If you're in favour of a return to grammar schools (and secondary moderns) what percentages would you choose?

(95 Posts)
camilamoran Sun 09-Dec-12 21:06:05

Those of you who are in favour of return to grammar schools - what proportion would you have in your new grammar schools?

IIRC when I did the 11+ about 20% went to grammar school. At that time about 10% went to university. Getting into grammar school did not mean you were university material - it created the pool from which the university students were selected.

Now, we have more professional and white collar jobs than we did then. And also, more of those jobs now require a degree. So there are more of us going to university - about a third at the moment I think.

So if we brought in new grammars - would that be for 30% of children? 50%?

So would we end up with a non-elitist grammar school? Wouldn't that be pointless for people who want grammar schools back as an alternative to independents, or those who believe they help social mobility by picking up kids at 11 and inducting them into a higher social class?

TalkinPeace2 Tue 11-Dec-12 12:30:41

camilamoran
^ In addiiton it turns out that half a dozen of our local comprehensives have entry tests.^
That is not legal
or they are not comps.
SATs are not traumatic. Your school are overegging it for you.

breadandbutterfly Tue 11-Dec-12 12:32:25

Interesting that today's news shows that results across the board have been higher in key subjects - maths and and literacy - in N Ireland - the only part of the UK that still has a grammar school system as standard compared to England (separate results not given for Scotlnd and Wales). Which suggests that grammar school areas do outperform comprehensive areas - ie that the existence of grammar schools benefit all pupils not just those at grammar schools.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-20664752

TalkinPeace2 Tue 11-Dec-12 12:34:16

EXCEPT that NI schools have almost no churn so are NOT comparable to those of say, London.
Also, all NI schools re segregated by religion - maybe that is the answer?

NamingOfParts Tue 11-Dec-12 12:42:54

My DCs are not averages, they are individuals. I want them to receive the teaching appropriate to their abilities in each subject. They are strong in some subjects and weaker in others. I dont want them streamed on the basis of a test they took when they were 11. They are not the people they were when they were that age.

I am happy for my DCs go to an average school (which is what a Comp should be). That average is made up of a spread of individual attainments.

breadandbutterfly Tue 11-Dec-12 12:52:07

TalkinpEace - yes, you may well be right, as I do think faith schools offer harmony of expectations re discipline etc and a moral underpinning that do improve educational outcomes at those schools.

But I daresay you'd find the suggestion of increasing the numbers of faitrh schools as objectionable as increasing the numbers of grammars...

NamingOfParts Tue 11-Dec-12 13:06:06

I find governement funding of segregated schools objectionable. Personally I would have all faith schools (including C of E) returned either to their communities to be run as secular schools or returned to their faith organisations to be run as independantly funded private schools.

In my opinion segregation in schools is wrong unless a necessity for the child.

TalkinPeace2 Tue 11-Dec-12 13:06:28

breatandbutterfly
faith schools offer harmony of expectations re discipline etc and a moral underpinning that do improve educational outcomes at those schools
what an IGNORANT comment about Northern Ireland.
These people burn each other's homes because of religion. Do you not watch the news?
www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-20676315
www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-20651163

losingtrust Tue 11-Dec-12 13:19:55

My dc's went to a faith school but I do agree that there should not be faith schools run by local authority. They should be given over to communities to be run with small fees by parents to help with funding. Part of my family lives in Northern Ireland and there I strongly believe that all schools should be secular however if you have ever been to parts of Northern Ireland you will see that communities are split along religious grounds and therefore there would still be a preminantly catholic or Protestant school by virtue of the postcode and therefore there will be minority issues so I am afraid until the general social and political issues are resolved this will remain the case which is very sad and haven driven through the areas, the political views are very in your face particularly during the marching seasons. Some of my relatives go away for that period. One thing to bear in mind is that many faith schools in the uk are chosen by people not necessarily of the same faith but who want a general religious upbringing and some of these schools particularly have a predominant religion that is not the same as the community that helps the costs which is good. However if we moved to a true comprehensive system faith schools should go the same way as grammars either parents pay or they close.

losingtrust Tue 11-Dec-12 13:25:29

One proviso for me on closing faith schools though is that either the governors are split on religious grounds in terms of the clerical input as for instance our local community school has a place on the governing body for the local c of e vicar which seems at odds with it being a community school. The grammar schools are also Christian schools which again leads to a religious emphasis so therefore we either take Christianity out of all schools or ensure all schools have a mixed religious input. Personally I think the latter would be better.

breadandbutterfly Tue 11-Dec-12 13:39:20

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

losingtrust Tue 11-Dec-12 13:48:42

Having looked at the survey that has been provided this is linked to primary achievement and not secondary and therefore does not compare the selective education. There is alot of negativity towards the grammar school system in Northern Ireland.

losingtrust Tue 11-Dec-12 13:53:52

The exams in Northern Ireland I believe also take place at the end of year 7 so slightly older and for me the older the better.

CecilyP Tue 11-Dec-12 14:07:33

Presumably they match up ages as far as possible, but in NI, children with July and August birthdays start school a year older than in England.

TalkinPeace2 Tue 11-Dec-12 14:14:44

Religious schools create feelings of separation - the last thing most societies need.
I'm not sure why NI were listed separately, when Scotland and Northern Ireland were not.
But as losingtrust so rightly said in their post at 13:19 - whatever the results of the NI school system today, they have a long way to go in making it the sort of place aspiring GS mums will leave London for.

Does anybody have the statistics for the age distribution of pupils at Grammar schools?
(as the mum of a late August son, provision for children like him is one of the reasons I like comps)

losingtrust Tue 11-Dec-12 14:34:19

Summer born children here too!

breadandbutterfly Tue 11-Dec-12 14:49:53

I have summer born August children. 11+ tests are age standardised, by law, so there is no age bias.

losingtrust Tue 11-Dec-12 15:36:44

www.telegraph.co.uk/education/4091156/Grammar-schools-less-likely-to-take-summer-born-children.html
This is the only thing I could find on summer borns and grammar schools. The one thing I would say is that summer borns are less likely to do as well in KS2 SATS as these are not age-related and as most tutors will only recommend 11+ tutoring for those working at a certain level the summer borns may be less likely to be tutored and put in for the 11+. Parents may not think they are capable as sometimes they do not catch up until Year 5 or 6 and by this age parents may have already decided whether to put the kids in or not. It is not always the case as some summer borns are ahead straight away but others are not mature enough in infants and tend to be a bit dreamy up until a bit later in KS2.

losingtrust Tue 11-Dec-12 15:44:54

As neither of mine bothered with reading until late 6/7 (after KS1) SATs they were not really in the running at that time. I wonder whether a lot of the top set at comps are therefore summer born as a result!

TalkinPeace2 Tue 11-Dec-12 15:58:30

In our comp, the age range in the top sets is normal distribution by year 8 - as the kids get moved up and down and sideways

it kinda explains the silly stories about summer babies doing worse - if they were excluded from selective schools in grammar areas no wonder they did worse!

breadandbutterfly Tue 11-Dec-12 17:12:52

losingtrust - your article does not show summer borns do worse when applying for grammars - as the article points out, the tests are adjusted for age SO THERE IS NO BIAS POSSIBLE ON AGE. in fact, younger children need lower marks to get in - so you could argue it is actually easier for them!

All the article suggests is that summer-born children may be less likely to apply to grammar schools. Clearly, if children don't apply, they won't get in...

losingtrust Tue 11-Dec-12 17:32:59

I Agree with that summary and in fact it was noticed recently at my friend's primary that she teaches at. They had a child who was September had always been top and she failed to get in. Must point out we are talking one of the best grammars in the country so very superselectives whereas a child with average levels but born in July got in because the exam is age-related. The point of the article is that as the majority of summer borns are perceived to be low achieves at the start of school they are not pereived to be grammar school material and therefore not entered. Hence leaving those that have been top since day one with the majority being older seen to be better academically at primary. It is a perception but if you had a late developer young child you would not risk going for the 11+ due to the worry that they would fail as not yet reached their potential and this distorts the figures. I would never have lived in a grammar area with my ds in infants in all the supported groups as I had no idea how well he would eventually have done. Your dd was an exception. I would not take the risk. As it is he took off at the end of year 5 and increased levels to get high ones in year 6 after school enrollment. He would now more than hold his own in a gs. Maybe at 16 he may choose to go to an academic school as in all honesty he has exactly the same chance as getting all A* where he is. I know this is anacdotal but a reason why an exam at the age of ten is too young.

Did no one else go to the kind of bog standard comprehensive in th 80s that they would move heaven and earth NOT to send their dc to? Mine was rural, no huge behaviour issues, average fsm, very low eal, but basically crap. No real provision for the academic child. Therefore my dc are at a grammar, and if I lived elsewhere I would pay, pray or live in a flat to get a decent academic school. You can't stop people doing that, however you cut it. Idealogically I agree with many of you, in real life I don't always stick to my principles!

Pyrrah Tue 11-Dec-12 17:42:27

Another reason for the 13+.

I was an August baby and went to GS, but definitely better that I went at 13.

fiftyval Tue 11-Dec-12 17:42:40

At risk of taking things off at a slight tangent, I think age adjusting is extremely unfair on prematurely born children. Many have to do alot of catching up anyway but this is not taken into account.
I also think it is unfair to adjust so that eg an April-born gets given 'more' marks than a December born when they have had exactly the same amount of education. This happened to a friend whose son didn't get in to chosen school but his friend did and simply on account of the extra marks he got for being 4 months younger.

TalkinPeace2 Tue 11-Dec-12 17:53:26

talkingnonsense
I went to a nice gels private selective school
and from there to a retake crammer .....

DH went to a London comp.

If we could have easily afforded private I would have done so, but have been lucky enough to live near enough to some fab comps that my kids both got in.

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