"school snobbery"

(584 Posts)
dinkybinky Tue 13-Nov-12 18:48:22

I think it’s hysterical that some people think that if you child doesn’t attend a Grammar school or selective independent then they’re not academic. The level of “school snobbery” that goes on is quite bewildering sometimes.

WakeyCakey Tue 13-Nov-12 18:51:31

I went to a very posh and ridiculously expensive school, I wouldn't class myself as academic, I have A-levels but dropped out of Uni.

Friends who went to our local state school have been to Oxford and become doctors etc etc.

Nothing to do with the place, just about the people themselves

I don't really understand, sorry.

thebody Tue 13-Nov-12 18:54:46

Also don't understand. What twat would think that anyway?

Lots of parents choose private ed as their children struggle in state system and need smaller classes.

I went to a grammar and am defiantly not academic.

My kids went to state comp and 2 at uni and other 2 headed there.

Who cares.

dinkybinky Tue 13-Nov-12 18:59:00

Exactly, who cares! There seems to be types that think that if your child doesn’t attend one of the selective schools then there is no hope for the poor little loves.

pointythings Tue 13-Nov-12 18:59:25

Well, there are no grammars in my area and we could never afford independent of any kind, but my DDs are seriously academic. I'd laugh at anyone who suggested otherwise just because they go to the local state schools, tbh.

However, I've never encountered this attitude from anyone, despite having friends who have their children in selective independents - they are happy with their choices, we're happy with ours and there isn't a problem.

Mintyy Tue 13-Nov-12 19:03:18

Well ... presumably the people who choose private school or tutor for grammar school do so because they think the state schools are not good enough for their children. I can't see any other reason for it? So that implies a certain degree of "snobbery".

dinkybinky Tue 13-Nov-12 19:04:01

I've not experienced it in RL only on the school forums here!

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Tue 13-Nov-12 19:06:26

Hah, my DS2 has passed for grammar school and some people cannot understand why I've put two local comps down as 1st and 2nd choice with the grammar as a last resort!

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Tue 13-Nov-12 19:07:23

Oops, DS3 not DS2, so used to talking about DS2 who has ASD. blush

VivaLeBeaver Tue 13-Nov-12 19:12:30

I only know one person in rl who is like that. When I said which comp dd was probably going to be going to she sneered "I won't be sending my dd there"

She is a twat, not just about that but about a multitude of other things. I avoid her now.

pointythings Tue 13-Nov-12 19:14:13

I haven't experienced it on MN either, OP. Lots of support around SATs time with people cheering each other on, can't say I've seen any threads which clearly say that a child can't be academic unless they are in some form of selective school confused.

thekidsrule Tue 13-Nov-12 19:17:50

Mintyy
Well ... presumably the people who choose private school or tutor for grammar school do so because they think the state schools are not good enough for their children. I can't see any other reason for it? So that implies a certain degree of "snobbery".

totally agree with this

school snobbery is rife in RL and here

wtf1981 Tue 13-Nov-12 19:19:01

the body. . .

Why are you "defiantly not academic"?

;)

dinkybinky Tue 13-Nov-12 19:19:51

There is an air of “Hyacinth Bucket” in certain posters, posts it’s quite amusing. Education is about so much more than having your head stuck in a book IMO

FreudiansSlipper Tue 13-Nov-12 19:22:48

i took ds out of a state school and moved him to a prep. yes i do think he will do better there, was the other school not good enough no it is not that it is not good enough but the school he is in now is better for his education. lucky to be able to do this

i think it is more about how you feel about yourself or what you think others are thinking not what they actually are thinking mos people really do not give a toss about choices of other parents

dinky i thought you lived abroad or am i confusing you with someone else

thekidsrule Tue 13-Nov-12 19:23:36

seriously some of the best educated people i know lack common sense

so as great as a top education may be you cant tutor,buy common sense imo smile

dinkybinky Tue 13-Nov-12 19:26:44

I just moved back in September that's why I find it so strange. Things have changed a lot in a few years.

midseasonsale Tue 13-Nov-12 19:26:50

A grammar about 2 mins from us teachers it's mixed sex pupils that they are the best! The best of what? The best of those that sat the test surely? The best due to tutoring on how to sit the grammar test maybe?

Well we only have state comprehensives and lovely but very pricey fee-paying schools in our area so the whole thing goes over my head.

notimetotidy Tue 13-Nov-12 20:18:08

It rubs off on the kids as well.

Last week I had my friend's son in the car and drove past the new grammar being built near to where we live. My son goes to the newly built secondary school. Friend's son (who has an older brother who goes to a grammar in another town) says to my DS 'Are you not aiming to get into the grammar? The school you go to is no good because it is only a high school.'

Honestly, it took a lot of deep breathing not to say to him 'oh, do fuck off dear.'

sue52 Tue 13-Nov-12 20:24:09

If you live in Kent your choice is between Grammar or Secondary modern as there are no Comprehensives to cater for children of all abilities. A certain madness takes over some parents in year 4/5 and the school gate is best avoided.

LaQueen Tue 13-Nov-12 20:29:44

We live in a GS area. Fact is, in this grammar school area, the other schools aren't good enough for my DDs, and I know because I have worked in them.

If we lived in a non GS area, then would be perfectly happy for the DDs to attend a decent comprehensive, if it had good results.

mam29 Tue 13-Nov-12 20:38:04

Its not just at secondry its primary level here that they started debating in postnatal.

One lady I met lived in affluent new build estate-private -all family homes the 2newish built well performing primary schools in her area full so ended up with 3rd choice same 3rd choice as i picked older community primary with majority from the estate and in special measures and said she gets embaressed when people ask and says she sees their reaction and thinks they judging her.

Another local community primary once bad now good lovley new build , grounds still gets overlooked as people talk about its old reputation.

People very specific here if they dont get their 1st choice then many opted for private prep or pick village school miles away yet all the schools walkable local are ok none of them are sink schools.

Im dreading secondry but we not grammer area.
lots of shiney academies though.

foslady Tue 13-Nov-12 20:50:31

I came home fizzing last night over a discussion about this with 2 other mums. Apparently my dd won't stand a chance of GS because I haven't (and won't) private tutor her for 3 years (should of started when she went into 'juniors', and that was 2 years ago), and should have been quizzing the teachers since she started. When I said I didn't agree with it, as the kids who have been tutored purely to pass an exam will have a miserable 5 years struggling to keep up, I was told 'Well, yes, but that's besides the point, look at the alternatives'. When I pointed out we have some very good comprehensives (neighbours kids went there and eldest got an honours degree, youngest is now doing masters, my niece has just started at uni after getting A*/A results after attending there) I got the 'humph, there can be a lot of changes at those schools..........'

If it wasn't that dd has now started to express an interest in the damn place I really would be crossing it off my list if that's the parental influences of the kids attending......

OwedToAutumn Tue 13-Nov-12 20:54:11

I really dont get all the angst!

Don't most people just choose the best school for their DC from the options available to them?

thekidsrule Tue 13-Nov-12 20:58:38

i choose the nearest wink

thebody Tue 13-Nov-12 20:59:51

Wtf1981, well just because I am so glad am a TA in reception as found year 3s maths a bit challenging shall we say!!!! Even I can manage a number line!!

freddiefrog Tue 13-Nov-12 21:10:42

We don't have any grammar schools here, so i don't have to listen to local friends banging on about it, but it does cause a lot of angst among friends back where we used to live.

There is a lot of inter-primary snobbery here.

2 primaries within spitting distance.

One has a dodgy reputation due to previous head teachers and bad teaching staff.

The other is supposedly 'fantastic' and people would kill to get their kids in there.

DD originally went to the fantastic one. She and I both hated it, moved her to the one with the dodgy reputation and she loved it. I can't praise it highly enough.

People used to slag off my daughters school something rotten, based on an outdated and unfair reputation

We got a new head a couple of years ago who has worked wonders. An outstanding Ofsted inspection last June and excellent SATs results has soon changed a few hypocrite's tunes. Unfortunately the school they used to bitch about is full and they can't get their kids in there.

Mintyy Tue 13-Nov-12 21:17:59

"If you live in Kent your choice is between Grammar or Secondary modern as there are no Comprehensives to cater for children of all abilities. A certain madness takes over some parents in year 4/5 and the school gate is best avoided."

Exactly why the grammar system is just plain wrong imo. Even wronger than the private v state system in many ways.

Notimetotidy- are they building a new grammar near you?
I have probably got this completely wrong but I thought that new grammar schools weren't allowed?

I am in Kent and there is huge pressure for a new grammar in Sevenoaks, they aren't allowed to create a new one, so it will be a 'satellite' from an established grammar.

I agree that it is madness in kent from year 5, especially for superselectives near me.

VirginiaDare Tue 13-Nov-12 21:30:18

and your aibu is?

mam29 Tue 13-Nov-12 22:56:23

My dd used to go to highy regarded local faith primary.

was oversubscribed last 2reception years

dds year weirdly was undersubscribed.

spent lots year 1 unhappy
then 8weeks of year 2

shes just doing 2nd week at new school.

yet local people keep telling me im mad

30mins walk too far

Its too small

mixed classes

out catchment for younger siblings

have freind who lives close to new school who openly slates it

I think many years ago it wasent as good.

but ithas better sats and good ofsted than old school.
Yet people still say im mad old school was dowgraded ofsted last term and when compared local sats even the less thourht schools people turned nose up at got better its all about perception.

A school can change a lot in a few years

diffrent schools suit diffrent children

parents want diffrent things i wanted more sport, music, encrichment, smaller, less formal and more positve and luckily for me took plunge and got it if I listen to what everyone else said she still be unhappy.

I guess i expect negatives from people at old school.

1944girl Tue 13-Nov-12 23:04:47

My oldest grandaughter who is now 20 went to a ''sink'' comprehensive.She is now at university doing her final year of a Maths degree.

TheBolter Tue 13-Nov-12 23:12:36

I live in an area with excellent state schools, but I know some parents who seem borderline obsessive about making sure they send their little dumplings to the 'raite school' at 13... they all seem to have finally chosen a v well known boarding school fifty miles away. I have had to listen to many a conversation held between them over the drama and dilema of their choice! Despite the fact their children are happy, socialising well, and actually thriving at the local states.

Their reason for moving them are, I quote, "because they will learn how to mix in the right social circles", "because it was the done thing in our family", and, "because we have the money to give them the best education they can possibly get".

OK, ok, perhaps I'm jealous of the fact they clearly have so much money to spare on what I would consider the height of luxury given that we live in such a good area for local schools. However I think I mainly see the red mist because they have no idea how unbelievably crass they sound in front of parents who have no option other than the local states. I would probably understand if the local schools were shit, but their implication is that they aren't good enough for their children even though they always hasten to add that they are 'wonderful'. Another implication that seems to come across from hearing their conversations is that state school children grow up socially inept.

I have to add that they are also some of the most insecure people I've met, so clearly their social education at some of the country's best boarding schools wasn't that great. grin

<<Disclaimer: not all parents who sent their children to private school are insecure!>>

missingmumxox Wed 14-Nov-12 01:34:14

sue52 I am in Kent and it make me chuckle the angst over it, I moved back to Kent in the 70's when all children did the 11 plus, my Mum was told I didn't have a hope in as I entered the system in what is now year 5..she was not wrong,
My Boys have lost a year and a half of British Schooling and Schooling in general as they where in the States and they entered Year 1 having done 2 1/2 months of 2 !/2 hours a day.

they now in year three 1 has caught up and excelling, 1 can't read, can't write but fabulous at math, I think maybe DT 1 will be able to take the Kent Test, maybe pass? Dt2 no way, he is as intelligent as his brother but Dyslexic like me.

So what to do...spend £6000 which seems to be the norm in tuition from next year (3K each) or think stuff! it I am the boss at my work, I failed, I found my stride at 19 and worked hard and , I am the boss of 2 ex Grammar school contemporaries of mine in Kent, 1 older grammar person who is about to get on the curve to a job like mine, 2 compie kids our Doctors! and 2 young Kent test fails, who's jobs are on a par with the Grammar contemporaries, and like them 1 has a degree and the other doesn't.

I think personally I would like a school which suit my children, not the other way round, and I really can see that DT1 would thrive in a Grammar, Dt2 needs what I had, excel at something, and not constantly working hard to find you are bottom of the class, gave me a self worth, which gave me the confidence to move on from school.

for the record I moved to a high School in the Midlands on the intake year at age 13, I bloody hated it, I was good at Maths and Science so in set 3 out of 10, made to do French but had done German previously, and not "allowed" to do German as you had to be in one of the top 2 sets for French.

To allow me to do science and math in the top 5 meant I had to be in top 5 for English so the time table worked out, I am Dyslexic, It was a nightmare, the good thing about failing my 11+ I was able to do all my subjects at the pace I could cope with, so top set for Science, debate, Math, history and Geography, middle set for German and bottom for English.

Oh and I was team Captain for sport for my year....don't even get me started on the way I was treated in my High school on this...still bitter

missingmumxox Wed 14-Nov-12 01:36:46

PS I have just noticed the salt and pepper punctuation on this, typing to fast ..should have checked smile

Startail Wed 14-Nov-12 02:42:06

I too have friends who, I suspect think I'm mad sending DD2 to the comp with her sister rather than subjecting her to stupidly long days then tons of HW at the Grammar school.

I went to a very ordinary comp and on to a RG university. There were several other past pupils there.

I think pretty much all my year got the course they wanted including medicine.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Wed 14-Nov-12 04:04:40

It's what's right for your child. An 'outstanding' school might be the wrong choice for your child, then again it might be the best. People are too quick to judge on an ofsted and pressure their kids

LaQueen Wed 14-Nov-12 08:49:26

There's no denying that even at a supposed sink school (hate that word), you will get a few pupils who make it through to a RG university.

However, at our GS the vast majority of the upper sixth make it through to a RG university.

What I value about our GS is that it really values education, and pupils who work hard and achieve academically are praised and respected, by everyone.

At the 3 local SM schools I have worked at, studious pupils were openly mocked - and I don't want that for my DDs.

notimetotidy Wed 14-Nov-12 09:32:39

Toughasoldboots - I'm in Northern Ireland. There are still grammars here. The 11+ was abolished 3 (I think) years ago. The grammar schools then decided that they would continue to have transfer tests - totally illegal. But hey, the old school snobbery system is alive and well here and as long as parents continue to PAY for their child to sit these tests it will continue.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Wed 14-Nov-12 09:34:55

Is this an English/Home Counties/London thing?

It certainly doesn't go in Wales (where I grew up) or in Cornwall (where I live now). I went to a bog standard comp and got very good results and was generally considered to be pretty academic.

dinkybinky Wed 14-Nov-12 09:37:51

Is this an English/Home Counties/London thing?

Yes

rotavirusrita Wed 14-Nov-12 09:40:48

Thank god I live in the middle of nowhere and my children will go to the local comprehensive school with their friends.
Mumsnet education boards seemed to be skewed towards london the home counties and associated angst about type of school and whether PFB is being pushed enough of levels and reading bands and all that rubbish. It completely the ignores the (?vast majority) of parents who send their children happily to their local school and then get on with their lives!

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Wed 14-Nov-12 09:41:08

Another reason I'm glad I live where I do. It may be a rain-lashed, bleak, cultural desert but at least there's no school snobbery grin

Ah, ok thanks notimetotidy, yes, still alive and kicking in Kent too, but they are not allowed to build new grammars. Hence a new one by stealth.

ByTheWay1 Wed 14-Nov-12 09:50:35

Plenty of snobbery over here in the Cotswolds - London-in-the-country - but us ordinary folks don't really care that much - some kids go to grammar some to comp - if you live the right side of town you go to any of 3 high achieving comps happily, if you live the wrong side you tutor like hell to get to grammar, or go to schools with bad reputation..

(but schooling and education are not the same thing.)

Everlong Wed 14-Nov-12 09:54:11

OP I have never seen that on mumsnet. Ever.

Lots derisive comments about why people choose private above state but have not yet seen a thread/post stating a child isn't or can't be academic if not attending GS or private..

Where have you seen it?

seeker Wed 14-Nov-12 09:57:08

"I think it’s hysterical that some people think that if you child doesn’t attend a Grammar school or selective independent then they’re not academic. The level of “school snobbery” that goes on is quite bewildering sometimes."

As far as I am aware, there is only one-or possibly two- poster who thinks that!grin

seeker Wed 14-Nov-12 09:58:38

Well, actually, there are lots of people in RL round our wqy who think like that- but the system is so crap that they do sort of have a point......

seeker Wed 14-Nov-12 09:59:43

Oh, ever long- you know perfectly well that thee is loads of state school bashing that goes on. It's disingenuous of you to say otherwise.

Everlong Wed 14-Nov-12 10:04:58

Erm the OP posted that she finds it hystetical that some people think if a child doesn't attend a GS or private school they can't be academic.

My post referred to that.

I only know of one poster on here who openly bashes state schools and she is frequently quoted as a good example of those who do.

seeker Wed 14-Nov-12 10:15:35

"Lots derisive comments about why people choose private above state"

And this is the bit of your post I was commenting on. Far more going the other way.

Everlong Wed 14-Nov-12 10:24:30

That comment is true.

As for ' far more the other way ' that is very debatable.

I agree Everlong and I have children in both sectors.

OldMumsy Wed 14-Nov-12 10:40:52

Mintyy
'Well ... presumably the people who choose private school or tutor for grammar school do so because they think the state schools are not good enough for their children. I can't see any other reason for it? So that implies a certain degree of "snobbery".'

Sometimes the local school isn't good enough, we chose to move house when we were in this situation. Still in state education but better schools. I can understand and sympathise with those that choose private though. Most people do the best they can for their kids. Don't you?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 14-Nov-12 10:45:22

But if you send a child to state school, you're not, just by doing so, making a comment about private schools - except in very rare cases when you could easily afford to and morally choose not to.

If you send a child to private school, you can't really help but be making a comment about state schools, at some level which is sometimes explicit on here, and sometimes vehemently denied - but I don't see how it can possibly not be so.

sue52 Wed 14-Nov-12 10:45:53

I think it's only normal to have more state school bashing as 93% of the school population are state educated. It's bashing by people who have never set foot in a state school I object to.

Everlong Wed 14-Nov-12 10:50:24

By choosing private does not mean you are being snobby.

It's lazy to say so.

There are hundreds of reasons why people choose private. Maybe they've had a child at a state school and it's let them down, just one small example.

Do you still condemn them for opting for private?

fabsmum Wed 14-Nov-12 10:51:11

I practically made myself mentally ill over this issue when my dd was coming up to the end of primary.

The anger and jealousy I felt witnessing church going friends get their unmusical and not very bright dd into the fabulous catholic girls school with first rate academic and musical provision, when my very musical and brighter dd only had the option of the very rough local comp..... well, it wasn't a nice feeling. Talking to others who'd got their dd's into a fantastic state grammar school after having invested tens of thousands of pounds in fees for a private primary and 11+ tutoring, I just wanted to run around screaming "IT'S NOT FAIR IT'S NOT FAIR IT'S NOT FAIR". Actually, made me feel really bitter and sad for a while.

Luckily my dd was then carried away on a huge hormonal tidal wave and is now so fecking lazy, rude and rebellious I'll be grateful if she gets through adolescence without a criminal record or an unplanned pregnancy, never mind a good clutch of GCSE's.

I find having INCREDIBLY low expectations of my children does a lot to relieve my angst over a school system I can't seem to negotiate to my children's advantage.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 14-Nov-12 10:51:39

'Snobby' might not be the most helpful of terms, no.

I don't condemn anyone, I just don't respect that particular decision much.

RobotLover68 Wed 14-Nov-12 10:52:09

I've not experienced it in RL only on the school forums here!

Oh it goes on in RL OP I can assure you - so many people look down their noses at me because we took the decision to send our children to the local school and not a grammar (it was a family decision made for our own reasons)

OP YANBU

Everlong Wed 14-Nov-12 10:54:41

That's your choice steaming

I on the other hand respect people's decisions on where they choose to send their child. Private or not.

fabsmum Wed 14-Nov-12 10:55:03

"Most people do the best they can for their kids"

This is very true.

Even if state provision is good, people want to give their children a chance to scramble up to the top of the pile.

People are happy to embrace inequality - as long as their children are the winners and not the losers.

Chopchopbusybusy Wed 14-Nov-12 11:17:54

I've certainly come across lots of school snobbery both in RL and on here.
We don't live in a grammar school area although two nearby LEAs do have grammar schools and so some children from our town apply.
DD2 arrived home one day in tears asking why she wasn't sitting the grammar school exam because X's mum said if you go to grammar school you have a much better life! Sadly for X she didn't pass the test. I wonder what she thinks of her mum's thoughts on her education now.

grovel Wed 14-Nov-12 11:38:41

I'm sure there is some snobbery but there's much more defensiveness. Choosing a school (if you're lucky enough to have a choice) is a huge decision and parents can't bear to think they might get/have got it wrong for their DCs. The way they manifest their anxiety/justify their choices is by slagging off the schools they did not choose. Ridiculous - but human nature.
Parents choosing between Eton, Harrow and Westminster will often slag off the two they don't choose. I don't think that's really snobbery (well, Harrow is a bit nouveau.....)

sue52 Wed 14-Nov-12 11:43:49

Chopchopbusybusy, your post reminds me of the time when my daughter and her friend were discussing secondary schools. DD said she wanted to go to the grammar and her privately educated friend told DD she would have no chance because she went to state primary and her mum had told her only stupid kids went there. I do wish people would think before they pass on their ill informed opinions to their children. DD did pass but my friendship with the other child's mother wasn't quite the same again.

OwlLady Wed 14-Nov-12 11:49:09

when I lived in Kent people foamed at the mouth to get their children into grammar school and to a certain degree I can understand why as I feel the existence of them within counties creates an uneven divide and I think it is a socio economical issue, they were there so poorer children who were very clever could have access to a grammar education if they needed it, but the truth is a very very small percentage of these children would pass the 11+ and go. From my experience anyway.

I have lived in a few other counties without a grammar system, or with a smaller grammar system, and these problems are not so rife and the state schools are all pretty even and good, very good infact here.

I think private schooling is a bit of a red herring. Only 5% of children will go to private, that doesn't mean 95% of us are not academic confused

But yes, it's discussed on-line more because there is a certain vulgarity about discussing why you think a majority option is a poor one out in the real world

WileyRoadRunner Wed 14-Nov-12 13:20:13

*Mintyy
'Well ... presumably the people who choose private school or tutor for grammar school do so because they think the state schools are not good enough for their children. I can't see any other reason for it? So that implies a certain degree of "snobbery".'*

I am not a snob.
I send my children to private school. The eldest had attended the local state. It was not good enough. In fact it was appalling in every aspect. So no it was not good enough for my children.

Very naive to think that it implies snobbery not to send your children to the local state school. Actually it just means you are an advocate of inverted snobbery!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 14-Nov-12 13:25:43

Why does it mean you are an advocate of inverted snobbery?

WileyRoadRunner Wed 14-Nov-12 13:33:16

Because if you state that sending your child to private school implies a degree of snobbery aren't you just immediately drawing conclusions about a group of people being snobs based on their decision.

To me that sounds like inverted snobbery.

sue52 Wed 14-Nov-12 13:35:50

You can call that prejudice but not "inverted snobbery" WileyRoadRunner.

OwlLady Wed 14-Nov-12 13:39:51

So no it was not good enough for my children

This is a good example of a certain vulgarity that happens online but wouldn't happen in real life. Something you wouldn't necessarily say at the your local state school gates unless you are not very self aware

WileyRoadRunner Wed 14-Nov-12 13:40:24

Well okay nitpicking over definitions aside it is silly to deem a whole group of people to be snobs based on their decision to send their child to private school.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 14-Nov-12 13:40:27

But if you send your child to state school, it's not the case that you've proactively rejected an equally available option, is it? Some people who send their children to state school may have done that, but not most of them. And some people who send their children to state school may not be against private schooling - they may even wish they could use it!

But usually it's not an equally weighted decision not to use private schools, is it?

I'm not snobbish about private schools - I don't look down on them all for being one particular thing. I just don't like them ideologically. That's like saying all Labour voters are inverted snobs against Tories - or vice versa.

WileyRoadRunner Wed 14-Nov-12 13:42:05

owllady I have no problem in saying that in RL. The school left my bereaved child sobbing in the corner all day after insisting she should come in/would be looked after.

WileyRoadRunner Wed 14-Nov-12 13:44:36

And I don't think it's vulgar in the least to expect a grieving child to be cared for at school when they have actively encouraged them to come in. confused.

Obviously that is an incident personal to my family situation but it ultimately was the straw that broke the camels back and led to me putting my children where I did.

Sadly we do not have any other state schools with places available in the area.

seeker Wed 14-Nov-12 13:52:35

" I have no problem in saying that in RL. The school left my bereaved child sobbing in the corner all day after insisting she should come in/would be looked after."

That is awful.

But it is relevant to the private/state debate exactly how?

OwlLady
Truthfully some state schools aren't good enough for any children to go to.

I am lucky that I can vote with my wallet and go private but its not right that some children are given such a substandard education. (no I don't think all private schools are good nor do I think that all private schools are better than state schools - some private schools are poor and some state schools are stellar)

Whether or not I think state schools are not good enough for my children I am faced with the fact that 3 out of our 4 local primary schools do not think that my children are good enough for them because my children are not from the right religion.

OwlLady Wed 14-Nov-12 13:55:21

you are confusing what I have wrote

the school you sent your children school did not fully support your children when they needed support. It has nothing to do with whether that school was a state school, a private school or a selective school or either description. What was important was that the palliative care was not there to support your children during a period when it sounds like they needed it most.

It doesn't mean all state schools are not good enough for your children

A statement where someone says the school is not good enough for their children implies their children are better than other peoples children and whilst as parents we all love our own children more than other peoples we wouldn't necessarily say it out aloud to someone else.

Have you heard of chums btw? They run counselling/groups for children who are bereaved

QueenieLovesEels Wed 14-Nov-12 14:00:48

I don't think placing a high value on education is snobby.

Of course any child with motivation will get to university no matter what school they attend. They will, however, have a much easier time of it if they are educated along side people who have similar values.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 14-Nov-12 14:04:31

No, placing a high value on education is not snobby. I do that.

giveitago Wed 14-Nov-12 14:05:21

dinky I went to a grammar back in early 80's. I was not tutored and don't think other people were either. All very relaxed.

I doubt I'd get in now, not because I'm not academic but because everyone is tutored including those at very good private schools.

End of.

Most children are very able but within our school system many children are not considered 'able' because they don't have access to the means of entering what is now a exclusive type of school and are not playing the game.

I still don't undersand what academic means in within british education. Really don't . To me it means nothing to do with the child but going to a school that will tutor. Great - if you can get into one. And so on and so on......

If my child got into a grammar I'd be very happy but I wouldn't think he's any more 'academic' than another child. No way.

If he doesn't get into one I'll be crying into my beer as he's then left to a variety of faith schools and that's pretty much it. If he's neither academic nor or a mono culture for faith ,he's pretty much f'cked.

Tutored or a mono culture. Great stuff. Well done britain.

Everlong Wed 14-Nov-12 14:08:01

seeker if you read wiley's other posts she say that it was the straw that broke the camels back.

WileyRoadRunner Wed 14-Nov-12 14:10:52

owllady normally it is not a state/private issue but in our circumstance it was as (I did state above) there are no other state schools within our catchment area and the ones outside are oversubscribed.

Therefore we felt we had no option to go private, to an independent faith school which offered my daughter the comfort she needed. There were other issues too, academic issues which led to the move as well but her happiness was the most important thing.

Those that have a state school available to them which offer those things are very very lucky.

My issue was with Minty suggesting sending your child to private school "implies snobbery". It does not.

seeker you always pop up on these threads bashing people who send their children to private school. You only read what you want to read. Have said it before on other threads some state schools are fabulous, some private schools are shit.

QueenieLovesEels Wed 14-Nov-12 14:14:37

In Lincolnshire many children are not tutored for Grammar school places and the schools serve the purpose for which they were originally founded- that of allowing access to an academic education that isn't reliant on income but innate ability. The same applies to some Grammar schools in Essex.

There are still pockets of social mobility in Britain. They are however, rare.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 14-Nov-12 14:16:14

There is no reason why being 'non academic' has to be seen as an insult. Not everyone can be academic, and thank goodness, because for society to operate we need all sorts of people. Academic intelligence isn't an indicator of how worthy or valuable a person is, it's just a personality trait.

I also think it is ok to feel like a certain school isn't good enough for your children. It doesn't imply anything other than a personal opinion of that school. It has nothing to do with other people's opinions or choices.

Everlong Wed 14-Nov-12 14:21:19

I find some people's attitudes bizarre surrounding private schools.

Last week I was talking to a mum at an after school activity. She asked me where ds attended. ( well known private school in our town ) she said ' oh that's a good school but I don't want a genius just a happy child ' no shit.

I smiled at her and said ' me too ' before changing the subject.

It beggars belief that people can just come out with such comments.

QueenieLovesEels Wed 14-Nov-12 14:29:24

I think there has been underinvestment and an undervaluing of other talents and traits in children. This is not the case in other European countries. I value all sorts of talents and types of education as long as they meet the needs of the children in question.

Unfortunately,there are a lot of schools that fail children routinely. There is more than one way of educating children but I am of the opinion that our country's education system needs overhauling.

Far too many people go onto attend university who have no academic inclination whatsoever but don't feel there is a viable alternative. Hence the focus earlier on and anxiety that parents have.

OwlLady Wed 14-Nov-12 14:40:24

There isn't a viable alternative though is there in a lot of cases. The dismantling and discouragement of skilled apprenticeships has hell of a lot to answer for.

Everlong, that's just rude! what a strange lady. Why is there any need to even comment confused

toosoppyforwords Wed 14-Nov-12 14:48:41

I send my DC to private independent primary and will most likely continue to send to grammar/private at secondary. We are lucky we can afford it and i appreciate that
Our choice was not based solely on education and academics (although i do think my own children will do better at this school than the local state primaries) but was primarily chosen because of the wrap around care they offer i.e. 8-6 if needed and 51 weeks of the year if needed so i didn't have to constantly be thinking of before school and after school clubs and what to do in the half terms and summer. The majority of the children stay behind after school and during the holidays so my children dont feel out of place, or like they are the only ones not being picked up at 3.15. As a working mum this is invaluable to me as it gives me complete piece of mind.
I wouldn;t class myself as a snob. We are a pretty normal, working family, who certainly are not rich. I certainly dont look down my nose at anyone who attends state schools. It is clear that some children are academic regardless of where they go and will do well whatever school they are in, where as others are not. Why does everyone have to be academic anyway?

seeker Wed 14-Nov-12 15:54:24

"seeker you always pop up on these threads bashing people who send their children to private school. You only read what you want to read."

Nope. I have never "bashed" anyone. You only read what you want to read.

giveitago Wed 14-Nov-12 19:04:29

"I send my DC to private independent primary and will most likely continue to send to grammar/private at secondary. We are lucky we can afford it and i appreciate that"

And appreciate therefore that's why many people can't get their kids into 'academic' schools.

I have a son - there's the 'best' school in our borough which is a grammar is it accepts applications from everywhere. I've paid with my tax but with it's acceptance it takes only about 5% from the borough.

So wrong. And apart from that I'm left with catholic, CofE and hindu schools. My ds is not from any of those exclusively yet he has granparents from all three! There's are hardcore of us who are left out. Those who are truly british UK multicultural and plus not rich enough to afford private.

I really don't understand my country. It leaves so many of us out.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 14-Nov-12 19:16:42

What do you mean 'it leaves so many of us out'? Your ds will be offered a school place, he won't be 'left out' at all.

The grammar school closest to us is one that accepts applications from everywhere, but the LEA that its in takes money from the LEAs of the children that go there. So many of the people that live in at Borough think they are paying for children from neighbouring Boroughs to go to a selective school that they pay for, and that often their children can't get into, but they are wrong. The council that a child lives in pays for his or her education.

People need to stop seeing schools as 'the best'. The best school just doesn't exist. There is only a school that will suit a particular child best. Very different.

seeker Wed 14-Nov-12 19:45:18

I didn't realise there were Hindu schools - since when?

There is certainly a Hindu primary in LB of Harrow that is a couple of years old.
www.avanti.org.uk/kapsharrow/

and in the private sector there is Swaminarayan which IIRC is opposite the Neasden Temple
www.swaminarayan.brent.sch.uk/

clam Wed 14-Nov-12 23:32:50

I'm pretty sure that one friend of mine cannot understand why I send my two to a state comprehensive. She must have spent tens of thousands on private education for hers. DS absolutely trumped hers at GCSEs though.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 10:18:27

Grammar schools aren't the best schools. They are however, the best schools for children who are of above average intelligence, coupled with a propensity towards academia.

Grammar schools would be a stressful miasma of pressure and anxiety for most children. But, some children genuinely thrive in this environment, because they are very well suited for the challenges that environment presents them with.

My parents thrived at GS (it was also a huge step up the ladder for my Dad, who grew up in a council house). My DH thrived at GS because he was extremely academic and a natural sportsman. I believe our DDs will thrive at GS because of their abilities and personalities.

However, although I'm pretty clever I don't think I would have thrived at GS. The pressure, the competition...I just don't think I would have felt happy, or comfortable with all that.

I'm very grateful that my parents knew me well enough, to send me to a Steiner school instead - even though I could have attended our local, highly selective, girl's high school (the fees were the same at both).

The Steiner philosophy/education was far better suited for my literary/arty/creative talents - and I thrived there, and loved every day.

But, I know for a fact that my highly scientific, competitive, mathematical DH would have hated my Steiner school with a passion.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 10:24:49

"Grammar schools aren't the best schools. They are however, the best schools for children who are of above average intelligence, coupled with a propensity towards academia."

Well, only if you think those tendencies can only be catered for in isolation.

HullyEastergully Thu 15-Nov-12 10:30:07

oh who cares

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 10:31:01

seeker until we change the mind-set of approx. 75% of teenagers that studying, and doing your home work on time, and paying attention in class, and always striving to improve your school work is decidedly un-cool and should be mocked at every opportunity...then, yes, children who are academic need to be catered for in isolation.

HullyEastergully Thu 15-Nov-12 10:31:38

Our entire English life is highly stratified and hierarchical and schools are no different form the rest of it. The end.

Xenia Thu 15-Nov-12 10:31:39

Most of the country has no grammar schools, just non selective schools. Where I was born grammar schools went in about 1970. In the state sector there are just comprehensives. Most of the children at the best universities come from private schools (50%) and a huge proportion of the rest from selective state schools in the areas with grammar schools but certainly some come from comprehensives.

Some of those are in leafy suburbs where post parents get free schooling they could pay for by buying expensive £500k houses and thus burden tax payers with the cost they otherwise might pay which is arguably morally offensive.

If you have a bright child it is not really snobby to want them educfated in a place which does well for bright chidlren and where everyone else is bright, just as you might want them in our local hindu primary (yes they exist) or Jewish school, Muslim, Catholic and all the rest or home school or state boarding or specialist music school or whatever.

The bottom line is if women do not work and/or pick low paid work they damage their children because they then cannot pay school fees at good schools. It might be fun to spend your teenage years drinking or not work at your exams or pick art or acting as your career or hope you can live off male earnings but at the end of the day you do not do right by your children if you earn so little you cannot pay school fees and thus your career choice may have been morally unsound.

socharlotte Thu 15-Nov-12 10:36:37

I actually think there is more inverted snobbery coming the other way.
Especially from people who haven't managed to get their DC into grammar school banging on about those who have.Saying it's down to lots of tutoring ignoring the elephant in the room ie their kids are not as imtelligent!!

socharlotte Thu 15-Nov-12 10:37:17

..and that wasn't a very ' intelligent' spelling there!!

Everlong Thu 15-Nov-12 10:37:55

' oh who cares ' that just made me laugh. grin

It's true.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 10:38:21

I think my academic daughter does just fine in an environment where not everyone is clever! She's known to be bright, but certainly not 'mocked at every opportunity'! Mind you, I am very aware right now that I'd better not be too emphatic until a certain Thursday in August 2013.....

Xenia Thu 15-Nov-12 10:39:32

Very true. There is another thread where suggestions that children at academic private schools are not happy and must all be subject to tremendous pressure and usually it's just someone whose precious little darling has an IQ of 100 not 120 and did not have a hope in getting in and they are jealous or it makes them feel better to assume good academic schools are full of unhappy children whereas the better ones have children doing a huge range of hobbies, often broader and better than at less academic schools as children good at academic work are often the ones who excel on their instruments and on the sports field.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 10:41:10

"seeker until we change the mind-set of approx. 75% of teenagers that studying, and doing your home work on time, and paying attention in class, and always striving to improve your school work is decidedly un-cool and should be mocked at every opportunity...then, yes, children who are academic need to be catered for in isolation."

Well, telling that 75% at the age of 10 that they are failures is going to really help with that.............

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 10:42:53

Ah. It's the Xenia that can't punctuate today. That's interesting.

HullyEastergully Thu 15-Nov-12 10:45:18

I am goign to say the same thing I always do (because I don't want to do my work which is bad because I won't earn enough for school fees and my dc will be horrible drug-addled failures sorry Xenia although they do go to selective grammar sorry seeker)

Until we change society, until we change the homelives and surroundings of children then schools are in the main helpless. They do what they can, but if you have an intake of 30 kids, half of whom are illiterate/have fetal alcohol syndrome/not enough to eat/beaten regularly etc and the other half houses full of books blah de blah then all the differnetiation in the world ain't gonna help.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 15-Nov-12 10:46:02

Xenia, I was with you up until your last paragraph.

There is of course nothing wrong with wanting an education for your child that will best suit them, and if that means a highly selective grammar or private school then so be it.

But to say that someone is damaging their children because they can't afford school feels is so ridiculous that I'm wondering if you are just feeling particularly argumentative today.

There is no way I could afford school fees, despite being privately educated myself, and working. But I can afford to live in an area that has some of the best state school results in the country and send my child to a highly selective grammar school. Is that still damaging them by your standards, or are they simply doomed because despite however much their Father and Step Father earn, I decided to work in a part time term time job?

wordfactory Thu 15-Nov-12 10:46:30

I think snobbery is an odd choice of word.

I certainly don't think my DC are inherently superior to anyone elses. I have however chosen schools for them which I think are inherently superior to the state schools on offer.

Is that really snobbery?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 10:47:26

Ah, here we all are! grin

HullyEastergully Thu 15-Nov-12 10:48:15

good point word.

Is thinking one thing better than another automatically snobbery?

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 10:48:18

How the devil are you, TOSN? grin

HullyEastergully Thu 15-Nov-12 10:48:28

Or cold-eyed realism?

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 10:49:03

socharlotte you do have a point (although you won't be popular for saying it grin )

We're currently having our DD1 tutored for the 11+. She's in Yr 5, and already a Level 5 for Reading and Numeracy. And, she's certainly not the cleverest girl in her class, she has a couple of friends who are already just shy of Level 6s in Reading and Numeracy - yet these friends are being tutored for the 11+, too.

I admit that the tutoring for our DD1 and her friends will give them extra polish and better exam technique - but, they already had a raw, natural ability that was far above and beyond the national average of most children in the UK.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 10:49:10

Frustrated and irritated trying to choose a sixth form, ta! WHy don't you all come and talk to me about that, instead? grin

wordfactory Thu 15-Nov-12 10:49:30

seeker I suspect where xenia is posting from has an impact on her posts.

I know when I use my phone I can't do paragraphs [useless emoticon]...so I keep it very short.

I also probbaly miss loads of punctuation because I'm more cack handed on my phone.

HullyEastergully Thu 15-Nov-12 10:50:19

And we need to define the criteria for "better"

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 15-Nov-12 10:50:26

Wordfactory, according to some, sending your child to private school is snobbery because they decided that because you made a choice that you think is best for your child, you must also be automatically judging them negatively for using state schools.

Which is clearly bollocks.

The snobbery thing is thrown about by people who are not entirely happy with their own choices.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 10:51:28

I put 'gay' instead of 'gah' last night on a touch screen.

However, it's certainly an interesting, original and relevant point that women should get out there and earn school fees or else they are morally reprehensible, and that's a point of view I'd like to see expressed more often on every single sodding school thread ever!

HullyEastergully Thu 15-Nov-12 10:52:05

Think what it's going to be like when all the poor people have been driven out to ghettos on the fringes of this our Great Albion. All the feckless poor being class-controlled together while the deserving poor and the middle classes tut sadly and rejoice at their quiet and orderly classrooms.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 10:53:06

seeker 75% of 10 years are not told they are failures. They have simply failed an academic test. That doesn't make them failures as people, or will make them fail to have a life, or career.

Not many children are academic. Neither are many children talented musicians, or artists, or athletes.

Most children, most people, fall somewhere in the middle - and that's perfectly natural and normal.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 10:56:06

That's a bit disingenuous though, as we don't sit classes of year 6s down to take a test in music, art or athletics and then take the minority who do well and educate them separately.

WileyRoadRunner Thu 15-Nov-12 10:56:31

*it's certainly an interesting, original and relevant point that women should get out there and earn school fees or else they are morally reprehensible, and that's a point of view I'd like to see expressed more

My husband pays the school fees. They are his daughters too.

HullyEastergully Thu 15-Nov-12 10:58:20

I think it's fabulous that Old Etonians run the country and the system and are doing so much to improve schools for poor people by getting rid of the scum. Bless them. Gawd bless our education system and tradition and her Madge.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 11:08:39

"seeker 75% of 10 years are not told they are failures. They have simply failed an academic test. That doesn't make them failures as people, or will make them fail to have a life, or career."

Yep- the average 10 year old who is told she has failed a test while her friend passed it so they are going to different schools is really going to understand that distinction......

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 11:09:55

Nit I agree, we don't get them to sit a written test in these subjects, and seperate them off to another school.

However, talented 11 year olds (in whatever field) are very often offered scholarships, or advanced tuition, or specialist coaching, or acceptance in local sport's clubs, or local teams, or orchestras etc.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 11:12:04

"Frustrated and irritated trying to choose a sixth form, ta! WHy don't you all come and talk to me about that, instead? "

Ooh- I've got loads of opinopnsnon that too. Have you got a thread?

Wordfactory- it's not just the punctuation, though. She's more reasonable and less rude sometimes. Is that a function of the divice she's using too?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 11:12:07

Well yes, they are, but that would be more at their own instigation, wouldn't it? I think it's a bit different.

You want your dd to pass - so would I, in your situation! And you want her to pass because you think it matters where she is at school between 11 and 18 - as do I, in fact. But then to say, oh it's not really about passing and failing, everyone's good at something and they might be good at something else so they won't mind failing and going to the Other school... that doesn't ring quite right.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 11:12:59

seeker have you actually worked in schools? Because I have.

The vast majority of children are fairly blase about it...it's very rare that a child would only have one friend, ever, who then passed the 11+ and went to a different school, leaving the first child destitute and forever alone.

Most children around here have a group of friends. Some will pass, some won't.

Children are really very matter of fact about it all.

socharlotte Thu 15-Nov-12 11:13:33

So the ones who pass should not be given an education appropriate to their ability so as not to offend the sensibilities of others.That is just ridiculous!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 11:14:38

seeker - yep, a thread in secondary education. Come and opinionate, I fear I'm being unreasonable and need telling!

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 11:15:13

Nit but passing the 11+ is very often at the child's instigation, too.

Our DD1 wants to pass. She has visited the GS, and was awed by it's art studio (she's quite arty). She knows that many of her school friends will probably go, so she wants to be with them.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 11:17:35

That's often what it boils down to socharlotte.

I think a lot of parents would like the very brightest children to be dumbed down slightly.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 11:17:42

Yeah, I see what you're saying, LaQ: I still disagree that it's quite the non-event you're suggesting. You want her to pass, you don't want her going to the other school - that's probably the same for quite a lot of other people, who will indeed mind quite a lot if their child doesn't pass, as will the child.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 11:19:20

People who support grammar schools just can't allow themselves to accept that there's a downside. If they did, the whole edifice would collapse around their ears. Because nobody could truly believe that irrevocably sorting children in this way at the age of 10 is a good idea if the allowed themselves to think about it properly.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 11:19:41

I think a lot of parents would like the very brightest children to be dumbed down slightly

Not at all, and I'd have something to say about it I felt that was happening to dd - I just think they can be not-dumbed-down without being educated in isolation.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 11:21:58

"So the ones who pass should not be given an education appropriate to their ability so as not to offend the sensibilities of others.That is just ridiculous!"

It would be completely ridiculous. Good thing nobody's suggesting that, isn't it?

SugarplumMary Thu 15-Nov-12 11:22:57

Actaully I can understand the snobbery with Grammar schools and Slective independents.

It’s not fair to say that DC in bog standard sate comprehensive aren't academic - many are and have to work harder to achieve same results due to fewer resources and other issue.

However the school snobbery thing is ridiculous in my current area. All state primaries and secondary’s – none of the secondary’s are brilliant the very best is worst than my old bog standard comprehensive. The amount of snobbery about where you get your DC in and what then is inferred about your family is unbelievable.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 15-Nov-12 11:23:35

I don't think that's true Seeker. I support Grammar schools, as you know, but I'm fully prepared to accept there are downsides to the systems that are used. I also happen to think those downsides are worth putting up with so that children suited to a grammar education can have it.

There are downsides to a fully comprehensive system too. I could just as easily say that those who are against the grammar system can't see any downsides to comprehensives. But they are there, and are just as detrimental to some children as failing the 11+ is to others.

WineOhWhy Thu 15-Nov-12 11:26:38

I send my DCs to private prep. This is not a judgement that NO state school is good enough for them. It is a judgement that the only school that they woudl realistically get in to based on where we live is not good enough for them when we have other options. I would love to be in catchment for a state primary similar to the one I went to. The school they go to is great in some ways and a compromise in other ways (e.g. lack of social diversity). We could have moved, but that would have involved other compromises (in terms of where we live), and overall we feel we have gone for the "right" compromise. I certainly think there are academic kids in State (non-grammar) schools (I know or am related to several). Of course there are. Just as there are non-acadmic kids in (some) private schools.

SugarplumMary Thu 15-Nov-12 11:29:53

The thing about the 11 + is it fantastic if you pass it - but detrimental if you don't.

This might change if wider perceptions and all the baggage that went with the system could be changed.

At least with the comprehensive system it’s not such a cliff – streaming in comprehensives means that DC are often taught with people of similar abilities and it can allow for late development.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 11:30:41

AArggh, pressed post too soon.

I think many parents would like the brightest children to be dumbed down slightly, and to not quite achieve the results they should get, and to not excel quite as much as they could...so long as it meant that their average/less than average ability child could share the same school roof as the very brightest.

All sharing the same school roof - would mean that the very brightest would still all be in the tops sets...but, outside of the top sets classroom, they would have to mix with other students who didn't necessarily value an education, who openly mocked and harrassed those more academically able.

Under the same school roof - the top sets would be taught by teachers, who by 11.00am are quite possibly over stressed and tired from just providing crowd-control in a riotous, low ability set, or policing the playgrounds.

Under the same school-roof, would the top sets achieve quite as high results, than if they were in a GS, with no riotous low-ability sets, and teachers allowed to actually teach and not get drained, and stressed providing crowd control.

No, of course they wouldn't...

Our local comp (not in a GS county), in an affluent, leafy area has the best GCSE results in the county...

However, our local GS beats the comp's GCSE results into a cocked hat, every year, without fail.

wordfactory Thu 15-Nov-12 11:32:40

It seems to me that one of the downsides of grammar schools is that it presupposes we still live in an industrial age where the majority of people will work in industry and only a minority will be needed to be educated to a higher standard.

It's a bit outdated as a concept in the UK.

However, the downside of a properly comprehensive system is that it is absurdly expensive because each school is unable to take advantage of economies of scale, having to split its resources betweeen to many different abilities.

DD attends a private school with mixed ability and the sheer amount of resources needed to make it work is notable.

So what we end up with IMVHO is under resourced comprehensives. And this is why they are often inferior.

Is that snobbery? Or as hully said, 'cold eyed realism'?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 15-Nov-12 11:34:00

I've known a couple of children who have deliberately failed the 11+ because they wanted to go to the comp. They have done, or are doing, very well with their education.

Parents don't have to let their child take the 11+. It's optional. If a parent doesn't feel their child is secure enough not to be devastated if they fail the test, then they don't have to do it.

I don't think parental options for schools should be limited because a few parents can't make the right choice for their children.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 11:34:55

No seeker. My DH went to GS, and it wasn't all happy golden days, every day. There were definite downsides, too. The pastoral care wasn't of the best, to say the least - a lot of children travelled in from 25 miles away, making it a very long school day etc.

But, the upsides, more than outweighed the downsides...which the best you can hope for in most schools.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 11:35:28

I think many parents would like the brightest children to be dumbed down slightly, and to not quite achieve the results they should get, and to not excel quite as much as they could...so long as it meant that their average/less than average ability child could share the same school roof as the very brightest.

I don't know where you're getting that from at all, or why you would say it! I'm coming at this from the perspective having a dd who is bright and achieving, and I actively would not want her under a different roof from anyone who is not. And, once again - no she is not 'openly mocked and harassed'.

I suppose it could just be that she's not as clever as I think she is, of course blush

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 11:35:51

As always word you speak perfect common snese smile

SugarplumMary Thu 15-Nov-12 11:35:52

would like to surround my DC with similar DC who loved to learn - knew how to behave and in smaller groups so they go more individual attention with the best teachers there could possibly get.

I don’t know many parents who wouldn’t.

I think it less about wanting the top few to be dummied down but more fighting to get better resources for their DC.

wordfactory Thu 15-Nov-12 11:38:30

I think it's human nature to surround oneself with htose who share the same values and abilities and interests.

As adults we like to be in work environemnts where our co workers share a commonality. We seek out groups of similar minded people.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 11:41:12

But laqueen the downsides you list are downsides for the children at grammar school - long journeys etc. Can you not look outside that and consider downsides for anyone else?

As I've said - I don't think 'snobby' is especially the mot juste here. But saying comprehensives are generally inferior - well there's something a little bit distasteful about that to me.

Doubtless because I didn't earn umpty billion pounds in career I picked, or because I don't think my children would get into grammar, or because I'm an inverted snob.... which is, now I come to think of it, the context in which I think the word 'snob' is most often used on MN!

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 11:41:39

Nit I'm speaking from my experience of working in schools around here, and I have 3 relatives and two friends who taught in GS and comprehensives.

I want my DDs being educated under the same school roof, as other girls of a very similar academic ability, who have very similar attitudes to studying and acheiving, and with parents who truly value education and will support and encourage their children at every stage.

I couldn't give a monkey's arse, what background the other children or their parents come from, so long as we all share the same educational values and aspirations, and have raised children who behave appropriately, and respectfully at school.

I want them taught by teachers who are allowed to teach and who aren''t drained and grounded down by 1pm every day.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 11:43:15

Yes, but I don't think you should extend that personal experience to make sweeping statements about clever children all being mocked and derided by anyone less bright.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 15-Nov-12 11:45:29

Nit, you can't deny one child the education that is best for them because another child might feel bad about it.

They are both equal, as as long as the state is providing them both with a good education, there doesn't need to be a problem.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 11:46:06

Nit the brightest aren't mocked by everyone who is less bright, of course they aren't.

But, it does happen, and it happens very often. I have worked in 5 schools around here, and seen it happen in all of them. It only takes one or two children jeering and mocking, to turn a bright, studious child into a child who deliberately hides their light under a bushel sad

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 11:46:46

No, and I wouldn't want to, and that's never been what I suggested.

It is frankly ridiculous to say they are both equal though - when you decide where they go based on whether they pass a test or fail a test!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 11:49:12

Well - I'll have to take your word for that. I take huge issue with the sweeping statements about bright children not being able to get on and be happy unless all the less clever children are hidden away elsewhere. They can. They do.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 15-Nov-12 11:49:53

Of course they are equal!

They might be different, have different strengths and be suited to a different type of education, but their worth is equal and their right to an education that suits them is equal.

HullyEastergully Thu 15-Nov-12 11:52:28

Just because you SAY a thing don't make it true.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 11:52:45

"However, our local GS beats the comp's GCSE results into a cocked hat, every year, without fail."

Of course it does. But if you compare the results of the top 23% at the comprehensive school with the grammar school you may find the difference diminishes radically.

QueenieLovesEels Thu 15-Nov-12 11:52:59

If academic success counts for nothing-and achievement in this respect- why educate your children through the 'system' ?

Why bother letting them take any exams at all? Why not just home educate in accordance with your views?

Life for most people is competitive. That is what exams are about after all, as a marker to distinguish ability. Why do so many people live in denial of this?

So people fail at times. It is how we deal with failure which is character building and a fact of life.

Ideally if your child isn't academic than other talents they have would be recognised and celebrated through a different path in education.

Comprehensive schools, have for the main part, failed many children. It was an ill thought through ideology which has actually hindered social mobility for many of the poorest people in our society -dressed up as socialism. In fact it seems to have stemmed from many middle class parents who were dissatisfied that their children didn't have the raw talent to qualify, where as poor but talented children were given enhanced life chances. Now that wouldn't do would it?

HullyEastergully Thu 15-Nov-12 11:53:43

Oh look there's someone who went to Eton!

And someone who went to Bogend Comp!

They are equal with equal chances!

Er...no they aren't.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 11:54:56

But Nit here we have the 11+. But, there's also room for flexibilty and we have a 12+ and 13+, which caters for late developers, slightly.

Schools are for educatiing a child's mind. Not all children's minds function the same, or as efficiently, or as fast.

We should offer solid, gold standard, standard education in all schools. But, we need to recognise that all schools can't cater for all things or all children either.

As WF says, there simply isn't the money to equip all schools with the vast range of teaching skills, specialisms, facilities, equipment, buildings, gadgets and resources to provide excellent care and support for every child - from the 14 year old with is capable of only primary school level maths - to the 14 year old who is capable of passing the Oxford Open exam in Maths.

There simply isn't the money.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 11:55:34

Queenie, I'm not sure what your point is. I have no issue with exams at all. But I do not think it right to segregate at 11 based on one of them.

QueenieLovesEels Thu 15-Nov-12 11:55:37

Seeker-those schools are typically colonised by middle class professional people.

If you were to consider the value added scores of many Grammar Schools your argument wouldn't stand up.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 11:57:51

seeker but then it begs the question, how much better would the top 20% in a comp have done, if they'd been able to study at a GS, doesn't it?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 11:58:19

Well, considering I think I'm the only person on here with children who are at a comprehensive, I disagree.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 11:59:00

Exactly Queenie. Exactly.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 11:59:54

If the grammar schools are so good at adding value, why don't they try it on some less bright children?

QueenieLovesEels Thu 15-Nov-12 12:00:36

I believe that at some point segregation occurs anyway if you sit exams and follow that path.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 12:01:53

I don't think it does. I think the top 20% will perform more or less on a par whether they are at grammar school or in the top set of a comprehensive. That is certainly, what the statistics show.

The people who are the real victims of the selective system are the 77% who don't make the cut.

OldMumsy Thu 15-Nov-12 12:01:54

QLE are you referring to Holland Park Comp perchance?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 12:02:12

Yes it does. I just don't agree that the sooner, the better!

Anyway - tell me what to sodding do about sixth forms on my thread, somebody! grin

QueenieLovesEels Thu 15-Nov-12 12:04:45

Actually it depends what you means by bright. Some children enter Grammar schools with a reading age below 10 because of the failure of their previous schooling. They are however, bright. Hence the non verbal reasoning component of the test. Those children are recognised on raw ability and excel with the right input.

Xenia Thu 15-Nov-12 12:04:50

I probably wrote more books than anyone on the thread, but have no problems with criticism of my punctuation or typos either for that matter as I'm just typing quickly whilst I have fun out earning most men and earning enough to pay school fees as is the duty of all women clever enough to do so.

There was an item on a radio 4 science programme yesterday about visual recognition of people - how very very quickly we pick up lots of clues even before they speak. They were concentrating on your ability to process if someone is gay or straight but it could be as relevant to anything. How you dress, speak and look determines initially how we view someone but then we get to know the Daniel Craig look alike and realise after 2 seconds we are bored to tears or the pretty ugly girl ends up being just the one for us. However without doubt employers and spouses pick people based on their abilities for the role concerned and part of that is skills in doing that work, often brain power but also other factors like social skills (in some jobs, not all - I have worked with brilliant computer programmers one with aspergers and few social skills, one who didn't often wash even) and looks and weight and accent and social class.

The moral imperative on a parent to seek to advantage their own child which also means disadvantage Jane next door in the process is wonderful. It means we love and care for our own and they survive and life. It is what we are here for and parents of both genders are to be commended when they seek the best education for their own child.

HullyEastergully Thu 15-Nov-12 12:06:51

I don't want to live in that world Xenia. You and Ayn Rand can live there.

I want to live somewhere caring and fair and sharing and loving.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 12:07:50

What if you are Jane next door? Your problem, I suppose.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 12:09:35

"If the grammar schools are so good at adding value, why don't they try it on some less bright children?"

Nit they could try. But, then would that trying be at the detriment of the brighter children in the classroom? Would the brightest children get as much teacher attention, as they had done before? Would the lesson progress as swiftly as it had done before?

I doubt it.

Xenia Thu 15-Nov-12 12:12:18

I am afraid it is this world, from the jungles of the Amazon to London and Paris and the Highlands. It is within us to benefit our own. Of course some down tools leave their families and espouse a cause or are vicars neglecting their children whilst working with the ill of the parish and those are hard decisions to take. i have suggested putting family second and pursuing your career because there is a moral imperative in getting women succeeding and if that means not being a housewife bear that cross but at the heart of most families is putting your own baby first and family. You don't breastfeed your neighbour's child and leave yours screaming. it is brilliant you don't. It is how we are made. It does not mean you don't need to do any charitable work but it is there with us from day 1 as parents.

We tend not to feed our children rubbish whilst taking good steak round to the council estate. I am sure most of us also do charitable acts but our own families rightly come first.

Chopchopbusybusy Thu 15-Nov-12 12:29:19

Of course grammar school and selective independent exam results are better than comprehensive school results. The clue is the word selective.
Xenia, I was a SAHM when my girls were younger. Even now I only work part time. I could have gone out and earned money. Probably even enough to have sent them to an independent school. I'm really glad I didn't. It wouldn't have worked for our family. I'm glad it worked for you but I don't want to live in your world. I wouldn't like it.

Chopchopbusybusy Thu 15-Nov-12 12:31:24

Yes, Xenia my children came first for me. I wanted to stay at home and nurture them for myself. Why do you find it so hard to understand that not everyone is like you?

HullyEastergully Thu 15-Nov-12 12:32:43

It doesn't mean we have to ACCEPT it Xenia.

We could abolish paid-for health, education etc and try and ensure a standard level of education and healthcare for everyone. We don't HAVE to live in a system of inherited and bought privilege.

TheWave Thu 15-Nov-12 12:35:43

Mine also aiming high at local comprehensive Nit so completely agree with educating all under one roof. Teachers also can move and educate top sets one day and other sets another day, let's all have the good teachers!

The top sets will do as well if not better then the equivalent at GS. A lot is parenting, anyway. The difference for those in the middle and at the bottom is that they do better at such a school where they can move around and have aspiration, they share the same teachers, than they would do at a secondary modern.

Why should passing an exam give you the right to have what some on this thread have termed education "in smaller groups so they go more individual attention with the best teachers there could possibly get"? Don't all children deserve this?

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 12:43:29

So, if a child has poor physical co-ordination, non-existant hand-eye co ordination, and poor spatial awareness coupled with low dexterity...should we insist they be allowed to attend games and matches at the local sport academy, and receive as much specialist coaching as their friend - who is a talented, natural athlete with bags of raw ability...?

HullyEastergully Thu 15-Nov-12 12:47:30

No.

All schools are the same. Every child gets the same core curriculum in the morning say, and then depending on their talents and or interests, attends different subjects for the afternoon: creative/technical/sporting/musical etc. But everyone does some sort of appropriate exercise for health purposes. And listens to music for spiritual enrichment and stories.

Chopchopbusybusy Thu 15-Nov-12 12:48:38

They could still attend the same school, they would just play in a different team according to ability.
The biggest loser in your scenario would be the player who just didn't quite make the first team and so therefore not selected, but with the right coaching could trounce the others!

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 12:51:48

"Actually it depends what you means by bright. Some children enter Grammar schools with a reading age below 10 because of the failure of their previous schooling. They are however, bright. Hence the non verbal reasoning component of the test. Those children are recognised on raw ability and excel with the right input."

Not round here they don't- because they wouldn't pass the verbal reasoning test.

TheWave Thu 15-Nov-12 12:55:17

Following on from your sports analogy, I have noticed that where schools offer participation sports to all, e.g. football "all can attend" there is much more participation generally and all improve (including those who play "matches"); whereas where only the selected "team" can come after school and improve, clearly the gap will become very large very quickly and become them and us in the sport.

TheWave Thu 15-Nov-12 12:57:48

LaQueen specialist coaching in sports at school can also benefit those with lower natural sporting ability (or parents who don't play footie in the garden all the time, send children to extra coaching) you know.

autumnlights12 Thu 15-Nov-12 12:59:49

time and time again on Mumsnet Xenia, you tell women that they should want what you want and you don't understand that other women are not the same as you and that the overwhelming majority of women will, now and probably till this planet burns out, want to put their family before their career. This is what women want Why do you fail to understand this?

A recent yougov poll revealed that 1% of women want to return to work full-time after having a baby. 1%. A tiny, miniscule minority.
The majority want something different. The majority want a real tangible work life balance and want to spend more time at home than working and earning. Stop trying to convince them that they don't want what they say they want.

QueenieLovesEels Thu 15-Nov-12 13:08:01

I think the thing is that we all have differing abilities but our education system as it stands doesn't cater for them.

Very few people are academic. Most are average by definition. We don't need so many graduates. Those that have experienced higher education are experiencing a watered down version because universities are no longer autonomous institutions. They have targets to meet....

What is needed is a more technical approach, where talents and skills are identified early and a valuable education given. An education that gives the person skills that allow them to be independent adults who feel valuable members of society.

Then we need a societal mindset reset whereby whatever innate talents and skills you possess are respected and encouraged by all rather than the very narrow version of success we are pushing all children towards- academia.

I think if we worked towards a system whereby inherited wealth wasn't celebrated (or even allowed) and your success was based on your own merits we would have a kinder society. A society where people wouldn't have to defend Grammar schools because of the poor alternatives creating such feelings of unjustness.

The problem isn't with Grammar schools but with the lack of anything near like meaningful provision elsewhere for whatever other talents children possess and the notion that being a talented plumber/electrician/nurse/ etc is just a valuable but different from an academic route.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 13:12:38

TheWave of course it can. But, there reaches a point, where all the specialist coaching in the world isn't going to help you, compared to your talented friend, because you don't just have the same natural, raw ability as them.

But, do you insist that the child who simply isn't that talented/co-ordinated/dextrous still has to play in the same team, as the faster, more co-ordinated children...because, anything else would be unfair hmm

QueenieLovesEels Thu 15-Nov-12 13:14:59

Actually seeker plenty of them do pass the verbal reasoning test with very poor reading ages. However much more emphasis is given to the non-verbal reasoning test in terms of the marking which helps counter this. The marking between the papers isn't evenly split.

Chopchopbusybusy Thu 15-Nov-12 13:15:39

Queenie, we can't segregate children on the basis of one exam taken at the age of 10. An exam that children can be tutored for.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 13:18:59

"They could still attend the same school, they would just play in a different team according to ability.
The biggest loser in your scenario would be the player who just didn't quite make the first team and so therefore not selected, but with the right coaching could trounce the others!"

chop but what about when they're off the playing field? What if there's a lot of envy, animosity and resentment towards the best team. What if the star-player of the best team, gets regularly roughed up in the changing room by irritated members of the 4th team - and so the star-player decides it's not worth the hassle, and deliberately stops playing so well?

And, your scenario about the unlucky child, who missed out on first team selction, would only need some extra coaching to trounce the the players in the first team...doesn't hold water.

Not when the players in the first team, the ones with natural, raw ability are also getting extra coaching...doesn't matter how much coaching the unlucky child (who doesn't quite have the raw ability) receives - they still won't quite cut the muster, I'm afraid.

WileyRoadRunner Thu 15-Nov-12 13:19:20

Not round here they don't- because they wouldn't pass the verbal reasoning test.

Would you believe it I totally agree with seeker regarding passing 11+ on "raw ability". Although I do not agree with abolition of grammars.

Whilst some do get in without additional help, here the majority have tutoring. The tutoring is to teach them to be able to answer questions in the way they are posed in the 11+. However I do think able children should be taught this at primary level. Years ago it was.

The way that my daughter is taught at independent school, particularly in mathematics, couldn't be more different to when she was at the state school - although it was a poor state school and it is a good independent school.

The problem isn't with Grammar schools but with the lack of anything near like meaningful provision elsewhere for whatever other talents children possess and the notion that being a talented plumber/electrician/nurse/ etc is just a valuable but different from an academic route.

Queenie I totally agree with this. Although my friend used to take on apprentices but has been put off as barely any of them stuck with it. He has just started interviewing again but this time requires the youngsters parent/s/guardian to come with them to make sure they know what it entails!

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 13:19:56

"Actually seeker plenty of them do pass the verbal reasoning test with very poor reading ages. However much more emphasis is given to the non-verbal reasoning test in terms of the marking which helps counter this. The marking between the papers isn't evenly split."

It is round here.

QueenieLovesEels Thu 15-Nov-12 13:20:36

Yes we can. It isn't one exam either. You can also try again as there is a 12+ and 13+ exam.

A some point a distinction between people's talents and abilities is made. I don't understand the squeamishness.

Chopchopbusybusy Thu 15-Nov-12 13:21:45

Laqueen, no one is saying they should play on the same team. One institution can have more than one team!

QueenieLovesEels Thu 15-Nov-12 13:21:46

It isn't.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 13:22:10

No sane person can really truly believe that deciding on a child's future based on a test taken at the age of 10nis a good idea. Grammar school supporters are all putting their fingers in their ears and singing so they don'a actually have to think about it!

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 13:22:30

"Queenie, we can't segregate children on the basis of one exam taken at the age of 10. An exam that children can be tutored for.

chop of course we can. Very few children, without raw, natural ability get into GSs here, regardless of how much tutoring they've had.

Most children here are tutored, even the very brightest ones. The tutoring just teaches them technique and speed. You could provide the exact same tutoring for every child...but, only the brightest, and the ones with the natural raw ability will pass.

QueenieLovesEels Thu 15-Nov-12 13:25:05

So it's okay to differentiate between talents and segregate children within a school but not okay on a whole school basis.

That's illogical.

WileyRoadRunner Thu 15-Nov-12 13:26:35

seeker out of genuine curiosity do you believe in streaming by ability at secondary level?

If not then where should the teaching be set? To those who struggle in the subject? To those at the top? Or to the majority in the middle with little allowance for those of greater or lesser ability?

If so then what is the difference from the top X amount of children moving onwards to grammar?

Just trying to work out what you think should happen? Not in an ideal world but in the world that we are in.

<not being narky I am genuinely interested>

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 13:26:54

Chop but how can one institution possibly have all the facilities and the resources, and the appropriately trained and experienced staff to provide excellent coaching and support and teaching for the 10 year old who can barely run in a straight line or catch a ball...and the 10 year old who can effortlessly throw perfect flik-flaks across across a tumble mat, ending in a flawless double somesault...?

They can't.

TheWave Thu 15-Nov-12 13:28:22

But it is not all about getting on to a particular "team", it is about getting the best from everyone.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 13:28:31

Of course I believe in streaming/ setting at secondary school. That's what happens in comprehensive schools.

QueenieLovesEels Thu 15-Nov-12 13:29:24

I truly believe it is an incredibly sane thing to do.

Interesting you acknowledge that a child's future outcome is determined by this......

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 13:32:50

Queenie exactly. You can stick all the children all under the same roof...but, all the children will all be perfectly aware of who the talented, academic, or sporting elite are - regardless of how you try and disguise it, or pretend it's not happening.

Is the 14 year old, struggling in bottom set maths (still can't fathom long division, to save their life) going to have much improved self esteem and better confidence in their maths ability, simply because they're sharing the same school roof as the maths genius taking the Oxford Open exam at 14.

I doubt it.

Chopchopbusybusy Thu 15-Nov-12 13:33:26

Laqueen not every child is coached. You just don't get it do you? The system is weighted heavily in favour of children like your DD who is being coached.
The exam is different in each area. The nearest grammar school to us includes maths and English in the test. Some of the maths in the test is not covered in state schools until the summer term therefore unless a child is coached they will not score at all in that section of the paper.
There is no 12+ or 13+ at that school. Fail the test at 10 and that's that.
As I say there is no grammar school in our LEA. My dds went to or are at the huge comprehensive. DD1 is a self confessed geek. If she's ever had the piss taken for this she's not mentioned it. And if it's happened, well, she'll get over it. It's not likely to be the worst experience of her life.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 13:34:05

Ncredibly sane to label 77% of a cohort "failures" at the age of 10?

Chopchopbusybusy Thu 15-Nov-12 13:35:42

Laqueen it's cheaper to provide all the resources for a wide range of abilities in one huge comprehensive than have more than one building. Some resources would be duplicated in more than one school.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 13:38:25

Chop I do get it, because around here, every parent who wants their child to go to the GS, has their child tutored, to some degree.

These parents aren't disillusioned fools...unless they believe/know their child has academic potential, they don't bother having them tutored. The 3 tutors I spoke to were quite brutally honest - they told me they would know within the first half hour whether DD1 had GS ability...and if she didn't, they wouldn't want to tutor her, because it would be unfair/detrimental to her, and detrimental to their own pass results.

Chopchopbusybusy Thu 15-Nov-12 13:39:11

Laqueen, abilities change. Just because a child is struggling with maths at the age of 10 doesn't mean they won't go on to achieve an A* at GCSE. If they are told they have failed at 10 and sent to a secondary modern that only enters them for foundation tier they'll only ever achieve a C grade.

QueenieLovesEels Thu 15-Nov-12 13:39:40

Seeker you are the one labelling these 77% as failures. Academic ability is just one aspect of many talents children can and do possess.

Like I said earlier the problem is with alternative provision.

WileyRoadRunner Thu 15-Nov-12 13:41:47

"Of course I believe in streaming/ setting at secondary school. That's what happens in comprehensive schools."

seeker what really is the difference at taking a test at 10 or streaming by ability at 11?

Is it the concept of being at different schools that bothers you? I don't really get where you are coming from but would like to know.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 13:42:34

Chop here we also have the 12+ and the 13+.

Maybe a child struggling with maths at 10, can finally achieve an A* at GCSE, with appropriate help, and support, and extra coaching...whatever. I'm sure many do.

But, frankly, I want my DD2, who is truly gifted at maths, to be in a class where the maths lessons zips along at a lightning fast pace, where she is challenged by her teachers and her peers, and where there's nothing to hold her back.

Chopchopbusybusy Thu 15-Nov-12 13:44:01

Laqueen, not every parent is interested in their child. Some parents are interested but can't afford tutoring. How can anyone think its fair to tell these children at 10 that they have failed.
In your world everyone tutors. In the real world they don't.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 13:44:57

Queenie I agree. My DD2 is a true maths boffin...but, she would openly acknowledge that she is truly rubbish at PE and drawing. So, yes...she's a failure at these things, for want of a better term.

No one excels at everything.

dinkybinky Thu 15-Nov-12 13:45:44

Zeina, your “my way or the high way” attitude is most off putting the same as your blatant snobbery over the school your DD attended (some years ago, I might add) every child is different that’s why we have choice in our education systems. Thank goodness my DD got to Oxford without going to a super selective and if you are a representation of the parents at these schools I for one, am glad she took the route she did.

dinkybinky Thu 15-Nov-12 13:47:58

But, frankly, I want my DD2, who is truly gifted at maths, to be in a class where the maths lessons zips along at a lightning fast pace, where she is challenged by her teachers and her peers, and where there's nothing to hold her back.

They do zip along in the top sets, in every school private, grammar or state

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 13:48:14

Chop children fail at stuff from the day they're born (virtually).

They fail at catching a ball, they fail at riding a bike (for a while) they fail at making a neat picture, they fail a spelling test, they fail to be invited to a party, they fail to tie their shoe laces, they fail to get the pressie they wanted from Santa, they fail to do a good handstand, they fail to get in their school play, they fail to get picked for the football team, they fail their Grade One piano exam...it just goes on and on...

Chopchopbusybusy Thu 15-Nov-12 13:49:14

But at a decent comprehensive she will be in a class with other equally able children. My DD1 is in the accelerated class for A level maths, physics and chemistry. She is taught at a faster pace. Doesn't mean the remaining classes have to go to a seperate institution. Actually, she didn't start off in the fast track physics group. Her tutor suggested she move up after a few weeks as the pace in his class was a bit slow for her. That's the beauty of the comprehensive system.

libelulle Thu 15-Nov-12 13:49:39

My DDad is one of the cleverest men I know. He failed the 11+ 60 years ago because he went to a school where no-one passed the 11+. No-one was expected to pass the 11+, no-one expected to pass it. Not because they were all thick, but because they were poor south London boys and 'boys like them' didn't go to grammar school. They still don't.

If you think that raw natural talent is enough to get through through the 11+, you are deluded - as the need for tutoring illustrates. Essentially, it's a system which by design fails the poorest and those with least cultural capital. My dad HAD academic ability, in spades, but the test wasn't designed to recognise it. Had he been born in a different family, he'd have been at Oxbridge- no question.

On the evidence of this thread, we haven't come very far in 60 years.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 13:51:20

Yep, dinky they do...but, when my DD2 leaves the security of the top-set classroom and enters the school corridors and changing rooms and lunch-halls, I don't want her getting deried and mocked for her ability, I don't want her having her school bag pulled apart, or her blazer deliberately trashed to teach her a lesson for being smart.

I have worked in schools, and I have witnessed this happen. A lot.

QueenieLovesEels Thu 15-Nov-12 13:51:51

You know you can, if you choose, tutor your own child. It is not a question of economics. You can get past papers for practice.

Many Grammars have tester questions free online. Many Grammars offer open days where children can get free tuition too. It is not expensive to tutor your child and allow then to experience the types of questions that come up.

However, unless your child has raw ability they can be tutored with an inch of their lives and they will not pass.

Shagmundfreud Thu 15-Nov-12 13:52:28

"Well, only if you think those tendencies can only be catered for in isolation."

The phrase that springs to mind when I read posts like LaQueen's about arty schools being 'right' for 'arty' children, and 'academic' schools being right for 'academic' children is

CHILD! KNOW YOUR PLACE!

How are we to know about the potential of the average 11 year old? Many people are extremely adaptable and have complex personalities and talents which are not easily pidgeon-holed.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 13:54:12

"seeker what really is the difference at taking a test at 10 or streaming by ability at 11?

Is it the concept of being at different schools that bothers you? I don't really get where you are coming from but would like to know."

Because there is them possibility of movement between sets. There is no possibility of movement if you are in a different school.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 13:55:20

Soooooo, with streaming, in a comprehensive...all the children are segregated into different sets, and use different classrooms, do different work, and often have different teachers....

And, that's right and good and fair?

Whereas in a GS area, the top sets are simply edcuated in a different building, to the all the other sets (who go to the secondary modern). And, there's are opportunities for the children to move to the GS building, if they show ability at a later stage.

And, that's wrong and bad, I take it?

Okay...hmm

Shagmundfreud Thu 15-Nov-12 13:56:03

So actually LaQueen, it's actually about taking the bright kids away from the plebs, not about whether teachers in comprehensives can stimulate and stretch the brightest pupils.

Do you really think educating children in a system based on intellectual apartheid is good for the country as a whole? Do you not think it perpetuates the discrimination you have identified in the schools you've worked in?

Chopchopbusybusy Thu 15-Nov-12 13:56:19

Ok Laqueen, I'll try once more and try to speak slowly. Different people of different abilities can be educated at the same establishment. This is great because it enables true social mobility. I do not believe one size fits all because it doesn't but I do believe that children should be given more than one opportunity to prove that they have some academic ability.
It's also worth saying that not all children excel in all subjects. DD1 is talented in maths and science but in English not so much. Her English ability is almost certainly secondary modern standard and her maths and science is top set grammar standard. A comprehensive can fit around both.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 13:56:50

"Yep, dinky they do...but, when my DD2 leaves the security of the top-set classroom and enters the school corridors and changing rooms and lunch-halls, I don't want her getting deried and mocked for her ability, I don't want her having her school bag pulled apart, or her blazer deliberately trashed to teach her a lesson for being smart."

Because it's only nasty, common children who do this sort of thing, there is no nastiness or bullying in grammar schools, oh, dear me no. Jesus wept.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 13:57:23

Quite a few parents we know are tutoring their child themselves, for free. I just don't have the inclination, or the patiience to be honest.

Bumblequeen Thu 15-Nov-12 13:57:53

I became much more aware of grammar schools after moving to Kent.

I know a couple whose sons were accepted at grammar schools. They have high expectations and really do push them. They are very academic.

I went to a comp school which was full of bullies. I left with crap grades, resat my GCSEs, went to college and university. My mother encouraged us to study as she wanted us to have more opportunities than she did.

I will try to get dd into a grammar school but do not want her to feel this is the only avenue to be successful in life.

Schooling should not be a competition amongst friends.

Chopchopbusybusy Thu 15-Nov-12 13:58:18

Laqueen. In most cases it's not possible to transfer from secondary modern to grammar. You say it is in your area. It's not possible here. Even in your area it's only possible once a year. How is that fair?

Shagmundfreud Thu 15-Nov-12 13:58:32

LaQueen - that's disingenuous. It is much easier for children within a school to move between sets than it is for children to move schools. And most grammar schools are run as separate entities.

The grammar schools around my way are HEAVING (usually with children from all the private primaries....) and almost nobody joins beyond year 7.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 13:59:20

Yep seeker it does happen in all schools...regardless of the child's background. My DH went to GS, and he saw bullying...but bullying caused by envy of academic ability, didn't really happen. Because everyone was already very academic.

Milvesrus Thu 15-Nov-12 14:00:04

It's difficult to make generalisations in a subject like this. It depends on the child and the place.
Comprehensives vary wildly. I have worked in state secondary schools in my area and there is not a cat in hell's chance I would release dd into these jungles. However in those schools there were pupils who got 10 A*s, they were very bright and resilient.
I've never encountered school snobbery amongst parents, just people desperately hoping they're making the right decision for their child. If I did encounter it, i would consider them to be loons an not give much credence to what they had to say anyway. I don't like in the South though or know many millionaires.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 14:00:52

Shag we still have have the 12+ and the 13+ here.

Shagmundfreud Thu 15-Nov-12 14:00:59

"Schooling should not be a competition amongst friends."

In the UK it ABSOLUTELY is about competition.

And the ones who win are the ones who have the most money to spend. On private schools or on tutoring and preparation for selective state schools.

There is NO denying this - the facts speak for themselves.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 14:02:39

LaQueen. The difference is, if you segregate children at 10 and put them in different schools, that's it. No movement. No possibility for late developers, or mistakes. And in a comprehensive school, there is th possibility of movement.

But your more recent posts show your true position- you want your child kpt away from the hoi polloi. So it doesn't matter what I say, you have a vested interest in not accepting it.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 14:03:36

As someone said earlier...you can tutor a child to the nth degree...but if they don't also have the raw ability, they will fail the test...because they are up against many children with the natural raw ability, who have also been tutored.

WileyRoadRunner Thu 15-Nov-12 14:03:45

seeker okay I get that and I do agree - but I just don't agree in abolition of grammar schools. It gave me opportunities that were not available at the only non selective comprehensive that I was attending.

I think the issue of 11+ is that parents often enter their children with the attitude of "you never know" and that is not the right thing to do, that is damaging for a child - to be made to sit an exam they haven't a hope of passing.

QueenieLovesEels Thu 15-Nov-12 14:03:47

The thing is shag, children at Grammar School are exposed to Art,Music and Drama. They are actively encouraged to explore their talents. Cultural experiences outside of their normal environments are given.The ethos is one of exploration-as such is the academic mindset.

There are sets within Grammar schools too and the opportunity to move to sets that offer appropriate provision.

Grammar schools allow potential to be recognised.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 14:06:06

"seeker okay I get that and I do agree - but I just don't agree in abolition of grammar schools. It gave me opportunities that were not available at the only non selective comprehensive that I was attending."

But why shouldn't all children have those opportunities, whatever they are?

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 14:06:41

"But your more recent posts show your true position- you want your child kpt away from the hoi polloi. So it doesn't matter what I say, you have a vested interest in not accepting it.

seeker not at all.

I'd be perfectly happy for my DD2 to be in the same maths class, as a child living in council accomodation, eating free school meals...the whole shebang...I couldn't give a toss what background they came from - so long as that child could mentally keep up with my DD2 at maths, and could challenge her, smile

seeker
You send your daughter to a GS - why did you send her if it wasn't to be with other bright children?

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 14:08:31

Seeker sends her DD to a GS???

[shakes head, and wanders off to eat a late lunch...]

TheWave Thu 15-Nov-12 14:08:45

And lots of comps do different things with sets for different sorts of subjects and in different years (not always streaming, that's a different system).

The beauty of a big school is that there are different offers later on for different children, so you can mix GSCEs with a BTEC or two, or just do the very "academic" GCSEs. But still be aware that you can change, move, or stay friends with those you like who are of differing abilities. You can get motivated later and realise you need to get with the programme as you mature.

There are "geeks" and "non-geeks" etc across the school. There are also quieter children and more noisy ones across the board, and not all those with a less motivated parental background are in the same class/set, so diluting most of them and making the best of every child in the educational system.

WileyRoadRunner Thu 15-Nov-12 14:09:37

seeker really???

confused

TheWave Thu 15-Nov-12 14:12:40

To defend seeker if GS exist, that's where you have to try for if you accept that they provide better facilities, opportunities, better teachers for a "selected" group. I don't know Kent so am believing what posters say about GS.

If GS didn't exist in her area then the comps would have these?

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 14:13:03

Yep. I have q child qs q grammar school- I was arrogant enough to think everyone on mumsnet kne that- i'v tqlke about it often enough.

She is at a grammar school because we live in an area with no comprhensive schools.

QueenieLovesEels Thu 15-Nov-12 14:16:24

There is movement between Grammar and non-Grammar schools here.

You know a solution to this would be to bring Grammar Schools back to all towns. There is obviously a need as so many are over subscribed.
That would balance things out a bit. Then at various points retest at so that there could be flow between selective and non-selective schools based on ability. The late developers wouldn't miss out and that would be fair.

Those drifting and not getting what they should out of their Grammar school place could be given a school placement that meets their needs appropriate to their development.

WileyRoadRunner Thu 15-Nov-12 14:17:39

Sorry seeker are you in England? Just wondering what happens if you do not pass your 11+ where do the children in your area go?

libelulle Thu 15-Nov-12 14:18:44

You can't tutor your own child if you only got 3 GCSE's yourself and think you are rubbish at all that school business. And as for 'you can get the past papers on the internet', if it's that easy to self-tutor, why do all these parents opt for private tutoring? Because they're all lazy? Ha!

You'll get the odd amazing star who teaches himself grade 8 violin and gets a scholarship to Eton but lives on a council estate and has parents who don't give a shit about education. But mostly, if you come from a deprived background, either materially and culturally, there you will stay. Which is why we acquired a comprehensive system in the first place. I find it incredible that we are even having this debate in 2012.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 14:19:18

No movement here. Test at 10, that's it.

No, the solution would be proper comprehensive schools.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 14:20:47

"Sorry seeker are you in England? Just wondering what happens if you do not pass your 11+ where do the children in your area go?"

You go to thenhigh school with the rest of the 77% who oidn't make the cut.

TheWave Thu 15-Nov-12 14:23:01

GS oversubscribed because the secondary moderns are necessarily filled with a higher proportion of "non-pushy" parents and that would be well known. If there were no GS that wouldn't happen. Flight to independents perhaps but not all can "scrimp and save" to go there, so the real comps would become more desirable and better...

HullyEastergully Thu 15-Nov-12 14:23:04

Even in grammar schools you get setting and you get a range of ability and all the other shit that goes with it.

Amazeballs.

And XENIA, in fact your kind of basic Darwinism is arrant nonsense. If it held true, kids would still be up chimneys and down mines, but the fact is that most people do want a fairer and more altruistic society. Hence the Bevan Report and creation of the Welfare State and free education for all in the first place.

WileyRoadRunner Thu 15-Nov-12 14:23:30

Which wasn't good enough for your child? confused

HullyEastergully Thu 15-Nov-12 14:24:25

And interestingly, at my dc's grammar school they are hated by the kids at private schools, who are at the local private schools because they didn't get into the grammar.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 14:24:54

Don't understand.

WileyRoadRunner Thu 15-Nov-12 14:25:04

^ seeker your opinions are really odd considering you elected to send your child to grammar school and for her to therefore sit the 11+.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 14:29:03

There are no comprhensive schools where I live. So I have no choice but to use the selective system. My dd is in the "top" 23%. so obviously she would go to the grammar school. If I had the opportunity for her to go to a comprehensive school, she would have gone to to one.

QueenieLovesEels Thu 15-Nov-12 14:30:45

Actually libe there was far more social mobility when there was more Grammar schools.

You need to check your facts.

Grammar schools offer past papers and open days for free. WHSmith sells packs very cheaply that anyone can access -as do other companies online with booklets that have guidance for parents. Other booklets are available which break down the questions into bite size pieces so the child can access it on their own.

It is not hard to help your child familiarise themselves with the nature of the questions but like I said before if they haven't got the raw ability they are not going to pass.

TheWave Thu 15-Nov-12 14:30:58

WRR read what I said re seeker choices, there are no comps where she lives.

WileyRoadRunner Thu 15-Nov-12 14:36:16

Thewave i asked what happens to those that do not pass? Are there no secondary schools at all? What is wrong with the high school that seekers child would have attended if not passed 11+.

I am curious as to why this wasn't option for seeker when they appear to be against selective education?

QueenieLovesEels Thu 15-Nov-12 14:36:53

Actually you do and have had a choice seeker. She could have been top stream in the non-selective school.

I think you are a hypocrite actually.

dinkybinky Thu 15-Nov-12 14:37:47

It is not hard to help your child familiarise themselves with the nature of the questions but like I said before if they haven't got the raw ability they are not going to pass.

But some do pass and are tutored all through school just to keep up. They might scrape descent results for GCSE and A levels but once they go to Uni they crumble in the first term without the help of Mummy and Daddy.

This is why choosing the right school for the child is so important.

QueenieLovesEels Thu 15-Nov-12 14:37:58

Or he

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 14:38:17

Queenie, I don't know where you live, but certainly everything you'v said about grammar schools doesn't apply to the ones where I live.

And tutoring your on child requires a higher level of academic ability, education, leisur Tim, confidence qnd moony than many people possess.

Which is born out by th socio- economic make up of most grammar schools. Just have a look at the %age of FSM compared to the nearest high school or comprehensive if you want proof!

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 14:40:33

Why am I a hypocrite? The high school is not geared up to cater for my child because the set in which she belongs is not there- it is in a different school.

HullyEastergully Thu 15-Nov-12 14:46:58

Where I think your argument does teeter slightly seeker, is that places are so limited that a lot of children who "belong" in the grammar school won't have got places and will be the top set at the comp. No?

WileyRoadRunner Thu 15-Nov-12 14:48:25

"Well, only if you think those tendencies can only be catered for in isolation."

seeker that was your response to someone saying that grammar school catered for the top percentage of academic students.

Then you defend your choice - and it was a choice- to send your child to grammar school by saying "the high school is not geared up to cater for my child because the set in which she belongs is not there"

To me that stinks of being hypocritical.

Shagmundfreud Thu 15-Nov-12 14:51:21

"It is not hard to help your child familiarise themselves with the nature of the questions but like I said before if they haven't got the raw ability they are not going to pass."

So the fact that the children at grammar schools disproportionately come from professional families and private primaries is simply a reflection of the fact that middle-class children and the children of well-off people are MUCH more likely to be intellectually able than children from poorer or less educated families? hmm

And actually thick, rich children having to be propped up all the way through grammar school isn't that much of a problem. The problem is that bright, untutored children are losing out to marginally less bright, heavily tutored kids.

"What is wrong with the high school that seekers child would have attended if not passed 11+."

It would be missing the brightest children, which means that the pace of learning would be slower in its top sets.

In areas where the brightest, best supported and most able children are being creamed off into grammars there are no truly comprehensive schools.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 14:52:37

I think in some areas that might apply, hully. But round here 23-25% go to th grammar school. That's all but a tiny handful of the high achievers in the primary schools. The top set in the high school has very few level 5s at the beginning of year 7.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 14:53:49

""the high school is not geared up to cater for my child because the set in which she belongs is not there"

Hey, guess what seeker the maths set in which my DD2 belongs aint at my local comprehensive, either.

It's shit, isn't it smile

[struggles vair hard to repress smirk...fails....]

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 14:54:12

Of everyone I've ever heard of being bullied, and anyone I remember being bullied at school, none were bullied for being clever.

Are the reasons for bullying at grammar a bit more palatable or something? Or is there just never any?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 14:55:36

Yes, LaQueen, it is shit! But the fact that the set isn't there in the high school/secondary moderns doesn't mean it isn't in comprehensive schools. It is.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 14:56:06

""Well, only if you think those tendencies can only be catered for in isolation."

seeker that was your response to someone saying that grammar school catered for the top percentage of academic students.

Then you defend your choice - and it was a choice- to send your child to grammar school by saying "the high school is not geared up to cater for my child because the set in which she belongs is not there"

To me that stinks of being hypocritical."

I really don't understand your point. I am not arguing against top sets. I am arguing against th necessity or desirability of those top sets being decided at 10, set in stone and being catered for in a different school.

WileyRoadRunner Thu 15-Nov-12 14:56:36

Oh yes there was bullying at the grammar I attended ... Those who got in at the 13+ entry level were bullied for being "pikeys" by some of those who had come from private prep school.

However they were also snubbed by their ex-school mates from the secondary for being "snobs".

HullyEastergully Thu 15-Nov-12 14:56:41

Really TOSN?

Both my kids have been called "boff" "geek" etc etc particularly ds who doesn't have the whiplash tongue of dd.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 14:58:41

"""the high school is not geared up to cater for my child because the set in which she belongs is not there"

Hey, guess what seeker the maths set in which my DD2 belongs aint at my local comprehensive, either.

It's shit, isn't it

[struggles vair hard to repress smirk...fails....]"

Don't understand this, either. Are you saying that you have a proper comprehensive school, but your child is too clever for it?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 14:58:56

I think dd1 has been called boff, possibly, but certainly not bullied! She's been called posh totty too. Tradge.

'Boff' at ours is just what you are if your rucksack straps are too short. At another school, it is if your polo shirt collar is outside your sweatshirt.

WileyRoadRunner Thu 15-Nov-12 15:00:55

seeker it's hypocritical as it would be like someone spouting about how everyone should live a vegetarian lifestyle whilst tucking into steak.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 15:03:43

No,*wiley*, it's like saying that everyone should be able to have a proper nourishing meal, whilst only having been offered a) a lentil or b) a steak yourself.

Popumpkin Thu 15-Nov-12 15:05:44

I've not read the whole thread but am so glad that we do not have the pressure of a grammar school system here - or even selective comps. There are three comps, all are equally as good (genuinely, which I know is rare) and non are over-subscribed.

Primaries likewise although a couple are starting to become full as more houses are built in the area.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 15:06:49

It might be- if I was saying the grammar school system is fantastic and I am delighted with it, but you can't have it. What I am saying is that it is destructiv qnd divisive and it should be abolished for evryone.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 15:10:33

"I am arguing against th necessity or desirability of those top sets being decided at 10, set in stone and being catered for in a different school."

I have 2 friends who have taught in primary schools for the past 17 years...the top set is usually pretty static from the Yr 1.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 15:16:33

But I assume if your primary school teacher friends felt that a child on table 2 was progressing well, or a child on table 1 had lost the way a bit, they would consider moving the tables?

There has certainly been movement up and down sets in the dds' school. And of course what is good is that you can be in the top set for Maths and the third for English, if appropriate.

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 15:23:04

"I have 2 friends who have taught in primary schools for the past 17 years...the top set is usually pretty static from the Yr 1."

Presumably both of these schools have pretty dismal VA scores?

HullyEastergully Thu 15-Nov-12 15:31:06

There is another problem with sets: numbers. The top set at the grammar sit maths early and go on to do other maths exams. But th etop set is full. Parents with kids who could be in that set were there room, are incandescent that their dc are missing out.

No one is ever happy anywhere ever. Except maybe Ladakh or possibly Bhutan.

Chopchopbusybusy Thu 15-Nov-12 15:44:31

The top set simply can't be static from year 1. If it were it would save most of the people on this thread a lot of angst - and money on tutors. Laqueen - are you confident enough in your DD2s mathematical ability to let her sit the 11+ without tutoring?

CecilyP Thu 15-Nov-12 16:09:45

Top groups are not static from Y1. They are not even sets, they are groups. The lower groups are usually comprised of the younger children and they will move up during this and following years.

OwedToAutumn Thu 15-Nov-12 16:16:48

Actually, CecilyP that is not true.

The older children statistically do better than younger children, because of the advantage they receive by being in the top group at a young age. They continue on in the top group because they get the extension work suitable for them. The younger children don't and statistically never catch up.

pinkmoomin Thu 15-Nov-12 16:18:14

I disagree with the sweeping generalisaion that top sets are 'pretty static'. My DD went from second bottom set in Y1 to the top set of 90 children in Y4. Admittedly I gave her a leg up the ladder by doing some intensive maths drilling at home. Many of the children in the top sets at this young age I feel reflect the aspirations of the parent, rather then raw natural ability of the child.

CecilyP Thu 15-Nov-12 16:37:53

It was true of my DS, OwedToAutumn; he did catch up. He was the youngest boy and second youngest child in P1 and bottom group for everything except reading. He was in the top group for maths by the middle of P2 and top group for writing some time before he left primary, although I'm not sure when. (Obviously, a neglectful parent by mumsnet standards. blush)

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 15-Nov-12 16:52:11

Reading this thread and what people who have children at all different types of school are saying, I don't think some people actually grasp what a state grammar education is.

They are not schools with better teachers, they are not schools with smaller class sizes, they are not schools that have better facilities. My child that is at a highly selective GS is taught in class sizes of 30 for everything except maths, which depends on what set you are in. They learn in a listed building that needs a huge amount of investment to maintain it, but it gets the bare minimum from the council/government, gets next to no pupil premium money despite having a higher than average number of children who are on the autistic spectrum (I realise that's not what pupil premium is intended for).

The only difference I can tell is that our local GS has a smaller range of GCSE and A Level subjects to choose from than the comp does. Everything there is about focussing on the academic subjects, there's loads of maths, sciences and Latin, and little in the way of art, technology, design type subjects. And the comp offers more trips abroad than the GS does.

In my opinion both schools are equally as good as each other, they are just focused on different things. I will have a child at each next year, both of whom were working at level 5 in a state primary by halfway through year six, but only one of them is suited to the narrow curriculum that is offered at the GS.

People really need to stop getting so worked up about GSs. They are not that amazing!

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 17:03:52

Chop I am 100% confident that DD2 would pass the 11+ without tutoring. Even her Yr 4 teacher looked askance when I mentioned that we would have her tutored.

But, I have been over ruled by DH in this. Plus she wants to go to the tutor, she genuinely sees it as something fun to do, and already longingly pokes her nose into DD1's homework.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 17:06:15

Nit of course there is some movement. I know my DD1 has flirted with the top reading set at least twice, going up then coming back down...

But, generally the top set have been comprised of the same 8 children since Yr 1.

OwlLady Thu 15-Nov-12 17:32:27

god this thread is full of shit, i wish i hasn't posted on it

OwlLady Thu 15-Nov-12 17:32:57

touch typing, s is next to d
they taught you that at rough comprehensive when you know, you were a bit thick

Chopchopbusybusy Thu 15-Nov-12 17:35:34

Laqueen I admire your confidence. IMO there is no such thing as 100% certainty that any child will pass the 11+. Of course some children are very likely to pass but anyone can have a bad day or make a couple of silly mistakes due to nerves, or even over confidence. That's one of the problems with the 11+.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 17:41:35

Well, yeah Seeker I guess so..maybe...but considering DD2 can already breeze DD1's 11+ homework, I reckon I'm as confident as I can reasonably be expected to be.

OwlLady Thu 15-Nov-12 17:49:06

I don't know how some of you would cope if you had a child with severe learning disabilities, I really don't. You really need to get your head out of your own arseholes

QueenieLovesEels Thu 15-Nov-12 18:03:39

I have a child with Autism who attends a special school. That provision meets her educational needs and is wonderful.

OwlLady
You sound close to breaking point, are you ok?

seeker Thu 15-Nov-12 18:16:19

owl lady- I'm sorry the thread upsets you.

laQueen, you seem to be answering questions I haven't asked- spooky!

OwlLady Thu 15-Nov-12 18:20:43

No, I am not okay at all in all honesty but tomorrow is another day

I just cannot stand people making out their children are superior to other peoples though. I couldn't give a shit what school they went to, or their needs. All children deserve a chance in life. Society is unfair enough as it is

OwlLady
Have an unMN (((hug)))

I imagine this thread probably feels very frustrating if you have a child with SLD and are having to fight for support in the current climate.

FellatioNelson Thu 15-Nov-12 18:34:50

Well I have no idea whether it is down to snobbery or not, but the simple fact is that if you live in a (non-super-selective, non-top- 5 percent only) grammar school area, then your child is probably not terribly academic, are they?

Otherwise they'd be in the top 25 30 percent, or whatever, and they'd be there. Unless you are so principled against the GS system that you refused to send them, no matter how dire the local secondary modern is.

But that hardly ever happens. Because people tend to be principled in theory but not in practice, where things like this are concerned.

cumfy Thu 15-Nov-12 18:37:27

Wow, snobs don't like being called snobs, do they ? grin

It's strange because I really don't think there's anything wrong with being picky about which school your children go to.

sue52 Thu 15-Nov-12 18:55:36

LaQueen, it depends on wether your child is going for a superselective or a bog standard grammar. If we lived in any other area of Kent I would not have bothered with tutoring my girls but where we are they have to have pretty much perfect 11 plus scores with no margin for the smallest error.

libelulle Thu 15-Nov-12 19:03:41

Queenie, I know my facts about postwar grammar education really extremely well. The high levels of social mobility after the war were due to a great number of factors and most of them had really very little to do with grammar schools.

And you missed my point entirely. You might be able to find the past papers in any WHSmith. But bright children from very poor backgrounds are very unlikely to seek them out, precisely because they DON'T have the parents who see that kind of aspiration as legitimate and possible. That is why grammar schools are divisive - they filter primarily on grounds of class and parental education, not ability.

Startail Thu 15-Nov-12 19:06:50

I know one ultra snobby mother who basks in the glory of her clever DD going to grammar school.

I wouldn't mind, but I'm not sure her DD is happy being a performing monkey, playing her instrument, singing and now going to a different school to her friends.

Her DD is lovely and DD1 would be great friends with her, but it's never going to happen as being friends with DD1 is worth -social peeking order points sad

And since the day she arrived in the village she's been social climbing.

Startail Thu 15-Nov-12 19:10:55

Libillue (sorry if I can't spell)

You are right that grammars are now a MC getto although I might argue with you about the past.

Now schools don't teach the 11+ and councils won't pay bus fares, it's only motivated better of parents who's DCs apply.

diabolo Thu 15-Nov-12 19:17:24

I don't understand why wanting the best education for your child (be it grammar, independent or outstanding state comp), is wrong, or snobby or whatever other accusations have been levied on this thread.

Some people have a shitty, superior attitude about it, I agree, but most don't. They have simply chosen what is right for their DC, live in the "right" area, are the "right" religion or are able to pay for it.

I will never apologise for doing what I think is best for my DS. He's the only one I have, and will ever have. If I had any choice (and I appreciate that some people really don't) I would never send him to a crap school of any sort, just to satisfy my socialist urges or so that I could use it as some kind of weird boast about my "principles".

Everlong Thu 15-Nov-12 19:21:33

Agree diablo

No amount of threads regarding how wrong private schools are, no amount of derisive remarks will ever change my mind on why the schools we've chosen are the right ones.

I suppose it's just a good topic for an argument.

If that's what folk want.

OwedToAutumn Thu 15-Nov-12 19:27:53

One anecdote doesn't disprove the statistics, CecilyP, but I'm pleased for your DS.

CecilyP Thu 15-Nov-12 19:33:12

No, I am sure it doesn't, but what statistics are you referring to?

cumfy Thu 15-Nov-12 19:41:55

I don't understand why wanting the best education for your child (be it grammar, independent or outstanding state comp), is wrong, or snobby

It isn't wrong, it is snobbery.

Everlong Thu 15-Nov-12 19:46:53

If you think that the private route is in fact the best choice for your child how is that snobbery?
It's a choice. Plain and simple.

jamdonut Thu 15-Nov-12 19:47:13

I hate it when people say "you do the best for your children".
If that means my kids have to travel a long way to school,and have stacks of stress-inducing homework??....well, I'm glad that my kids go the local comp, a 5 minute walk away,with their friends living nearby.
They are clever children, I've never,ever pushed or forced them to do "extra" work, and they are working at high levels.
Their school was in special measures, but a new head brought about a complete transformation in exam results,over the last couple of years, so that this year they had their best ever results at GCSE and A level, overtaking the other secondary school in the town ,which had a far better reputation! All this at a school in a "deprived" area. My daughter was selected for a visit with 15 others from her year to visit Oxford University as she is considered capable of going there....but she doesn't WANT to go there,she wants to go to York.
My children love their school. So I guess I actually am doing what is best for them.

MordionAgenos Thu 15-Nov-12 19:49:44

I have one DC at a superselective GS and one DC at the local comp. Both of them have SEN conditions - the one at the SSGS has sever dyspraxia, the one at the comp has dyslexia and is very slightly AS (the one at the SSGS might be too but it's not been diagnosed - the interface between dyspraxia and ASD is fuzzy at the best of times). The DC at the SSGS is 100% definitely at the right school for her, not just because of her academic abilities and her physical and other issues, but also because it is small enough for her to cope with. The DC at the comp might have done well at the SSGS but he was adamant he didn't want to even try for it. His life, his (informed) choice - he is two years younger than his sister, he looked at her life (which she adores) and said very clearly that it's not for him.

So, am I 50% snobby?

Everlong Thu 15-Nov-12 19:51:45

jam I'm glad you're dc love their school. Just as mine do wink

Mintyy Thu 15-Nov-12 19:56:57

OwlLady - don't worry, it is a silly thread full of people being incredibly snobbish, as predicted!. My pfb dd is incredibly academic but she goes to a comprehensive school because I DO NOT WANT HER MIXING ONLY WITH PEOPLE EXACTLY LIKE HER AND I DO NOT THINK ACADEMIC ABILITY IS THE ONLY THING THAT EDUCATION CATERS FOR. Seems I am in the minority on this thread and pmsl at the idea that I don't value education because I didn't put dd forward for grammar school or sell our house and downsize to pay private fees.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 15-Nov-12 19:57:52

But bright children from very poor backgrounds are very unlikely to seek them out, precisely because they DON'T have the parents who see that kind of aspiration as legitimate and possible. That is why grammar schools are divisive - they filter primarily on grounds of class and parental education, not ability.

It's the parents that create that problem, not the fact that the 11+ and grammar schools exist.

If we got rid of grammar schools, what would be next? Children wouldn't be allowed to go horse riding, because some parents couldn't afford it? No extra curricular clubs because not all parents are motivated to find out about them so they give some children an advantage over others?

Society has many different threads, why do people keep trying to make us all the same?

HiggsBoson Thu 15-Nov-12 20:33:54

What is all this choice bollocks?

It's not a choice for us or indeed most people I know - we could never afford private education no matter what sacrifices we made.

Am also shock at some of the serious BOASTING on this thread shock

germyrabbit Thu 15-Nov-12 20:41:04

it is one of the most boring conversations in the world to me, women who go on and on about their child's education. poor kids these days are tutored within an inch of their lives they don't have a chance to just be children.

Xenia Thu 15-Nov-12 20:45:30

Why though is Hiiggb unable enough to pay £10k school fees? What is it that makes some women earn £1k a day and some nothing or minimum wage £13,500 a year? Is it truly impossible to get to a position to pay school fees? Why do some women assume they can never earn a lot and others can?

Everlong Thu 15-Nov-12 20:45:36

Not all. I don't know any in fact. Some of us have actually just picked a school because it has a good reputation and want a happy child reaching their potential.

I'm sick of the defensiveness regarding private schools. Now that is boring.

germyrabbit Thu 15-Nov-12 20:49:14

is it not just a circle though xenia, get a highly paid job to put kids through tough academic school for them to repeat cycle?

why do some women assume we need high academic standards to be happy, after all life is pretty short.

would be nice if we could concentrate on making education fantastic for All children.

Everlong Thu 15-Nov-12 20:51:56

Of course it would. Absolutely.
But at the end of the day I have to out my dc first.

HiggsBoson Thu 15-Nov-12 20:53:23

Xenia

If every single woman became a lawyer or consultant or doctor or similar on £100K + society would fall to fucking pieces. SOMEBODY has to wipe arses, stack shelves, pack vegetables, you SILLY, SILLY woman!!

I do work btw before you hit me with that bullshit chestnut.

Honestly what a complete load of DOGSHIT.

Xenia Thu 15-Nov-12 20:55:52

I don't assume you need good exam results to be happy. However learning is fun. Happiness is determined by the levels of various chemicals in your brain although in fact the better diet at some private schools, more exercise and fresh air my actually assure more happiness than a cramped inner city school without playing fields. Those are the things which increase levels of seratonin in the brain and dopamine and beta endorphins.

However a child can be happy and do well at school and have a nice school environment and earn a lot. In fact some private schools it is perhaps easier to be quite academic in or play your music etc as everyone in the school is likely to be into similar things. IT is not so easy for those in some state schools (not all) where there is violence and low level disruption in class and in London at least we have schools where children have been knifed.

The circle of clever women giving birth to clever childrne of course may simply be genetics.

HiggsBoson Thu 15-Nov-12 20:59:51

Come on then, Xenia, who is going to make the bog roll you wipe your arse on?

I'm not sure if you're not just a construct of my imagination tbh.

HiggsBoson Thu 15-Nov-12 21:04:54

I'm going to get deleted aren't I? blush

germyrabbit Thu 15-Nov-12 21:04:57

yes, learning is fun, but also not everyone learns at the same rate (am doing at degree myself at the moment) grin

this is why i would like 'exercise and fresh air' argument to be put into practice in state schools. don't get why people wouldn't want that for all the population, especially in these times of riots etc.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 21:31:13

Mintyy, c'est moi.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 21:32:54

Oh yes, I would like the exercise and fresh air argument to be in state schools too. Hate the way they sit in a fucking cellar in games lessons playing tetris. For fuck's sake.

germyrabbit Thu 15-Nov-12 21:35:12

lol the national curriculum is a bit mad though isn't it look at this article if you can be arsed

IwishIwasmoreorganised Thu 15-Nov-12 21:41:37

I'm glad that we love where we do in Wales.

Our ds's are being educated in the medium of Welsh. Our nearest Independent Welsh Medium school is in London confused.

Our catchment Welsh schools are all excellent and we are very happy that our dc will attend them.

As for the salaries of women - I'm sure that Xenia would be shocked to hear that I took a job of a lower grade and dropped some hours recently. Why? To be able to take our dc to school and collect them every day. We have had numerous problems with childminders which were causing both us (DH and I) and our dc stress. When the opportunity arose to rid ourselves of that, the. Of course I jumped at the chance.

We are not in a position currently, and nor would we want our dc to be at an independent school many miles away from home.

If I pursued my career and pushed for every possible promotion (which are extremely few and infreqent) in the persuit of financial gain, then perhaps we might be able to afford that. In my opinion, taking the drop in grade, hours and ultimately salary has been a hugely positive move for me and our dc.

Xenia Thu 15-Nov-12 21:42:25

What is the argument - that we should all ensure our children do badly at school because we need to ensure a good few are availbale for low grade jobs? That isn't right. I suppose it might be like the Chinese in the cultural revolution when children of doctors and the very bright were sent for 10 y ears to work in prison camps or on farms to ensure their talents were entirely wasted but that experiment in China did not really work very well.

I have never said we don't need people to manufacture things and do a range of tasks. All I have said is that it behoves each parent to do the best for their child. Let the children of others lead lives of near poverty on mumsnet credit crunch threads of the future and instead ensure your own child does rather better because then life can be a trifle easier, particularly for women - relying on male earnings is not wise. Earn your own money. Pay your own children's school fees.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Thu 15-Nov-12 21:42:27

Love and live where we do blush

Do grammar/ independent schools teach the skill of proof reading?!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 21:50:10

Yeah Xenia. Yeah, that's the argument people are making, well spotted. Jesus.

pointythings Thu 15-Nov-12 21:53:50

Some interesting points, Xenia.

Some women don't earn enough to pay school fees because they want to have some form of work/life balance.
Some women don't earn enough to pay school fees because they have faith in their DCs' ability to do well in local state schools by providing extension and support at home.
Some women don't earn enough to pay school fees because they don't believe that private is always better.

I fall into all of the above three categories, though I will admit that I am fortunate to live in an area where the state schools are good - though not Outstanding.

That's just avoiding the obvious answers about care workers, cleaners etc. - people who do essential work which society doesn't value, people who have difficult complicated lives involving DV and abuse - the list is endless.

I totally agree with you that women should earn their own money, and that not to do so is dangerous.

germyrabbit Thu 15-Nov-12 21:54:23

i don't believe that sending my kid to the local highly selective school (even if i could pay for it (lol)) would be the best for my child. it would give him a lifetime of stress, having to earn enough to live within the means expected and probably keeping some mad crazy woman in boden clothing (and then she would divorce him for half of his eternal earnings).

i just don't think that would make him happy. i think we really underestimate the value of happiness

difficultpickle Thu 15-Nov-12 21:54:28

Yet another MN thread where those who choose state are seen as worthy and those who choose private have only done so on the basis of state schools not being good enough.

Ds has been to two private schools. First one because no state school offered wrap around care and I didn't want to give up work and live on benefits. Second school because ds sings very well and other local state (or private) school can offer that amount of singing opportunities ds now has. Neither private schools are better than our local state provision but both enable me to continue in a job I enjoy and trained several years for.

mummytime Thu 15-Nov-12 21:54:58

Xenia if you expect everyone with degrees to earn 100K, then actually you are definitely part of the problem. Most Scientists and Engineers have more than one degree and earn far less than that. Most of the ones who do earn that much have quite useful occupations like Science and Engineering and are now working in the city. We need Scientists and Engineers, who oddly enough like University Academics, Teachers, Nurses and a lot of other useful people are not motivated by money or power but by solving problems or helping people.

HiggsBoson Thu 15-Nov-12 21:57:55

bisjo I think we've just been saying that for most it's not a choice.

cumfy Thu 15-Nov-12 21:59:14

Everlong
Nothing wrong with being a snob.
Quite a few of us comppers were quite the inverted (albeit tongue-in-cheek) snobs at college:

Oh, you had to go to private school did you ?
Parents weren't quite sure you'd be able survive an ordinary school, eh ?
How much were those fees again ?
<Sharp intake of breath>

They of course sucked it up with good grace; they didn't have that much choice.grin

Basically it's all swings and roundabouts in life, and state schoolers tend to feel they made it on their own merit and had a more "rounded" education.

Mintyy Thu 15-Nov-12 21:59:52

Aarrgghh I am sick to the back teeth of threads being hijacked by Xenia to peddle her nonsense.

germyrabbit Thu 15-Nov-12 22:02:46

i don't think xenia peddles (lol does she recruit for the schools?) nonsense at all. in fact i really like and respect her views.

pointythings Thu 15-Nov-12 22:03:15

It's certainly not a choice for us - we just do not earn enough. Mind you, I am probably a hard line ideologist in that I would rather HE than send my children to private school, even if we won the Lottery. I come from Holland, which has no private schools, and ranks above the UK in the (wholly unrepresentative) PISA tables. I'm a self-confessed leftie, and I just really don't like the idea of institutionalised inequality by ability to pay. However, I would not dream of judging others for their choices - as I mentioned above, I have friends with DC in private schools for a range of reasons, and it just isn't an issue.

HiggsBoson Thu 15-Nov-12 22:04:50

<checks germyrabbit's temperature>

germyrabbit Thu 15-Nov-12 22:09:33

lol, xenia is pretty cool grin

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 15-Nov-12 22:11:51

Has anyone commended anyone else for choosing state and said they are worthy? I haven't seen that!

libelulle Thu 15-Nov-12 22:22:28

Xenia would like every single sodding mumsnet thread to be about how all women should earn 100k. This one is actually about grammar schools.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos 'It's the parents that create that problem, not the fact that the 11+ and grammar schools exist.' -

So you're suggesting that our national education system should be specifically designed to entrench privilege? That some parents are not able to pass on cultural capital to their kids is EXACTLY why we should build an education system that gives all children the chance to shine, and not one which makes failures of 70%+ of mostly working class kids at 11 years old. I think as a society we might manage to do that without banning horse-riding lessons.

As a matter of fact, it's called the comprehensive system. It's been going a while! You'd think from this thread that we were still in 1965.

difficultpickle Thu 15-Nov-12 22:23:13

By implication if you say that someone has chosen private school because they think it is better than state then it is certainly viewed as 'worthy' to make the apparent 'sacrifice' of sending your dcs to state school. Like I said, I ended up going private because it was cheaper than the combo of state + childcare for the hours I needed and I didn't want to claim benefits.

I just get fed up with the black and white assumption that is always made on MN that those whose dcs are privately educated are doing so because they think it is better than state. And converse, those whose dcs are in state school are there because their parents could not afford school fees. I know plenty of parents whose dcs are at state school but whom could pay school fees if they wanted. Instead they chose to invest that money in their £600,000+ (minimum for a two bed cottage) to live in the catchment area of a very good state school which offers no wraparound care at all because the families whose dcs go to that school have SAHMs so no need to provide any out of school hours care (they tried to offer it but no one used it).

Rant over.

libelulle Thu 15-Nov-12 22:31:58

And by the by, I spent a number of years doing university admissions interviews. It was an enlightening insight into how well the best comprehensive schools educate their pupils. I genuinely think that if a child is seriously bright, they'll end up more creative and self-directed learners if they go to the local comp than those pressed through the academic treadmill of grammar or public school. The statistics bear it out, in that for a given set of A-level results, comprehensive kids tend to get a better class of degree than their privately educated counterparts.

libelulle Thu 15-Nov-12 22:46:35

And while I'm on my high horse, why is is that the stock right-wing response to anyone suggesting that more social equality would be a good thing is a variation on 'So would you like to live in communist china/russia/north korea then?'

It's a bit like the tory equivalent of Godwin's law. Cos the only alternative to raw, tooth-in-claw capitalism is chairman Mao, obviously.

libelulle Thu 15-Nov-12 22:47:34

*tooth-and-claw

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 15-Nov-12 23:05:49

As a matter of fact, it's called the comprehensive system. It's been going a while! You'd think from this thread that we were still in 1965

There are downsides to comprehensives too. They are not the magical solution to the countries education problems that some people seem to think they are.

I just don't believe that it's right to take something beneficial away from one child just for the sake of making him the same as another child. Especially when the other child's needs are being met already.

The education system needs to ensure that every child reaches their full potential. The focus needs to be put on the schools that aren't enabling children to do that, not the ones that are.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Thu 15-Nov-12 23:13:30

*And while I'm on my high horse, why is is that the stock right-wing response to anyone suggesting that more social equality would be a good thing is a variation on 'So would you like to live in communist china/russia/north korea then?'

It's a bit like the tory equivalent of Godwin's law. Cos the only alternative to raw, tooth-in-claw capitalism is chairman Mao, obviously.*

Almost the most sensible thing I have ever read on MN.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Thu 15-Nov-12 23:13:42

Bold Fail

Chopchopbusybusy Thu 15-Nov-12 23:28:50

Oh Xenia, do please fuck off. I'm sure I'll be deleted but I really don't care. How the FUCK can't you understand that not every woman can earn £1000 per day - even £1000 per week is unrealistic for the vast majority. I just don't understand what planet you are on.
WHY is Private education the only option for your family? Are they too thick to manage in the comprehensive system? Do please enlighten us all.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Thu 15-Nov-12 23:57:20

What is it that makes some women earn £1k a day and some nothing or minimum wage £13,500 a year? Is it truly impossible to get to a position to pay school fees? Why do some women assume they can never earn a lot and others can?

Because, Xenia, put very simply some women are less intelligent/capable than others and can't do jobs which earn 100 grand. Just like some men are less intelligent/capable than others. I've never seen you on a single thread where you acknowledge this basic fact.

And I in no way mean to insult anyone here. I know for a fact that I am not capable of being able to hold down a job which pays this sort of money. I don't want one either. You can't take it with it when you die.

foslady Fri 16-Nov-12 00:00:34

The circle of clever women giving birth to clever children of course may simply be genetics.

As a very wise (and highly educated) old lady who was a good family friend used to say 'A teacher can marry a vicar but it doesn't mean their son will be the Archbishop of Canterbury'........

Arisbottle Fri 16-Nov-12 00:15:00

laqueen I think that some grammars may be the best schools for some very academic children where the alternative is poor.

Our eldest son is at the grammar, he is very academic however he went to the grammar because he is on the autism spectrum. He likes the rather dull and predictable style of teaching that he gets at the grammar. I also hoped that there may be a greater number of oddball geeky types at the grammar, my son was bulled at his primary school. I naively thought he would fit in again grammar and make friends. My son was also bullied mercilessly at the grammar . I suspect some children will be bullied wherever they go.

My daughter passed the grammar test and she is also bright but perhaps part of the cool crowd. She is one of the golden children , always picked for star roles n plays, on all the sports teams and top of her class. She was in two minds about the grammar and wanted to go because she did not want people to think that her brother was cleverer than her! She is at the local comprehensive / secondRy modern. She is very happy and whilst she may be at the top of her classes she has students who push her. No one has ever picked on her for being aspiration or academic.

My third child has no interest at all in the grammar school , having seen how happy her sister is. I suspect she would be grammar material .

mam29 Fri 16-Nov-12 00:20:52

There are good and bad schools in both private and state sector.

I know some someone who pulled her kids from local and well thourght of prep rated oustanding by ofsted to another private school. she did visit the nearest community state school and said it was better than the 1st private school yet this community primary is everyones 3rd choice or non choice here.

I believe childcare was issue for her choice.

We all seem to assume we have a choice?

we cant all afford private even if we wanted to.

we dont all have good state comps on our doorstep

majority of counties in uk dont have grammer system.

There are not enough school places some areas with people not getting any of their 3choices.

I actually think theres a place for grammer schools as think its fairer to select on ability more so than postcode or faith.

I mean when i read some horror stories about ho much property is near a oversubscribed primaries I think blimey be cheaper to go private.

My nearest prep is £1400 a term so £4200 a year.
If i just had 1 child would have considered it as was cheapr than monthly nursery fees and offered hols places,

Schools are complex.

QuickLookBusy Fri 16-Nov-12 08:46:13

* libelulle* And by the by, I spent a number of years doing university admissions interviews. It was an enlightening insight into how well the best comprehensive schools educate their pupils. I genuinely think that if a child is seriously bright, they'll end up more creative and self-directed learners if they go to the local comp than those pressed through the academic treadmill of grammar or public school. The statistics bear it out, in that for a given set of A-level results, comprehensive kids tend to get a better class of degree than their privately educated counterparts.

My dd is at a top uni and went to the local comp. she's in her 3rd year and doing very well. She's had some pretty incredulous looks when revealing which school she went to, especially in her first year.

I don't know what a lot of kids at private and grammar schools are told about comps, but they seem to have the impression you do not stand a chance of every achieving anything if you go there. She's even been asked what A level results she got, as people thought she'd been "let in" To fulfil a quota. She's actually got exactly the same grades as other students.

I used to wonder where these children got their ideas from about comps, and blamed the schools but since joining MN I think I've found the answer!!

There is such generalised rubbish on this thread about comps. It a bit comical.

seeker Fri 16-Nov-12 09:26:37

"There are downsides to comprehensives too. They are not the magical solution to the countries education problems that some people seem to think they are. "

Of course there are downsides to comprehensives. There are downsides to every system. You just have to pick the system which has the least number of downsides. And the grammar school system has so few upsides and those that it has apply to such a small number of people that I find it impossible to believe that anyone thinks they are a good idea.

Caveat. I could be persuaded that there might be a place for the very very super selective taking the super bright top 2%-3%. This would have no real impact on the rest of the cohort.

MordionAgenos Fri 16-Nov-12 09:41:15

Except, seeker, you know that there are people who think that grammar schools are a good idea. So it's not a question of having to believe they do. Disagreement is another matter.

I also think, really, that while you are of course entitled to an opinion on anything you wish to hold an opinion on, since you did not go to a comp and neither do you send either of your kids to a comp, you are perhaps less well placed to comment on comps than those of us who were educated at a comp and who have kids at comps. That having said it would serve all of us well to remember that just as grammar schools are very different in different parts of the country, so are comps. It's foolish to generalise or to assume that the system in place in one county (eg Kent) is replicated identically across the rest of England.

seeker Fri 16-Nov-12 09:58:53

I agree that selective systems are different in different parts of the country. Which is one of the reasons I put in my caveat about super selectives.

However, if I understand correctly, it is the Kentish system that pro grammar school politicians are keen to extend- it is the one that most mirrors the pre comprehensive system.

And, with respect, I may not have direct personal experience of comprehensive schools, (although I do have a large extended family/friend network so I do know quite a lot about how they operate) but is do wonder how many of the people who persist in telling me how wrong I am on this matter have direct personal experience of the grammar/secondary modern system as it is now.

MordionAgenos Fri 16-Nov-12 10:08:47

Well, Seeker, I agree, most of the opponents of comps on here and it would seem, in Westminster village, have no idea, less idea than you do, for sure. And I am not an opponent of comps anyway, I went to one, DS is at one. And I agree with you about the Kent system being a bit rubbish - although for different reasons, I think. smile

I do think you do need to be more nuanced - and at the same time more specific - when you make blanket statements about grammar schools, and the people who think they are a Good Idea (on here at any rate) though. I can't recall reading any posts on here in support of the Kent system. Most Kent residents seem to veer between hating it to sad resignation. I can't recall ever seeing an enthusiast for the way Kent does things (although I'm not sure that when we say Kent we all mean the same thing, because there are some places that are in geographical Kent but not Kent LEA - e.g. Bromley - and it's not quite the same there, is it?)

CecilyP Fri 16-Nov-12 10:30:30

When we talk about Kent in relation to selective education, we mean Kent LEA. Bromley ceased to be in Kent nearly 50 years ago.

seeker Fri 16-Nov-12 10:46:44

Actually, people who support grammar schools seem to support them in whatever form they come. I don't think there has ever been a grammar school fan on one of these threads who's said "Absolutely, seeker, the Kent system is rubbish, isn't it? Segregating children at the age of 10 is such a bad idea!" I tend to get "nonsense, they don't feel like failures- why should they?" "it's not a problem to divide them into university types and car mechanics and hairdressers at the age of 10". And, my personal "favourite" "The top 23% need to be educated separately because the other 77% will bully them --because they are the dregs of society--"

MordionAgenos Fri 16-Nov-12 10:48:49

@Cecily but I think they do the Kent test there, right? And they have grammar schools. And the people who live there some of them say they are in London but some say Kent. Same goes for Bexley. And then there's Medway, isn't there.

It's never strightforward, particularly for people who don't live there! We get the same thing in Devon, because we have the geographical Devon, then the political and LEA concept of Devon which isn't the same ( Torbay and Plymouth are unitary authorities and their own LEAs).

MordionAgenos Fri 16-Nov-12 10:49:55

I;ve said the Kent system is rubbish many many times. But not for the reasons you think it is. So you ignore what I say and then pretend I haven't said it.

MordionAgenos Fri 16-Nov-12 10:51:01

I'm pretty sure other posters have said they think the Kent system is rubbish too. But I own't name the ones I'm thinking of because they can speak for themselves (if they see this thread which they easily might not)

boschy Fri 16-Nov-12 10:53:30

The thing about people who rave about grammar schools is that they always assume their DC will get a place. If they are GS-orientated they don't seem to realise there is a chance that they might, shock horror, have to consider the fact that their child will end up at school with future car mechanics/hairdressers. Unless of course they have Plan B up their sleeve of independent schooling.

I think the truly comprehensive system (unlike wot we got in Kent) is a much better option, and with enough will and funding could be done properly - as it is in some parts of the country.

I am not completely convinced by Comprehensives in practice having been to one that wasn't all that good. Perhaps one of the problems was the school was actually too small to allow sufficient differentiation added to the problem of low level disruption.

Some lessons were a complete and utter waste of time for the more academic pupils in the class like me. My brother is not academic but has extremely good technical skills - he can think his way around a printed circuit board whilst I am still looking up the name of the components. The Comprehensive failled him too he came out with a string of not very impressive academic qualifications whereas he would have aced something more techinally focussed i.e. where the academic content was tied into the practical applications more clearly rather than theoretical academic learning.

The other issue is that some Comprehensives don't perform well enough. We have two academies within 5-8 mins walk of each other door to door and would have a similar intake one gets 69% of pupils through 5 gcse's a-c the other gets 46%.

seeker Fri 16-Nov-12 11:09:26

Sorry, mordion- I haven't ignored you, and I know you aren't completely enamoured of the Kent system. But I don't think I know why-I must have missed your reasons.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 16-Nov-12 11:11:28

Actually, people who support grammar schools seem to support them in whatever form they come.

This isn't true Seeker. You and I have met on these threads before and I have agreed that I would feel more uncomfortable with the situation as it is in Kent if I lived there. It is partly thanks to you that I understand the Kent system at all, having only really started to learn about all these things when my own children became old enough to be affected by it.

I am a huge supporter of our local super selectives because I know that my own child would not have thrived at our local comprehensive, which I also think is a brilliant school. I worry that the backlash from so many people arguing against 'the grammar system' will eventually cause all grammar schools to cease to exist, even those that don't contribute to the problems that you speak of. And if that were to happen, it would be a real loss, and the people that wouldv be hurt by it are children.

CecilyP Fri 16-Nov-12 11:16:02

No, they do not do the Kent test in Bromley, Medway, Bexley and Bromley are separate Local Authorities and have their own assessment process and timetable for selective secondary. I'm not sure if you live in one of those and want to go to a Kent CC grammar, you have to take the the kent test as well.

I don't know if the Kent system is so much rubbish, as simply the selective system as it was over 40 years ago, preserved for posterity. It is the system that a lot of pro-selection people seem to hark back to.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 16-Nov-12 11:19:12

The thing about people who rave about grammar schools is that they always assume their DC will get a place.

This is not true.

Some people rave about them because they can see the benefits that grammar schools have already had on their children, and some people rave about them because they are happy with the schooling that their own children receive and can see that there are benefits for some children to be in a grammar school.

You could just as easily turn that around and say that the only people who complain about grammar schools are the people whose children don't stand a chance of getting into one, but that would also be inaccurate.

If they are GS-orientated they don't seem to realise there is a chance that they might, shock horror, have to consider the fact that their child will end up at school with future car mechanics/hairdressers.

Again, not true. I support grammar schools and have not even entered my youngest child for the 11+. Not because I think he has no chance of passing, because he is an intelligent child, but because his preference is towards subjects that are taught at the comp and are completely ignored at the GS. He has as much chance of leaving the comp with straight As as his brother does at the GS.

MordionAgenos Fri 16-Nov-12 11:22:53

Seeker - I think the Kent system is rubbish because I think taking the top 25% is separating out far too many kids and, as you said, a bit arbitrary. I support super selectives. The top 2-5% do have different needs. And typically you would only have one or two of them in any given catchment area comp. Which just wouldn't make a viable group. I am really very pleased with the comp DS is at. It would have been a disaster for DD1 not just because her bullies from primary school all went there, and not just because of her SEN issues, but because they move - it seems to me - glacially slowly (and DS is in mainly top sets now, despite his dyslexia and despite his missing 12 weeks of school last term because of whooping cough. If DD1 had missed 12 weeks of school that would have been a real Thing.)

I think the sort of kids who go to superselectives deserve an appropriate education for them and I don't believe catchment area comps can deliver that.

RichTeas Fri 16-Nov-12 11:27:32

Surely the partial grammar school system we have now is the worst of both worlds. It means that in those GS counties we haven't got away from the "clever/thick" prejudices of that the comprehensive system was meant to achieve. If no grammars existed, there would just be a state/private dimension which is purely one of privilege which is easy to understand. These private schools could perhaps increase their bursaries to provide more access to the truly bright. The point is that the comps would then be seen as normal rather than second/third rate. Of course many people already do see the comps as "normal" but, and this is the point, not those from a GS/PS background, they tend to see the comps as inferior because in some counties, on an academic basis, they are.

Xenia Fri 16-Nov-12 11:34:45

RT, I agree. How can any state say chidlren where I am from ceased to need grammars in 1970 and yet the genes of the children of Kent or Bucks are so different that those different Southern Children benefit from the grammar system? IT is so haphazard.

We should probably abolish all church state schools - they can form their own outside of the state system and secondly either have grammars and technical schools all over the UK or just comprehensives.

100 leading private schools recently offered to take any child from the state system who passed the exam if the state paid half the cost. That has not been taken on board.

The thread is about snobbery so the first question is what is snobbery. If someone has a different accent from you that does not mean they are a snob or working class or whatever. Snob is a derogatory term for certain people who look down on others. Most of us whatever our accent think all people are of equal value and I hope I treat everyone as well as each other. Indeed a good test is to look at how people treat those people who have no consequence to them at all or who cannot benefit them in any way. I would hope most of our good schools in both state and private sector aim to teach that too.

RichTeas Fri 16-Nov-12 11:43:43

Xenia, abolish all religious schools full stop. There is nothing that will breed more future resentment than segregating children by religion, and indoctrinating them that they (and their religion) are different from other children.

seeker Fri 16-Nov-12 11:46:51

Oh, Xenia. Why do I rise?

You hope you treat everyone as well as each other- but you used the word "dregs" to describe children like my ds.

I can't believe how un self-aware you are- you are so rude to so many people!

Xenia Fri 16-Nov-12 13:34:31

I thought I said we should treat everyone well and I think I do. I don't quite know which bit of my posts you are selective quoting. I certainly did refer to some state schools (and by no means all) as sink school with dregs of society within them and plenty of state school parents run from such schools and seek state schools in leafy suburbs with fewer children with problems. That does not mean one wouldn't not seek to help children with problems.

libelulle Fri 16-Nov-12 14:34:35

Except 'housewives' of course, Xenia - I take it they are fair game?

Seeker, I'm coming to think that Xenia is a fictitious character invented by my evil twin specifically to push my buttons. I think she knows and enjoys this.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 16-Nov-12 14:40:32

There's a programme you can use for marking essays on screen, which our department decided we didn't like in the end, in which you have a 'bank' of frequently used expressions with which to annotate the essay. ('Awkward sentence'; 'comma splice'; 'you need to back this up with a critical quotation' etc).

I think the XeniaBot has one of those. 'Pick a better job'; 'fun'; 'Habs and NLCS'; 'It behooves women to pick a high earning job'; 'wiping bottoms'; 'dregs of society'; 'saying 'haitch'.

dinkybinky Fri 16-Nov-12 14:52:05

Zenia,The thread is about snobbery so the first question is what is snobbery

You tell me. I’ve only been reading MN for 3 months yet I know that you have at least 2 girls, one at NLCS and one that used to go to habs who (to use your own words) could have got into Oxford but didn’t bother applying . She now works in the City. You have written more books than any other MN member (do you know them all) you pay your own school fees and earn over 100k. You really can’t see that this thread was actually about you, can you?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 16-Nov-12 14:53:56

what is snobbery?

Looking down your nose at people at state schools.
Assuming state schools are full of people who say 'haitch', and using the saying of 'haitch' as an index of how fundamentally worthwhile someone is.
Referring to people as 'lower orders' and 'dregs'.

For starters....

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 16-Nov-12 15:15:33

I say haitch.

In fact it is my NN among certain friends in RL as my name starts with it. AND I have a degree though did go to a comp

<faints>

forehead Fri 16-Nov-12 15:22:06

I live in Kent and fell into trap the prepping my child for Grammar school, without visiting other schools in the area. My child passed the Grammar school exam . However, we have chosen the local faith school as our first choice, because i feel that it is better than the Grammar school

forehead Fri 16-Nov-12 15:35:39

Those who think that the teaching in Grammar schools is better, are greatly mistaken. The reason i entered my dd for the 11+ exam was not because i thought that the teaching would be better, it was because i believe that the expectations for the students at GS are generally higher than the average comp.

libelulle Fri 16-Nov-12 16:18:32

Along the same lines, we used to get quite a lot of kids from top public schools who thought that getting into Oxford was a done deal. Most of them were wrong. A parent saying 'my child could have gone to Oxford but chose not to' is also quite likely to be prey to the same delusion...

Xenia Fri 16-Nov-12 16:25:05

I haev never said my daughters could have gone to Oxbridge. Never. I have said one was in the bottom of 5 sets for maths. I said they didn't try, not that they would have got in. Presumably they were pretty sure they wouldn't get in.

I wrote quite a lot of books so it's pretty like no one on mumsnet has written more but that's not at all hard and I made virtually no money from it at all.

I don't think I've ever said what I earn.

I don't mind people writing about me but I don't want to be misrepresented.

Also how does that feed into "snobbery"? Plenty of women earn a pittance and think that's all they are good for. Loads of them adore to hear about women who earn £1k a day as it inspires them.

Certain things are purely facts - such as if you say "haitch" that does not go down very well in many contexts. By all means say it but be aware that in an initial telephone interview some employers and indeed potential husbands will then rule that person out. You well think you are well rid of people to whom that matters but be aware that it does matter to many.

"You tell me. I’ve only been reading MN for 3 months yet I know that you have at least 2 girls, one at NLCS and one that used to go to habs who (to use your own words) could have got into Oxford but didn’t bother applying . She now works in the City. You have written more books than any other MN member (do you know them all) you pay your own school fees and earn over 100k. You really can’t see that this thread was actually about you, can you?

OwlLady Fri 16-Nov-12 16:40:06

ahh don't worry seeker, xenia called me pathetic for caring for my severely disabled child. Apparently I should just get a couple of croatians to do it instead whilst i become a Dr

I've been on MN quite a while and Xenia has always been consistent in what she says. BTW - she has written a lot of books quite possibly more that most if not all MN - work related rather than fiction.

I have always heard what she says about women working as having an underlying message of protect yourself financially and don't allow yourself to be automatically pigeonholed into "women's jobs" or tolerate being underpaid for your skills.

OwlLady Fri 16-Nov-12 16:54:37

easy enough to say chazs if you have a choice but the only choice I would have to work is if I gave my daughter over to the state to look after, which I don't want to do. I have therefore made that choice of sacrifice in order to make sure she is properly cared for at home by me. I haven't sacrificed my career for my husband, I did it for my daughter because she needs me and I think i am the best person for the job. I don't need to be patronised by someone who has absolutely no idea at all of what i do day in and day out and how I feel.

I know who Xenia is btw

Xenia Fri 16-Nov-12 16:57:51

Why did OwlL make the sacrifice and not Mr OwlL - surely that is a sexist choice? Just because female care and earn nothing and just because male do not do the caring and earn.

I would never say anyone was pathetic for caring for a disabled child. However a lot of people who feel inadequate in themselves will read into things things which aren't there I suppose.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 16-Nov-12 16:59:50

Now that really was nasty.

OwlLady
I agree that the choice isn't there for everyone and I certainly recognise how lucky I am. In the end you do what is best for your family and you are best placed to judge what that is.

It was simply that people sometimes suggest that Xenia is saying things solely to wind people up but she has actually been saying broadly the same things for years so its not intended to wind up a specific poster on this thread for example. I am not saying that it doesn't wind people up wink

x post

Xenia - that last sentence was unecessary.

MordionAgenos Fri 16-Nov-12 17:02:32

I say haitch. I say a lot worse than that too, sometimes. innit. grin I went to a state school, worse than that - a comp. My kids (yeah, saying kids is apparently a sign of belonging to the lower orders too) go to state schools, although one of them is at one of the best (in every sense of the word except the one referring to the fabric of the school buildings and the provisions for vegetarians on school trips)super selectives in the country. I went to Cambridge. I earn above what Xenia uses as the cut off point for a decent wage. I'm from London, but I don't live there any more, although I work there (when I'm not working in Brussels or New York or a multitude of other places). I've written lots of things, some of them have been passed into law all over the world.

Xenia likes to pigeonhole people (and to be fair she really isn't the only one).

It's not a wise course of action.

I don't mind being pigeonholed by my size, my colouring, or my leisure interests but that's it. I suspect most people are the same (and some might be prepared to accept even less pigeonholing than I am).

MordionAgenos Fri 16-Nov-12 17:04:45

@nit - it was nasty but actually so was the comment from Owl lady that she knows who Xenia is. That read like a veiled threat and I think it was well out of order.

OwlLady Fri 16-Nov-12 17:07:31

I don't feel inadequate about myself xenia, not at all and I have worked even when the children were babies but at the moment I need to be at home caring for my daughter, who is a teenager, full time. There are all sorts of reasons why I have chosen to do that and not my husband but please don't kid yourself that only one person looks after a severely disabled child/adult, it's a full time job and it affects the whole family not just the named carer

OwlLady Fri 16-Nov-12 17:08:27

I am not threatening Xenia get a grip fgs.

Xenia Fri 16-Nov-12 17:11:53

OL was probably just making the point that I may well not be a fictional construct.

I am saying that employers, people we meet, potential spouses etc all pigeonhole others. Obviously it is better if employers can pick the best candidate which may well be one who says haitch like all the customers or it may be they will be typing all day and how they speak matters not a jot, but it is wise people know that people pigeon hole that if you are fat your job prospects are worse, if you say haitch that is held against you, if you look like the back end of a bus and wear the wrong clothes that may matter in some work contexts. I was at something the other night and very different from everyone else and was interested in how that was but like most people we all try to get on with everyone in real life. One of the nice things about the internet is you can be in touch with people you might never have contact with off line.

However my bottom line is that all cultures everywhere and in every time have had pecking orders and people seeking to triumph over others whether that be the biggest penis gourd or breasts or sharpest mind or in some cultures the biggest bottom. That is just how it is. You can play the game or I could withdraw to my island in my grass skirt and withdraw from it but it's all just a bit of fun really as we go about leading at heart similar lives with illnesses and deaths which apply whatever our accent or work.

WileyRoadRunner Fri 16-Nov-12 17:15:23

Threatening! I think owllady was making the point that she knows Xenia's stance on women/work/pay without it being explained ..... Not that she knows where she lives confused

I could be wrong but I don't think owllady was planning any form of attack!!!

MordionAgenos Fri 16-Nov-12 17:17:44

@xenia according to one of my colleagues the worst thing to be in the world in terms of it damaging your prospects is tiny and ginger. But he might be winding me up grin Or indeed he might be complimenting me on how amazingly well I've done despite being so disadvantaged. grin

The fact is, if you are mediocre then yes, things like what you look like will have a bearing on how you are regarded. If however you are superb at what you do then it ceases to matter and you can be a maverick. grin

OwlLady Fri 16-Nov-12 17:18:42

only after dark wink what with being an owl and everything! I do know who Xenia is though but I really don't have any inclination to do anything with that information, sinister or otherwise smile I recognised you in a Sunday supplement Xenia regarding something you have posted about here. I cannot even remember your real name though, I can just remember your job etc but please rest assured I am not some kind of psychotic stalker, so you can rest easy

MordionAgenos Fri 16-Nov-12 17:20:31

Why make the comment unless it was a threat to out her? Not pleasant at all. Neither was the swearing via initials reaction. Aggressive and a bit nasty.

OwlLady Fri 16-Nov-12 17:21:42

becvause chazs posted this

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Fri 16-Nov-12 16:40:06
I've been on MN quite a while and Xenia has always been consistent in what she says. BTW - she has written a lot of books quite possibly more that most if not all MN - work related rather than fiction.

I replied I knew who she was!

Oh for goodness sake, it wasn't a threat. Lots of us know who she is in real life, Owl was saying that she is a real person.

WileyRoadRunner Fri 16-Nov-12 17:22:26

<sigh> it was not a threat it was a statement. You are reading what owllady said incorrectly mordion

Mordion
There's quite a few people who know who Xenia is in real life. I've used one of her books in work before now. No one is going to out her on this thread.

MordionAgenos Fri 16-Nov-12 17:29:57

Tough, Chaz what on earth makes you think I'm not one of them. Look. People use nicknames for many reasons. If they were happy to go by their own name they would. If anyone said 'I know who you are' on MN to me I would be extremely not pleased about that.

If Xenia is fine with being outed by someone on MN then that's her business. But that sort of comment isn't common round here and everybody knows it.

Mordion

You misunderstood a comment - everybody has confirmed the misunderstanding - why are you pursuing this any further.

OwlLady wasn't threatening her, Xenia doesn't seem to feel threatened.

Not really sure where you are trying to go with this.

WileyRoadRunner Fri 16-Nov-12 17:34:34

chaz it has livened up the thread though!

It's gone from grammar schools and snobbery to threatening behaviour in a matter of posts! grin

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 16-Nov-12 17:34:54

But nobody is threatening to 'out' her at all! I think quite a few people know who she is in rl and have said so, it's never been interpreted as a threat before.

Wiley
grin

So that's a normal MN education debate then!

Xenia Fri 16-Nov-12 17:35:47

I don't be outed. I have been in a few places but usually it gets removed.In fact I'd rather prefer people thought I was an unemployed 30 stone truck driver from Scunthorpe. However I appreciate that if I post a fact like I own an island or wrote 30 books or have X children then someone with not much better to do might join up the dots and find my real identity. However I don't want it posted and it's not very interesting either.

The ginger thing is interesting. I had never heard until the last few years there was any anti ginger stuff in my whole life. I was born with red hair. Then the children showed me that South Park episode and I read some press articles. I think women with long red hair look stunning. I am attracted to men who are blonde or red haired. In some ways we are the latest people. I think we developed last. Perhaps we are a superior life form and people are jealous... laughing as I type. Was interested to learn all of us have 3% Neanderthal genes too - the wider the gene pool the better.
I agree with MA that brilliance will out and the more senior you get and better the less it matters how you look or speak. In fact a lot of what I do is behind a computer anyway so I could be anyone anywhere wearing nothing or a burkha or dungarees pyjamas or a suit and it would not matter.

sorry
grin

MordionAgenos Fri 16-Nov-12 17:37:30

I don't think it is acceptable for people on MN to say 'I know who X is'. I wouldn't want someone saying that about me. I don't believe that Owl Lady wasn't trying to be mean, actually. But it doesn't matter if she was or not - in the same way as I and others have challenged Xenia for using terms like 'dregs', and some people objected to Xenia's comment about people feeling inadequate, I will continue to point out that making comments like 'I know who you are' isn't acceptable. Not nice is not nice, whether it comes from someone you deem to be 'ok' or someone you think isn't.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 16-Nov-12 17:39:28

I have never posted to or even near OL before, I don't think, but I truly think she was just saying 'yes, I know Xenia is a real person and not a troll or a bot or something'.

OwlLady Fri 16-Nov-12 17:39:55

Xenia, I wouldn't out you at all, what I said was in reply to someone acknowledging I knew about your work and knew who you were, there was no other intention in it. My posts can be removed if you want but there was no malice in them.

I have to get off the computer now as my daughter wants to go on thomas and friends as reward.

Xenia Fri 16-Nov-12 17:42:18

There are lots of interesting issues about these kinds of things. A policeman was outed by the Times who had a blog under a false name and I think it was found that as he had disclosed lots of different facts about himself he made himself fair game. That does not mean that I want to be identified as loads of people hardly ever post and will just read one comment on mine rather than spend every waking hour reading my posts to gain an advanced PhD in Xenia postings. I just randomly posted into google 4 facts about me and found me.

I think if I started to make things up to make things less easy I couldn't do it. I'd get found out immediately. Anyway I'd better get back to work. I have a load of benefits claimants to keep so will be working most of the weekend to ensure they are fed and watered and then on Monday they will be kissing my feet for my efforts after they have enjoyed a weekend, nay a life, without work.

libelulle Fri 16-Nov-12 17:50:04

I've said before that I find a lot of value in what Xenia says and it's made me very much think about what kind of career and associated remuneration I want when I go back to work, having perhaps foolishly ditched the previous one because I hated it. I think a lot of women do undervalue themselves and I am extremely uncomfortable with my DH being the only earner in the house for all sorts of reasons.

But I also I find the way you go about spreading your gospel nasty and misogynistic in the extreme. It ought to be possible to tell women why they ought to go back to work and have high aspirations without being quite so offensive in the process. It's a shame that you don't see this, because you'd win a lot more people over to your cause if you did.

The outing thing is quite interesting, I know that I have worked out who someone else is on here and on the basis of their posts have not used their services for our company.

I don't think that anyone would deliberately out anyone on here , most are quite respectful of posters privacy.

I have searched my own posts before and it's so easy to build up a picture, even if you think you are being careful.

Xenia Fri 16-Nov-12 18:03:07

Most people have more to do than search posts, but the main is that people are aware of the risks they run.

I wonder how many of the "hang the paeds" mumsnetters on those other threads who named names incorrectly will be getting a claim for damages from Lord Mc's lawyers?

Tough
I agree that its easy to reveal over time quite a lot of info about yourself without really meaning too. I deliberately and openly namechange if I want to post in more detail about my children's school for example because the chances of outing myself are higher.

clam Fri 16-Nov-12 19:19:36

Re: job prospects if you're tiny, ginger or say 'haitch,' my father (who is admittedly quite old) used to work in recruitment/HR for a major UK company, and he and his team used routinely to bin any appliction letters that began with the word "I."

Xenia Fri 16-Nov-12 21:44:50

Tiny as a woman is likely to get you a lot further at work than if you are 20 stone mind you and I suspect white/ginger will get you further with some employers than if you are black in some places sadly.

Also the tiny ginger ones can if they choose change their accents just as the fat ones can lose 5 stone.

MordionAgenos Fri 16-Nov-12 21:52:08

I'm not thumbelina. But I am little and to be honest, with many people it seems to be an extra excuse to try and patronise. Luckily people stopped doing that fairly early on in my career.

I have never needed to change my accent since I'm from London.

seeker Fri 16-Nov-12 22:56:43

Oh, ffs, Xenia- you've added fat people to your "list" now!

Xenia Sat 17-Nov-12 07:34:26

Sadly it's not my list and in some African tribes it is the ones fattened with milk who are most desirable. Fat can be a pro or con depending on your culture but usually a disadvantage. I am just saying what most employers prefer although now 60% of British people are overweight things may change.

dinkybinky Sat 17-Nov-12 08:16:06

I am just saying what most employers prefer

Can I ask how you know what “most” employers prefer? We employ over 1000 people, in various countries and being slim has never been on our list of requirements for potential employees , please elaborate.

wordfactory Sat 17-Nov-12 13:15:49

I think there's huge predjudice towards fat peopl ein the UK.

I'm sure there is research on it, but one only has to read a thread or two on MN to know that this is the case.

cumfy Sat 17-Nov-12 14:43:31

but it's all just a bit of fun really as we go about leading at heart similar lives

Can we swap our similar bank accounts ?
It will be just a bit of fun, honest.grin

Xenia, ultimately you have security. Apparently a very large slice thereof.
Others do not.

Xenia Sat 17-Nov-12 14:46:13

Depends on the job. IN care homes and call centres you are keen to take just about anyone who can do the job,. In other jobs with 100 Oxbridge brilliant graduates surveys do show that those who look good, dress well and are slim get more job offers than the fat ones.

www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/03/fat-prejudice-issue and many other links which came up. In fact if you want to get a good husband or a great job one of the ways you can help yourself is be a healthy normal weight rather than 16 stone.

foslady Sun 18-Nov-12 00:27:14

I work in a call centre. I have to have specialist knowledge on many areas including law, social care, general maintenance, have fantastic customer care skills and diplomacy.

You are just an ignorant cow. How dare you insult me like that, My current employers kept my post open for 3 months in order to employ me whilst I finished my previous position because I am bloody good at what I do. I hope to God one day something happens to make you realise what live is actually like for the majority of us 'little' people that allow you to live your up your own arse attitude.

And yes, my diplomacy and customer care skills are not being used right now. But when someone can be so arrogantly RUDE to 1000's of people like that I really don't care

foslady Sun 18-Nov-12 00:39:46

.In fact I'd rather prefer people thought I was an unemployed 30 stone truck driver from Scunthorpe.

And what's wrong with Scunthorpe??? Have you ever been?? It's got some bloody good state schools. Low crime rate. AND PEOPLE WHO RESPECT EACH OTHER INSTEAD OF MOUTHING OF STUPID PREJUDICES ABOUT PEOPLE THAT THEY'VE NO IDEA ABOUT

And for the record, you wouldn't last 5 mins as a truck driver - you know, those ESSENTIAL people who transport your food, clothes, medicines, etc around the country.......when was the last time YOU ever spoke to a trucker?So don't try belittling people that you have no idea about. You haven't got a clue what the average trucker is like.....or have the Times done a survey on that, too?

In fact, when was the last time you EVER had a PROPER conversation in real life with anyone who does an every day normal job other than to issue an order? To find out what reality is?

foslady Sun 18-Nov-12 00:43:41

One last point - if you are as intelligent as you state you are you'd realise how stupid you are being. Intelligence is no measure of common sense. You never learnt that lesson, did you?

Xenia Sun 18-Nov-12 07:03:07

Well I don't think I've ever said I was clever. It's not for me to say. Secondly, on the whole call centre workers are not paid much. It is not really wrong to pick them out as at one extreme end of the employment scale. That does not mean I don't think they are good people.

What I do want is that daughters of call centre workers realise they can aim to be leading surgeons or accountants and own call centres.

wordfactory Sun 18-Nov-12 07:40:54

I'm always puzzled by the notion that those in low paid positions live in the real world, kept warm and comfortable by their oodles of common sense, whereas those in high paid positions are some how not part of the real world...

What are we then? A figment of our own imaginations?

Xenia Sun 18-Nov-12 07:51:38

Actually may be that should have been "I don't think I've ever said I were clever"....not was. It doesn't sound quite right as I had it.

amillionyears Sun 18-Nov-12 07:56:53

Xenia, do you know the IQ needed to be a surgeon or an accountant?
I am pretty sure it need to be above 100.
Which would rule out 1/2 the popluation.
So your posts should read "What I want is that some daughters of call centre workers......
[if you must use call centre workers as an example at all. Or even daugters rather than children]

wordfactory Sun 18-Nov-12 08:04:21

Do you know what though amillion ? I'm not convinced that lots of jobs actually need you to be that clever.

The entry point requires you to have x or y or z qualification, but actually when you're doinbg the job it doesn't require the intellect of a genius.

I also think far too many girls under estimate themselves. Many are perfectly capable of doing well paid jobs that are perceived as difficult but somehow along the way they talk themselves out of it. Then they enter into a pattern of putting down the people who did manage it. They dismiss them as arrogant, or unkind, or having no common sense.

It's just another way to keep people (especially women) in their place.

amillionyears Sun 18-Nov-12 08:16:08

I think both boys and girls can underestimate themselves.
I know plenty of children, aged 16-18 who are of average IQ.And no, they could never be able to be a surgeon or an accountant.

amillionyears Sun 18-Nov-12 08:18:35

Yes, there are some jobs they could manage, but not say,most but not all of the professions.
I have seen them enter teaching nowadays.

wordfactory Sun 18-Nov-12 08:25:37

I think parental expectation and encouragement is also a huge factor.

I see my working class family and peers as having low expectations. Too low. Many of these kids are able but the high paid jobs are perceived as too difficult.

I then see all my children's peers as having very high expectations whatever their ability. There's a sense of it all being perfectly possible IYSWIM.

amillionyears Sun 18-Nov-12 08:35:00

I agree with the first 2 paragraphs wordfactory.
As regards the last paragraph, I do think some children from the 3rd paragraph can have too high expectations in some circumstances. So then find they are on degree courses that are not the right one for them.

dinkybinky Sun 18-Nov-12 08:44:13

55 of the worlds Billionaires and Successful Entrepreneurs dropped out of school or collage.

Personally know of 7 Oxbridge grads who have been jobless now for more than a year. They refuse to take jobs that they feel are beneath them because theyve been programmed to think that their certificate makes them superior to most of the population.

Xenia Sun 18-Nov-12 08:48:15

However on the whole those who go to good schools on average do better than those who don't.

" About half a million children now attend independent schools, accounting for around seven per cent of all pupils aged 11-16. They produce a fifth of all students at the country’s top 10 universities.

A survey published earlier this month found that 57 per cent of families would send their children to an independent school if they could afford to, up from 51 per cent in 1997.

Supporters of private education have argued that it saves taxpayers £3&#8201;billion a year, the extra cost that would fall on the state system if it were required to educate all the pupils currently at independent schools.

Last year, independent schools supported almost 40,000 children on means-tested bursaries with an annual value of almost £300&#8201;million, while more than 1,000 fee-paying schools had partnership links to help state schools or local community groups. "
www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/9685126/Politicians-are-demonising-independent-schools-says-top-head.html

wordfactory Sun 18-Nov-12 08:52:08

Well dinky by all means tell yourself this shit.

But the reality is that the vast vast majority of people in highly paid jobs have a high level of education. The vast vast majority of people in positions which influence our lives at macro level have a high level of education.

amillionyears Sun 18-Nov-12 08:57:21

dinkybinky, entrepreneurs can be the exception to the general rule.
They are often bored witless at school, and in fact get into mild mischief, as they are so bored.
They can fly under the radar of the school system.
I dont know the IQ of entrepreneurs, I suspect it is pretty high.
I dont think they sometimes come across as exceptional in school because they find exams too easy, and therefore do not try hard.

Agre with wordfactory on the rest of it.

dinkybinky Sun 18-Nov-12 09:01:36

DH and I are entrepreneurs both of us left school at 16 and have gone on to do extremely well in, fact better than 99% of the population.

wordfactory Sun 18-Nov-12 09:10:29

Well then...absolute proof that education is an utter waste of time!

Good stuff.

dinkybinky Sun 18-Nov-12 09:13:03

I’m not saying that education is a waste of time I’m saying that it takes more than good exam results to be successful in life.

wordfactory Sun 18-Nov-12 09:27:23

Agreed.

Did you go back to education later in life, may I ask?

dinkybinky Sun 18-Nov-12 09:33:58

Not formally. My children are all very academic which we actively encourage. Years ago there were more opportunities but now you need a degree just to get your foot in the door.

Xenia Sun 18-Nov-12 09:58:45

Yes, it has changed a bit but I certainly know a lot of very hard working people who had few qualifications and did fine. In fact I think one reason I do pretty well (and those of my children who work) is not just exam results but it's that ability to work very hard, a kind of physical robustness and stoicism which a lot of people don't have. There was a programme on ch4 player - how the other half lives one episode recently where a man worth 9m in marketing, self made helps an ex traveller lady single mother who got herself a first class degree, masters, did barrister course and then could not go further. It turns out the richer man left school without any O levels and the well qualified one who is working hard to make something of herself or trying to has all those qualifications. He then helps her. However they are the exception. If we took a group of children at 18 who have AAA at A level and those who don't have A levels 30 years on probably most of those with the better exam results do better.

foslady Sun 18-Nov-12 10:04:36

My circumstances have lead me to be working in a call centre, not my 'perceived' lack of education/intelligence. Like I said, stop living in your bubble and experience the world for the majority. And my daughter knows she can be anything she wants to be so long as she works hard enough to get there. She also knows that whatever her chosen field I will support her 100% so long as she is happy with her career choice. My only proviso is that she works hard to be the best in her field. It is far more important to me that she leads a happy fulfilled life than becomes a slave to a career based purely on wage. Wanting the best for your child is not the same as wanting them to earn a top 5% wage. What you have to realise that success IS'T purely monetary. Success to me is being a true person - true to yourself, and true to those that matter to you. There are many situations in life that throwing money at will make no difference. Having a circle of real friends, and family that love you purely because you are you the person, not you the chosen career path are what you need through life. I would rather die having a wake filled with friends and family laughing about the good times we shared together than a silent room full of colleagues networking (and yes I have witnessed this)

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 18-Nov-12 15:20:35

Actually may be that should have been "I don't think I've ever said I were clever"....not was. It doesn't sound quite right as I had it

I think you were right the first time. It's not a subjunctive, and you're not from Scunthorpe!

Xenia Sun 18-Nov-12 15:55:08

.. a word often censored on line.. Scunthorpe...

Everyone would agree with foslady's points about success and being happy etc but you can have very rewarding high paid professional careers, own call centres, employ 1000 workers as a woman, earn £1m a year and have a large happy family and loving relationships so we might as we encourage daughters to get the best happy well paid successful jobs and also have a nice life rather than a lovely life and a low paid job.

The point being that most really well paid careers women get huge satisfaction from whether that be being a leading surgeon or on the board of the FT or whatever and those jobs are varied, highly appreciated and paid and fun. It is not the case that good careers that are well paid are dull and call centre or cleaning jobs really good fun but well paid. In fact often the more interesting and high level a career the better paid it is which is win win all round.

amillionyears Sun 18-Nov-12 17:08:15

Xenia,"Most of us whatever our accent think all people are of equal value and I hope I treat everyone as well as each other".

Good,in future posts and in rl please treat housewives with respect, and that includes not calling them "like prostitutes".
Good,in future posts and in rl please treat fat people with respect.
Good, in future posts and in rl please treat people with different accents to yourself with respect.
Good, in future posts and in rl please treat mums who look after their disabled children with respect.

seeker Sun 18-Nov-12 17:19:57

Not forgetting treating children who don't get into selective schools with respect, and not saying things like "of course they have a right to live" despite being "the dregs"

MordionAgenos Sun 18-Nov-12 17:22:37

She said she treats everyone as well as each other - by which I suspect she means she treats everyone equally (clunky sentence construction not withstanding). She didn't say anywhere that she treats anyone with respect. grin

dinkybinky Sun 18-Nov-12 17:33:33

There is a method in her madness but its the way its delivered that is so upsetting. I'm sure she is nice in RL.....maybe

Xenia Sun 18-Nov-12 18:55:40

I am pretty nice to people of all kinds.

amillionyears Sun 18-Nov-12 19:16:43

With respect Xenia, some of your posts are downright awful, to vast swathes of people en masse. You do not pick out individuals usually. Do you realise you do this?
I also think it gets you neatly round the MN policy of personal attacks

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 18-Nov-12 21:42:33

Xenia, you're not nice. You get around it by never ever addressing anyone directly but responding in the passive ('why am I being asked...?' 'what is the question here....?' ) and replying with the general ('on the whole it is true' 'in general it is certainly the case' 'we can certainly say'). But you must know how incredibly rude and offensive your posts are, despite these tactics.

autumnlights12 Sun 18-Nov-12 21:55:21

I'm not going to bring up old threads, but from what she's alluded to in previous threads, Xenia is not successful in all aspects of her life and therein lies the reason for the sour grapes.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 18-Nov-12 21:59:23

No, I don't want to get into speculation about her life or her grapes.... I'm just not having it unchallenged that, whatever else she is, she's nice.

MordionAgenos Sun 18-Nov-12 22:12:54

I really don't like casual, lazy, generalisations. Xenia knows only too well the sort of lazy, unpremeditated sexism that abounds in the corporate world. The sort of sexism that boils down to 'if you're <this>' (in this instance, female) 'then you can't be <this>' (in this instance, anything important or powerful or well regarded). She knows what a load of bollocks this is and yet how powerfully these attitudes prevail and she seems to spend a lot of her time on here challenging women to get a grip and challenge those entrenched attitudes. Fine. Except that, at almost exactly the same time, she is also on here peddling the casual lazy generalisation that 'if you're <this>' (in this case, state educated) 'then you can't be <this>' (in this case, likely to have a successful future, or achieve good academic results).

She knows what she is doing. That's why she is doing it.

autumnlights12 Sun 18-Nov-12 22:15:39

It's relevant though. If you're preaching a mantra for life based on the negative knocks landed on you over time, it corrupts your argument.

foslady Sun 18-Nov-12 22:22:12

Mordion it's posts like yours that make me wish mn had a like button - thank you, you have hit the nail on the head

socharlotte Sun 18-Nov-12 23:12:44

Xenia- but lots of jobs that are not well paid are immensely rewarding such as teaching and nursing.One of my best friends is a nurse and the fact is that the only way to progress beyond a certain level is to stop doing the stuff that drew her to nursing in the first place.
I am a chartered accountant but gave that up to set up my own business teaching children a particular discipline ( don't want to be any more specific) in which I earn a fraction of what I earned before.A neighbour is an investment banker turned market gardener.Some people are just motivated by different things to you xenia, and you just seem inacapable of grasping that.

I do think Xenia is right that employees or more significantly prospective employees do get judged on accents and physical appearence (including being overweight). These judgments aren't necessarily overt but they do exist. There have been enough studies of people ringing for jobs with an African Caribbean accent and being told the job has gone and then someone else ringing with a BBC middle class accent / RP accent and being offered an interview.

I do think there needs to be more women doing jobs that are perceived as male and a young woman shouldn't mentally draw a line through jobs that she might like to do but thinks of as man's jobs. I see a gradual change in the City where I work. I have gone into a meeting of 40 people before now and there were only two women - now the balance in meetings is improving. I think that the presence of women is beginning to become more normal in this situations so the perception that this was a male area of work will change (slowly wink)

libelulle Mon 19-Nov-12 08:50:00

social worker, psychologist, musician, academic, teacher, paramedic, shop-keeper, counsellor, tree surgeon, carpenter, engineer. All occupations I can think of that inspire passions in people I know.

But none of them make anywhere close to 100k, so I do think society would be a lot better off if all these people gave up their jobs and went to work in the city. Oh, wait.

I've never known Xenia engage with any post making this point or one similar. Not once.

libelulle Mon 19-Nov-12 09:42:08

And the other thing that I find odd in the argument is that really, 100k is just not a salary that you find in any profession outside the city, and certainly not outside London. I know two senior NHS consultants and neither of them earn anything like 100k - more like 70, which is a very decent salary indeed, but hardly in the realms of fantasy money. Of course, their 'on the side' job is clinical research not private work, which is silly of them, since they are benefiting society instead of accumulating lots of dosh. Fools!

OwlLady Mon 19-Nov-12 17:51:17

The 7% figures regarding British independent schools do not contain 100% British children though. I thought for British children it was more in the region of 5% ?

MordionAgenos Mon 19-Nov-12 18:10:01

libelulle I know several people who earn considerably more than £100K and who do not work in the city. Some of them don't even work in London. I know of many more (ie I don't know them personally but their salaries are public knowledge).

Xenia Mon 19-Nov-12 20:34:31

I have never said you can't do well at state schools. 50% of those at the best universities went to state schools. Lots of people with whom I have worked did. I have said that many private schools gives you an additional advantage - which they do.

I do not know what I am being asked? Clearly if you look at mumsnet threads a lot of women spend a lot of time in difficulties paying rent, mortgages and for childcare because they don't earn much. Surely therefore we can all see that life is better if that individual woman and her daughters earn a lot. That doesn't mean they will all manage it but let them try.

I have also noticed the difference mentioned above of more and more women doing very well at work. I was at something last week in a sense science based and it was 100% women. Today there were more women than men. It is brilliant. They are doing so well. One today even had 5 children as I have. It is lal very encouraging.

The 30% rule or rule of 3s is true though - if there is one woman on a board she is different, unusual etc. If there are 3 then the variety of the women can be seen and they are not just looked at as different. This is why getting the numbers in on many careers and in praticular at the top not the bottom really matters and women are doing really well at this - they are throwing out the mop or throwing at the husband and having fun at great careers.

pingu2209 Mon 19-Nov-12 20:37:48

Totally agree but the children will get a massive wake up call when they are adults in the big wide world.

I went to a private convent school until I was 16, but then went to a state sixth form college. When I arrived there I met other 16 year olds from my local state school. I was totally shocked that they had qualifications, let alone better qualifications than me.

I was brain washed all my school life that you ONLY got qualifications if you went to a private school. There were no grammer schools in my area so I wouldn't have known what they were at the time.

Terrible. I'm so ashamed to admit!

MordionAgenos Mon 19-Nov-12 20:40:49

Xenia why aren't you posting in the quotas thread (in 'site stuff')? Now that's a thread that needs your input. I've read your posts about the necessity for women on boards before.

amillionyears Mon 19-Nov-12 20:50:00

Xenia, you were not being asked anything.
You were being told about your rudeness.
Lets hope it stops now.

Agree that some parents could help their children more by encouraging them to acheive their full potential.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 19-Nov-12 21:48:39

A couple of things: many necessary jobs are appallingly underpaid and need to be paid more. And also, the definition of "fun" for me includes things like riding my bike along a country lane in the spring, meals with friends and kite flying on the beach. It would not include working fourteen hour days in order to earn this fabled hundred grand.

Everyone is different, but I think most people here would agree with me on this point. Whatever factors motivate most people to earn a hundred grand salary, fun would not be amongst them.

MordionAgenos Mon 19-Nov-12 22:15:37

Except that the people actually earning that, the people who actually know what their motivation is, disagree with you. Fun, not being bored, following Dorothy Parker's wisest advice (you might as well live) - those are completely my motivations for what I do. Nobody doing a highly rewarded high commitment job (I know not all high committment jobs are highly rewarded, sadly) is doing it because their motivation is to be bored or stressed or unhappy. If they are any or all of those things then they scale it back till they find their balance.

It seems to be a sad fact that it's the people in inappropriately (i e poorly) rewarded high commitment jobs (eg teachers and nurses) who work incredibly long hours and don't have any fun and get stressed and end up leaving their professions.

There are also of course people with high incomes who are not in high commitment jobs (people who have private incomes, people living off copyright fees or royalties, that sort of thing) but they are a completely different kettle of fish.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 19-Nov-12 22:30:42

Oh yes, definitely discount that last lot!

Xenia Tue 20-Nov-12 07:41:44

Yes, most people my age still doing this job do it because they love it.

Today's Times..

A few private schools educated one in eight of the most prominent people in Britain, according to research that will fuel debate on social inequality.

Only ten schools produced 12 per cent of the country’s most senior businessmen, politicians, diplomats and leaders of the professions.

Eton College accounted for 4 per cent of them, including David Cameron and Justin Welby, the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

The figures were compiled by the Sutton Trust, an education charity, to mark its 15th anniversary. It analysed the school backgrounds of 7,637 people whose birthdays were listed last year in the Register pages of The Times and other newspapers.

Nearly 80 per cent of the people who effectively run Britain attended fee-charging or selective schools: 44 per cent were educated at private schools, 8 per cent went to former direct-grant schools — fee-paying establishments with places funded by the state — and 27 per cent attended grammar schools.

On average only 7 per cent of children are educated at private schools, which drops to 6.5 per cent if overseas pupils boarding in Britain are omitted.

In ten professions or careers more than half of the most prominent figures were privately educated. They include national or local government (68 per cent), law (63 per cent), senior armed forces (60 per cent) and business (59 per cent).

The field with the fewest privately educated leaders was the police, with only 13 per cent of chief constables and other senior officers. Fifty seven per cent of top police officers attended grammar schools.

Only 10 per cent of the elite attended comprehensives, including Daniel Craig, the actor, and Robert Peston, the BBC journalist, while 1 per cent went to non-selective secondary modern schools. Among these were the actor Colin Firth and Sir Steve Redgrave, the Olympic rowing champion.

The study also looked at higher education. Of 8,112 people in Britain’s elite for whom details were found, almost a third (31 per cent) attended Oxford or Cambridge. A further 20 per cent were graduates of the next 30 most selective British universities. However, 22 per cent of public figures did not attend university.

The highest proportion of Oxbridge graduates were in the diplomatic service (62 per cent), law (58 per cent) and the Civil Service (55 per cent). The careers with fewest Oxbridge graduates were pop music (1 per cent), sport (8 per cent), the police (11 per cent) and the Armed Forces (12 per cent).

Many of the public figures whose details were analysed were educated before the 1970s, when the majority of England’s grammar schools were abolished. The actors Ray Winstone and Emma Thompson, Martin O’Neill, the Sunderland Football Club manager, and Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Mick Jagger are all former grammar school pupils.

The ten private schools with the highest number of ex-pupils to achieve national prominence are Eton, Winchester, Charterhouse, Rugby, Westminster, Marlborough, Dulwich, Harrow, St Paul’s Boys’ School and Wellington College.

Of more than 100 schools that contributed most to Britain’s elite, two are comprehensives: Haverstock School in Chalk Farm, North London, attended by Ed and David Miliband, and Holland Park in Kensington, where Tony Benn sent his four children. The top grammar school, with 17 former pupils among the country’s leaders, was Watford Grammar, Hertfordshire, which is now a comprehensive.

Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, told a conference in May hosted by Brighton College that the disproportionate success of people who were privately educated was “morally indefensible”.

More detailed figures can be found here

The great and the good, and the others

The names that appear each day in The Times’s birthdays list are chosen by the Editor of the Register and his colleagues from a large database of birthdays (Fiona Wilson writes.) The obviously distinguished still predominate but we offer a once-inconceivable mix of backgrounds, ages and professions.

Last month the published list had an average of 17 names a day.

There are sometimes complaints when someone who has been in the list one year is left out the following year.

The convention until as recently as the late 1990s had been that, like Who’s Who or the House of Lords, once in, you were in for life; new names were added only when an obituary marked a vacancy.

But with space at a premium, a more varied world to reflect, it seems preferable to ring the changes and hope that omission one year may mean inclusion the next."

wordfactory Tue 20-Nov-12 07:52:18

Ariel - I do think this notion that those in highly paid jobs are just in it for the money and bored shitless is completely incorrect. And this sort of stuff firmly keeps people in their place. The reality is that many jobs can earn you that type of money - there was a very interesting thread about it not so long ago with reams of posters saying what they did to earn 100k.

seeker Tue 20-Nov-12 09:39:56

"Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, told a conference in May hosted by Brighton College that the disproportionate success of people who were privately educated was “morally indefensible”."

Well, at least he's got something right!

OwlLady Tue 20-Nov-12 09:50:05

I don't want to point out the obvious, but some people are not motivated by money

socharlotte Tue 20-Nov-12 09:54:01

Xenia- that is nothing to do with the quality of education these schools and universities provide, and everything to do with the gentleman's club mentality.

socharlotte Tue 20-Nov-12 09:55:32

Also if we looked at the top-earning British bands and singers, I wonder what % of them went to Oxbridge and Eton ?

MordionAgenos Tue 20-Nov-12 09:59:51

@Owllady I don't want to point out the obvious but the people who aren't motivated by money are often the people earning the most.

MordionAgenos