays_Child

    Thursdays_Child New commenter

    Okay maybe I'm coming to this a little late, or perhaps the post has just been that popular it's received many comments. I have read all up to this point but not beyond so if I say something that has already been said, I apologise. Before I make my point I'd like to say that there are variety in the different views and opinions held here, but being able to discuss them professionally in this forum is hugely beneficial and we should celebrate the different views held by different people here, all of whom are informed professionals who have opinions that come from a mix of personal and professional experience. All as valid as the other.

    But to my point: I agree with @SteveKindle in the point he made in the section I have quoted above. It's not the high-achievers we are failing. They are going on to develop personal/professional interests and gain valuable life experiences that compliment their education, regardless of their socio-economic background. It's the lower abilities that we are struggling to improve outcomes for. The strugglers. The kids that really find it hard for whatever the reason. This is where we need to focus.

    Now my view here many be controversial and therefore I'm slightly cautious to mention it but I have often had the gut instinct that we need to split children by ability at a much younger age. When I taught in year 5 (and I am happy to hear views/experiences to the contrary) there was already such spilt in the class between high achievers and children working at lower levels. I had high flyers achieving high level 5s - two of them acheieved level 6s in their year 6 SATs (though I'm not necessarily in agreement with the fact that the school pushed for this but that's another conversation entirely). But compare this to the kids who were struggling to break out of the level 2s, the kids for whom acheiving a level 3 would have been enough to make me break out the champagne. Differentiating for this wide split in levels of need would be a headache for any teacher (but we all do it). Ability sets in maths were certainly helpful in allowing lesson plans to be more targeted and teachers to develop the children more. My colleague was able to really push the higher achievers working complicated maths with them, while I was able to provide hands-on active learning in pretend shops and back-to-basics times tables and place value work with my low attainers. This really helped. And my lower ability kids certainly gained more confidence by having the time to work things out, makes estimates first, have more appropriate activities and that level of support etc. But shouldn't we do this in every lesson? What if my year 5 year group had been split by ability and the form groups ability set. This would have allowed us four class teachers to target our teaching more, still with differentiation of kinds but with more suitable activities and a better chance of creating understanding and challenge.

    There is absolutely no point sending them into high school unprepared. I think this point has been mentioned several times by commenters who have mentioned the pressures created by having students who cannot read, write turning up in year 7. That's why we need to split the children earlier. So we can be more responsive to their individual or group needs.

    True enough now those children are in high school the ability split is still the same. The strugglers still struggle and are falling further behind. Something in the system has to change so we can support them more. It's my personal view that ability splitting/ability setting children younger (potentially in key stage 2) is the answer. I'm sure there will be much disagreement, and I welcome the discussion, but it's my opinion. I wonder if anyone will actually agree?
    saluki likes this.
  15. Thursdays_Child

    Thursdays_Child New commenter

    Does this then mean it's more down to the individual child and their parenting environment, than anything we do in school?

    My parents sent me to a private school which came into the state system when I was in year 9. I revelled, failed my A levels, thankfully found a university through clearing and have since been a high achiever academically but have really struggled to find a stable career.
    On the other hand my friend who went to the bog standard high school down the road, went travelling, got drunk woke up in bushes/on park benches/in strangers homes, spent years "living life" (to the snobbery disgrace of lots of mutual friends, many older relatives), the went to uni got a first, studied for a masters got a first, and now has a high-flying career in the city (because he can wine and dine the big bosses and he has charisma).

    Anyway the point I'm trying to make is;
    I think it is too individual to each person to apply a blanket idea that grammar is better, or comprehensive is better, or private is better. I think it is down to the person, the child, their attitude to study, their life experiences and up-bringing.

    Are we just trying to apply a rule of some logic to something that we actually have very little or no control over?
    palmtree100 likes this.
  16. Thursdays_Child

    Thursdays_Child New commenter

    But again is this not a question of attitude? (As per my earlier post)
  17. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Apart from more grammar schools, it would be prudent to build more young offenders centres and prisons, until feral youngsters adjust to the idea that they are are going to be held responsible from now on for their own actions, and ruining other students education will not be tolerated.
  18. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    The argument over structures is just a smoke screen for funding cuts. May knows that she can sweet talk Tory voters by this sort of comment. Perhaps a couple of satellite grammars will happen and this will distract from other undelivered promises. We need lots of cash poured into the under 5's so they are school prepared and to invest in all our children. Poverty is the enemy of progress. The day is unlikely to dawn when a Tory government will do that. Until then we are doomed to constant change to structures in place of real change.
    delnon likes this.
  19. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    emerald52 what world do you live in? Poverty is the enemy of progress!?! How insulting to people who are struggling to get by. Can't be bothered is the enemy of progress more like.
    I went to a grammar school which was full of pupils from working class backgrounds. Their fathers worked in factories. One girl gave a talk about her father's job - he drove a JCB for a living.
    Lots of cash into the under 5s??? The last Labour government founded sure start centres for parents in deprived areas. The parents who they were aimed at couldn't be bothered to use them. Instead the yummie mummies used them.
    Yes the problem probably starts with the under 5s. I am astounded at the amount of children who start school in nappies. Such a thought would have been unthinkable in my Mother's day. It was a source of pride to have a clean potty trained child. If they have not got the very basics of toilet training they are not ready to learn more complicated things.
    I once knew someone who worked in intervention for pre-school children - teaching the parents how to parent. The majority were comfortable financially. They just couldn't be bothered to look after their children. When the child gets to school, the parents will not help with the homework and so it goes on.
  20. catinthehat123

    catinthehat123 New commenter

    I have come to the end of my tether working in a "bog standard" academy (where did that phrase originate?) I have friends working in a grammar and they say it is relentless, but you are teaching students who want to learn, and parents are generally supportive, unlike the zoo I'm in.

    To be fair, lots of students may want to learn here but I never find out who they are and wouldn't be able to teach them even if I knew because too many other students are always mucking around, using mobile phones and being disrespectful.

    I would welcome more grammars, if only because it would offer me more chance of getting a job in a decent place, where I can teach the subject I spent 5 years at Uni learning about (BSc + MSc in Computer Science). At the moment, I am a babysitter for teenagers using mobile phones and who know that no one can do anything about their behaviour.

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