To be 'disgusted' having read page 7 of the Times 'Old Boys and Girls still take top jobs'

(27 Posts)
smokepole Thu 28-Aug-14 10:48:24

I knew your school was important to your future 'life chances', but this article demonstrates how decisive it is.

The article show that grammar schools do statistically quite well, but they educate only 3% of pupils. The Comprehensive/ Modern system which educates 90% of pupils statistically produces very little in terms of social mobility for the 'masses' and accession to the top of society. The comprehensive schools that do provide any 'social mobility' tend to be 'grammar' schools with a few low ability students for 'political reasons'.

71% of Judges being educated privately Oxbridge was expected, the figures continue to show the prominence of privately educated pupils across the higher echelons of society. The greatest shock though was that 'football' is now becoming 'elite' as shown by the fact 13% of the England team were educated privately against the national average of 7 %.

Jenni Russell on page 24 'Its a cosy myth that anyone can reach the top'
Describes the in-flexibility of Queen Mary and other Universities, in entrance requirements and the inability to take a 'bright' underprivileged student on face value.

It seems the moment I walked in to my Secondary modern in Kent in 1985, that my chance of joining the 'elite' was gone , my entire future decided at 11.

Heels99 Thu 28-Aug-14 10:51:39

Yanbu to find this wrong but Yabu to be surprised by it! Those educated in the elite have always taken the top jobs, of course there are exceptions to this but yes, those with the best opportunities will of course have more options in life.

HangingBasketCase Thu 28-Aug-14 10:55:27

I think private should be abolished personally. Why should someone get a better education just because their parents happen to have more money than another family.

It's just wrong.

smokepole Thu 28-Aug-14 11:06:43

Private schools should not 'necessary' be abolished , what should happen is that any pupil who passes the exam should be admitted . The fees determined by family income, also the Government could contribute the usual level of funding to the private school. This funding of course would be linked to family income, so a high earning family would not get 'subsidised' private education.

When DD 1 failed her 11+ I would have been 'delighted' to have had the option of a Comprehensive school, however the truth is Comprehensive education has failed, despite its 'noble intentions'.

The reason I would have been delighted for her to go to a Comprehensive, was out of 'fear' not because of the education or opportunities offered .

bustraintram Thu 28-Aug-14 11:09:46

So, HangingBasketCase, you would rather I (as a privately educated pupil) had a worse education in a state school, to limit my opportunities to the same level as those who could only afford a state education? In other words, if it's not possible for everyone to receive a private education, nobody should receive one, so instead of only some children not getting as good an education, all children get a worse education.

AggressiveBunting Thu 28-Aug-14 11:21:08

The press focus on private vs state because it's easy to measure but actually, the picture is so much more complicated. If you analysed which schools are producing the movers and shakers it would be skewed towards a tiny proportion of very academically selective private schools, where the entry requirement is probably top 5% of 11+ passes. So who are these kids? Well they're very very bright, but critically they also have well educated, heavily invested parents ( they'd have to be to get the jobs that pay those fees) and their peer group includes people who work in the top professions which normalises that aspiration. It's well documented that people create their 'normal' by reference to their immediate peer group. If a child grows up knowing 10 solicitors they're more likely to see that as a realistic aspiration than someone who knows none.

Dapplegrey Thu 28-Aug-14 11:38:17

There is plenty about this in the Guardian. Interesting that the editor was privately educated, as were Guardian journalists such as Polly Toynbee and Archie Bland. The editor and P Toynbee also educated their own children privately.
Do as I say, not as I do.

SonorousBip Thu 28-Aug-14 11:49:24

I thought it was a badly written article, actually (the Times one). It seemed to conflate two things: a preponderence of "the elite" of those having (i) had private education - ie being wealthy enough to "buy in" a good education and those who cannot do so miss out on joining the elite; and (ii) been to "Oxbridge" - which is a good point about group think and identitcal experience but not the same thing as private education (sure there is a big overlap but it is 2 different points).

I also thought the identification of "the elite" was quite lame - with due respect, local government officials??? Again, the "group think" point may be a good one, but the point was not fully explored.

There may be quite an interesting study behind it, but it felt like quite a sloppy article.

Flipflops7 Thu 28-Aug-14 11:50:51

It's a terrible shame, there was real social mobility when there were widespread grammar schools. Then they were marginalised in the interests of 'equality' with the highly predictable results we now see. Actually I think the establishment was threatened by social mobility.

And Yy to Dapplegrey's point. The tedious left elite nearly always choose a private school or an evil, divisive grammar for their own kids. Awful hypocrites.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 28-Aug-14 11:56:52

I think that is what the parents pay for tbh, to guarantee a future where the elite look after their own.
It doesn't just happen in academia it happens as you say in sport and music too.
I think the only difference is in years gone by where there were distinct social classes, the lower middle and working class didn't seem to shout about it being unfair and sucked it up.

I was privately educated from years 7-11 and my parents didn't have to pay a penny. I don't think abolishing private schools is going to help and 'bright' children will end up suffering.

Queen Mary inflexibility is also bollocks, they've got courses in clearing this year with lower entry requirements. History only needs a B in history for example. Do you have a link for the article? Admissions are very nice actually and care more about your dedication, motives and ability rather than results.

smokepole Thu 28-Aug-14 13:12:47

Unfortunately I don't have a link. Jenni Russell on page 24 'Opinion'
Says the boys offer from Queen Mary's was AAB and were totally inflexible with his grades of ABB. 'They were expecting the same grades from him as from boys from Eton'. They were not prepared to take in to account 'poor' teaching from his sixth form college or the fact he had to retake one of his A levels on his own and hold down a temporary job ( whether that was full time, she does not say). Jenni Russell says she Emailed Queen Mary explaining the situation and the boys circumstances, Queen Mary's were adamant they would make no allowances . The same thing happened from 4 Universities , he finally got a chance from the Fifth/ Sixth University 'one of them being a prestigious one'.

Jenni Russell goes on to say that only 25 out of 600 Graduates on a Civil Service Recruitment scheme were from Working Class backgrounds. The Civil Service has always been the domain of the Public/Oxbridge set. you would think that in 2014, they would be actively trying to change that wouldn't you.

Although it would appear that last nights Panorama ' School of last resort' comes from the opposite end of education, many pupils with academic potential could find themselves in 'referral units'. These pupils who if they had half the chance of a 'good education' away from the destructive element and low expectations that are holding them back would have the ability for high quality Higher Education. They are instead 'applauded' for gaining a C in Media studies ( totally useless) especially if they had only achieved D and E GCSE grades in English/Maths.

I do wonder whether it actually suits the 'elite' to have a undereducated populus to be able to stay in control.

BarbarianMum Thu 28-Aug-14 13:23:20

I'm not so sure this is about educational opportunity as prejudice tbh. So white, upper middle class, privately educated men hire younger versions of themselves because they are conditioned to think this is what the 'best' look like. Lots of non-white people, or state educated people or women do graduate with top grades from universities and still don't get equally selected for jobs in cetain sectors/ institutions.

Yes equal access to good education is important but I really don't think that is what this is all about.

BarbarianMum Thu 28-Aug-14 13:25:32

Sorry, that should read:

"I'm not so sure this is about educational opportunity so much as prejudice tbh."

ramrod757 Thu 28-Aug-14 13:28:42

YABU! Life's not fair. Get over it!

Missunreasonable Thu 28-Aug-14 13:30:18

I think the focus should be on why state education is failing to prepare students adequately to get places at Oxbridge and into the 'top' jobs. We need to stop blaming private schools and focus on the failings of the state education system.
If we are simply looking at an old boys network situation and 'jobs for the boys' then abolishing private schools or opening them up to the masses will not change much because people will still have their specific connections and networks.

Andrewofgg Thu 28-Aug-14 13:31:23

All the editors of the Guardian have been white male public school and Oxbridge.

University-blind admissions? Come off it. When the universities do schools-blind admissions - so that they cannot do "contextual" admissions - then let's look again.

phonebox Thu 28-Aug-14 13:34:21

I'm surprised by the football statistic, as I thought there was a big push to do youth academies in underprivileged areas over the last couple of decades.

I am tired of these statistics being trotted out for other professions though. Judges - what is their mean age? 50s, 60s, 70s? Of course the old boys' networks were even more prominent back when they were making their way up the career ladder.

Miggsie Thu 28-Aug-14 13:37:22

Surely the issue is that state schools should aim to be as successful as private schools at educating their pupils?
Not to pass exams but to have the self presentation skills and confidence that private schools seem to instill very well. Private schools also expect more from their pupils - so the children grow into adults who are confident to aim high.

However, no education system can compensate for having socially connected parents though.

snice Thu 28-Aug-14 13:39:49

There are, and always have been, a whole raft of careers that are largely unavailable to the masses. Some of this is down to needing parental financial support, some to do with needing contacts within a business to get a foothold. It is pretty impossible to get an unpaid or lowly paid internship or work experience without parents paying th e rent which on a London flat is serious money.

BarbarianMum Thu 28-Aug-14 13:54:05

Miggsie I think part of the problem is that well educated, confident, well presented ambitious state school pupils (of which there are many) are still routinely passed over in certain quarters because they haven't got the 'right' background/gender/race.

I think its easier for the ruling class to put this down to differences in education than to admit that our supposed meritocracy doesn't work well.

GoblinLittleOwl Thu 28-Aug-14 13:55:04

State schools do have high aspirations for their pupils; unfortunately these are hampered by the waste of so much school time dealing with poor attitude and disruptive behaviour which would never be tolerated in a private school. They have the option to refuse to accept or expel difficult pupils; state schools do not.

smokepole Thu 28-Aug-14 14:01:37

Goblin. That is one of the reasons why the 'Comprehensive' System has failed despite its noble intentions. I pointed out that there are 'Comps' that equal grammar schools for University entrance. I will probably get someone on telling me how 'good' their child's comprehensive is, though when you look these schools up on the DFE Performance tables or their websites, it becomes apparent , that they are anything but comprehensive.

*Add message | Report | Message poster Missunreasonable Thu 28-Aug-14 13:30:18
I think the focus should be on why state education is failing to prepare students adequately to get places at Oxbridge and into the 'top' jobs. We need to stop blaming private schools and focus on the failings of the state education system.
If we are simply looking at an old boys network situation and 'jobs for the boys' then abolishing private schools or opening them up to the masses will not change much because people will still have their specific connections and networks.
*

this x1000

Missunreasonable Thu 28-Aug-14 15:28:41

State schools do have high aspirations for their pupils; unfortunately these are hampered by the waste of so much school time dealing with poor attitude and disruptive behaviour which would never be tolerated in a private school. They have the option to refuse to accept or expel difficult pupils; state schools do not.

But none of that is the fault of the private school or the parents that choose to use private schools. The state system needs to find a way of managing this problem so that the well behaved pupils who want to learn are not negatively affected by pupils who are disruptive.
Obviously every child needs to be provided with a full time education but if a pupil is continually disruptive then they should not be allowed to continue in an environment where they have a negative impact on the education of others. They should be removed from that environment and educated in an environment where they can not disrupt others and where their own needs can be fully met.

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