to ask would you send your eldest Dc to a grammar school?

(908 Posts)
var12 Sat 10-Sep-16 17:33:13

Hypothetical question... if there were grammar schools in your area and your DC1 was offered a place, would you accept it?

var12 Sat 10-Sep-16 17:35:26

and if your Dc couldn't get a place, would it change your opinion about whether grammar schools should be allowed to exist?

JeepersMcoy Sat 10-Sep-16 17:36:07

I went to a single sex grammer school and I don't think I would want to send dd to one. I actually found it was not the right environment for me and I think I would have done better in a mixed comp.

For dd it would depend a lot on what else was available though. There are 2 really great comps on walking distance from us, so no need to consider somewhere else.

queenofthemountains Sat 10-Sep-16 17:38:03

No, I don't believe in selective education.

yumyumlama Sat 10-Sep-16 17:39:24

If it was a good fit for DC of course I would.

BertrandRussell Sat 10-Sep-16 17:39:45

Not hypothetical for me. I live in an are where there are only grammar schools and secondary moderns schools. Both of my children are not super bright but certainly top 10-15%. Older one passed, went to a grammar school, younger on failed and didn't. I am (and always have been) opposed to selective education. Having experienced it, I am even more implacably opposed to it.

Do you have specific questions you want answered?

var12 Sat 10-Sep-16 17:39:59

The thing is would the two really great comprehensives still be really great if the top 15% (say) went to a local grammar instead? Or maybe they'd be even better as they would be rid of one group so could better concentrate on the other groups

Pisssssedofff Sat 10-Sep-16 17:40:52

Every teacher I know hates them and my daughter did attend year 7 at a grammar so I watched with interest as the results came out. Nothing impressive my DD will do significantly better

BertrandRussell Sat 10-Sep-16 17:41:56

No they wouldn't.

Selection at 10 has negative impacts, socially, psychologically and educationally.

Puzzledconfusedandbewildered Sat 10-Sep-16 17:47:15

Yes and yes.

multivac Sat 10-Sep-16 17:48:19

There are grammar schools in our area; it's not fully selective, therefore the grammars would, I think, be called 'super-selective'.

I am as confident as it's possible to be that both our children could have got a place. They didn't sit the 11+. It was a decision we reached as a family, and we are all happy with it.

JeepersMcoy Sat 10-Sep-16 17:48:23

var my understanding is that having a grammer school in the area tends to have a negative impact on the other local schools. I do live in quite an affluent area and there are a number of private schools local to us so I suspect they get the richer end of any potential grammer school set round here.

irregularegular Sat 10-Sep-16 17:48:24

Why just DC1? Is the issue that you couldn't be sure whether DC2 would get a place?

My children both go to grammar schools, but we don't live in a grammar school area as such. These grammar schools would be considered "super selective" and the nearby secondary schools are genuine - and excellent - comprehensives. I would have been very happy to send my children there and very nearly did, despite the grammar school offers. I would not have been at all worried about one getting and and one not.

Despite my children being at grammar schools, I confess that I think a grammar school based education system is basically wrong and bad for society as a whole. It may benefit a minority, but even that isn't clear - grammar school children in all likelihood would do just as well, or almost as well, at a decent comprehensive.

Does this make me a raging hypocrite? Possibly, and I am a bit uncomfortable and conflicted about it. However, I don't think that the existence of a few super-selective schools has anything like the negative impact of a complete grammar school system which takes the entire top 20% or so and inevitably labels the rest as failures. That doesn't happen here. There are children getting straight As, even straight A* at the local comprehensive. Second, I think most of us at times take advantage of systems that we don't think are ideal eg. I think that people with high salaries (including myself) should pay higher taxes, but I don't tick the box on the tax return which allows you to do so voluntarily.

Similarly, despite being basically anti-grammar schools, from a personal perspective I thought my daughter would be socially more comfortable at the grammar and my son would benefit from the competition. I also liked the idea of more racial and cultural diversity at the grammar. So I sent them, despite not being 100% at ease with the decision.

var12 Sat 10-Sep-16 17:51:42

I spoke to two neighbours the other day. One of us has kids in g&T, one has both children in the middle somewhere and one has a child who needs lots of help.
The thing that came out of the discussion was that everyone thought that the non-selective schools we send our children to favour one of the other groups, never the one that our children are in.

There was quite a bit of resentment in the air and it was a good idea in the end to change the subject before we fell out.

Summerwood1 Sat 10-Sep-16 17:53:35

No,not for me.

multivac Sat 10-Sep-16 17:59:06

I think, as irregularregular says, the decision for us would have been far more difficult had we been faced with a grammar or a secondary modern.

Which is why I am horrified (I don't think that's too strong) at the current government's proposed education reforms.

var12 Sat 10-Sep-16 17:59:27

To explain where I am coming from, there is a grammar that my dc could have travelled to, and I think they could have both got places. Instead, we didn't even try as we knew they'd get places at a really good comprehensive. I don't think comprehensives get much better than this one.

Now, a few years in, we've come to regret not taking the grammar route because comprehensives are a misnomer i.e. they are not comprehensive. Nothing can be everything to everyone and this particular comprehensive tends to not bother to differentiate the work for the most able. In fact, they frequently pull and good teachers out of the top set classes (with 35 students) to focus on the lower ability sets (with 10 pupils in them).

So, I think that knowing what i know now, i would have sent DC1 to a grammar for year 7, but I know I'd have worried that it would cause problems for dc2's self confidence if he hadn't got in too.

ConcreteUnderpants Sat 10-Sep-16 18:02:29

Yes to the first question, no to the second.
I believe it really depends on the child. My eldest is absolutely thriving and has the opportunity to do things she never would at the local comp. It suits her down to the ground and allows her to be a super nerd with no bullying etc.
My middle child would be unlikely to get in, but I'm not concerned as it would be the wrong kind of school for her anyway.

I am a big fan of grammar schools. And before anyone asks, no I am not rich. In fact she has her fees paid and gets free school meals too and has never felt any different to the well-off majority.

multivac Sat 10-Sep-16 18:03:55

Are you confusing 'grammar' with 'selective independent', concrete? Grammars are state schools; there are no 'fees'.

Oysterbabe Sat 10-Sep-16 18:04:51

Yes absolutely.

var12 Sat 10-Sep-16 18:06:38

What's the difference between a grammar and a super selective independent school? Isn't a super selective private school just a grammar with fees?

BertrandRussell Sat 10-Sep-16 18:07:17

Ah. I remember you now, OP.

I!ll bow out here, because I think that with limited resources, the most able have, pragmatically, to be a lower priority than the less able. Which, on Mumsnet is worse than admitting to cannibalism!

multivac Sat 10-Sep-16 18:09:20

You've rather answered your own question there, var!

kimlo Sat 10-Sep-16 18:10:06

No I would never choose a grammar school.

Dd1 would be unlikely to get a place anyway. She is bright, but dyslexic. She was put in to one of the top sets before she had been asessed for dyslexia. She has next to no working memory, her phonetic awearness and spelling is awful and her written work doesnt match the understanding she shows when she talks about what shes doing. Being in a selective school would really affect her confidence.

multivac Sat 10-Sep-16 18:10:18

Wait for me, BR!

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