Selective independants

(580 Posts)
poppydoppy Sun 14-Apr-13 20:33:17

Do they look better on League tables because the standard of teaching is better or just because they select the children most likely to do well?

Xenia Wed 17-Apr-13 09:19:28

As people say it must be a mixture. My girls have graduated now but their schools were Haberdashers and North London Collegiate which tend to do quite well (selective independents). I always felt the teaching was good and all those things which are not about school work were also what we wanted.

Look at the destinations of leavers as much as the A levels when choosing too.

The Sutton Trust compared areas with no state grammars (most of the country) comprehensive results with areas with state grammars like Bucks and Kent and I think they found very little difference to how many children got to good university and obtain high A level grades which is interesting and not what most people think.

Yellowtip Wed 17-Apr-13 09:41:20

slipshod which guff are you referring to? I'm not clear what you're saying about resources either. Grammars have far less, obviously and their hands are often tied as regards salary (an academy in theory can pay more, but its resources may not allow that). Presumably you mean Winchester and St. Paul's etc. can pay more? With the caveat that more pay doesn't always mean better teachers: many brilliant teachers wouldn't consider working in the private sector regardless of perks and pay.

The level of selectivity at 11 or 13 obviously is the key determining factor in the measureable 'success' of a school. I think that sometimes gets lost in the noise.

slipshodsibyl Wed 17-Apr-13 09:59:10

Yellow tip I am referring to suggestions that grammar parents are less 'aware', ' successful' etc.

I am sure the Heads of St Paul's and Westminster would say selection is the key.

I think that though higher salaries do not mean better teaching, some of the extra perks offered to staff at rich schools - not least, accommodation- are attractive to staff and a greater flexibility in timetabling for example as well as larger departmental budgets .

The very top independents are set in or near London too which sets them apart and have an international catchment. It isn't a reasonable comparison. Outside this magic circle, super-selective grammars hold their own.

slipshodsibyl Wed 17-Apr-13 10:04:10

To say private parents are more successful is to equate money with success. It's a bit sad, especially when this kind of success is not necessarily the kind that makes the most successful parent.

happygardening Wed 17-Apr-13 10:05:52

"many brilliant teachers wouldn't consider working in the private sector regardless of perks and pay" There are without a doubt brilliant, good average, mediocre and bad in all sectors. Although I have found very much a jobs worth culture and a blame the parents/children in many parts of the state sector (and an inability to read and comprehend an ed.psych report shame there's no bitter and twisted smiley) but then I have a DC with moderate learning difficulties which are often poorly catered for in both mainstream sectors. I've found on talking to some of the teachers at DS2's independent that they are very pleased to be freed up from the restrictions of the national curriculum; both Eng Lit and history are non examined subject until Pre U and I think the teachers enjoy the freedom to take a particular period of history or a book and do what ever you like and let it run wherever they and the boys want it to go.

YoniMaroney Wed 17-Apr-13 10:05:59

Well a lot of private school parents work very hard in stressful jobs that have required a lot of work to get into in the first place. In educational terms, this will be a big boost e.g. to aspiring Oxbridge candidates.

happygardening Wed 17-Apr-13 10:09:17

Yoni may I suggest you at the very least don a tin hat or you'd be better to run and hide!

Xenia Wed 17-Apr-13 10:13:45

My children's father taught in both sectors. Without doubt plenty of very good teachers do prefer the private sector because of less state interference. Sometimes the architecture and buildings are nicer and if you obtain free education for 3 children worth about £90k and free housing.

slipshodsibyl Wed 17-Apr-13 10:13:48

Yoni that would be my family and friends then. But I also have family and friends at other types of schools. I see both kinds daily. Especially since my own (ex) job , is not highly paid - my husband is though. There isn't much to choose between us except sometimes in income and successful career families do not always the best parents make. Of this I am absolutely sure.

wordfactory Wed 17-Apr-13 11:27:17

yellow clearly selection has an impact. And the more selective you are, the btter the results ought to be.

And yet...

As I say, DD's school is not selective in a traditional sense. The intake is not remotely as able as our local grammar school and would not be in the smae stratosphere as a superselective in either sector, but the results are really great, especially for DDs with low ability or LDs. Girls who wouoldn't have stood a cat in hell's chance of getting in the nearest grammar, leave with excellent results.

In fact, if I had a DD with either low ability or LDs, I'd sell several internal organs to get a place.

That said, I don't think it would be the right place for a DD of extremely high ability; the sort who would get a place and thrive in a super selective. The education (as opposed to results) on offer is a very different beast.

Yellowtip Wed 17-Apr-13 13:20:40

In that case I second all that you've said slipshod.

Yoni I don't see the fact that mum and/or dad have worked hard in stressful jobs as bound to give offspring a big boost educationally (and why particularly for Oxbridge aspirants?! Does no other type of student ever have to deal with stress or work hard?). It also presupposes that DC inevitably aspire to follow in the footsteps of mum/dad, which is pretty moot, to say the least. They can be quite tricky, some DC.

happy any school can do that (the off piste thing). That's not the preserve of indies, why should it be? The indies might like to claim it is, but it isn't. At the end of the day the stuff the students in both sectors are examined on is exactly the same, but in both sectors teachers are free to roam. There are no property rights restricting roaming.

YoniMaroney Wed 17-Apr-13 13:34:00

Yellowtip, from what I can see around London the grammar schools have a lot of children of ambitious first gen immigrants, who don't have the personal experience of the British education system, whereas the rich parents at the private schools are very often Oxbridge graduates themselves, so they have far more personal experience and understanding of what it involves.

One isn't better than the other in terms of being a parent, but the parents who are earning £££ in the City are more likely to have gone through the same process themselves 20 years before.

Needmoresleep Wed 17-Apr-13 14:12:42

I suspect there is not a right answer, in that different schools will suit different children. Both mine failed to get into Grammar schools, but have every chance of doing as well if not better at well respected private schools.

DD managed 800th on the wait list for our nearest, albeit super-selective grammar. This as not a total surprise as she has had pretty low CAT scores and her ed psych report suggests some significant processing problems. The surprise instead is that she is doing so well in the independent sector.

Perhaps independence allows schools to select the quirky and determined, not just those well schooled in VR and nonVR. They might be able to see something in music and sports achievements which can be carried through to general academic performance. I wonder whether factors such as interest and curiosity aid academic performance just as much as raw intelligence. Also some of my children's best teachers have found themselves in the Independent sector having struggled in the state. Inspired they may be, organised they are not.

YoniMaroney Wed 17-Apr-13 14:16:10

Why is that a surprise needmoresleep? Whereas something like 40% of state school children 'fail', the % at independent schools is probably not even 4%.

mrsshackleton Wed 17-Apr-13 14:31:21

Mainly selection, I went to two highly selective schools and at the first the teaching was pretty mediocre with a couple of wonderful exceptions. But we were a bright peer group and sparked off each other and as my Dad said, and I agree, that is worth A LOT.

Second school was a big name and so teaching was amazing too, as it basically had the pick of the bunch.

Xenia Wed 17-Apr-13 15:23:21

I agree with the peer group point. Lots of children are pretty lazy as teenagers and tend to copy their friends. Thrust them into a school where everyone is bright and they are expected to do well and tends to rub off even on those who might otherwise coast with Cs in a different kind of school.

seeker Wed 17-Apr-13 15:33:21

Selective schools do better in results terms than non selective. The mor selective the intake the better the results. No brainer. The easier it is to chuck people out if they don't live up to early promise the better the results. The more you can say th week before the exam- sorry, your'r not quite up to it, you're not sitting the exam" the better th results.

The important thing to remember as well is that once you get to the schools at the top of the league tables, there really isn't much difference between them in terms of results.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 17-Apr-13 15:52:30

Yoni Well a lot of private school parents work very hard in stressful jobs that have required a lot of work to get into in the first place. In educational terms, this will be a big boost e.g. to aspiring Oxbridge candidates.

In my experience a lot of superselective (and comprehensive) school parents work very hard in stressful jobs that have required a lot of work to get into in the first place, too. And that probably does provide a big boost to aspiring Oxbridge candidates, yes. As the children of my friends and colleagues approach the age where they are all thinking about university I find myself increasingly asked to talk to their kids about what it was like going to Cambridge. Of course, many of these parents didn't do that themselves (despite some of them now being selective independent parents (some of them even have daughters at Habs. I don't actually know any Habs parents who did go to either Oxford or Cambridge, but I expect some exist)). I think they are probably encouraged when I remind them that my parents didn't go there (or anywhere) either. And that it's not what someones parents might have done or not done which has to determine what they go on to do.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 17-Apr-13 15:53:23

Slipshod You're probably right. I'm a terrible parent. sad

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 17-Apr-13 15:56:56

I agree with Xenia about the peer group point. Many teens are incredibly conformist. Many aren't, true - but many are. However they don't seem overly picky about what they conform to - so long as it is, definitely, the norm.

slipshodsibyl Wed 17-Apr-13 16:15:01

Right about what Russians?

slipshodsibyl Wed 17-Apr-13 16:17:02

Ah yes, the peer group thing. That is huge

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 17-Apr-13 16:18:00

Right about very successful career people not always making the best parents. sad

This morning DS was an hour late for school because his little sister had hidden his school shoes in the laundry basket. sad

I am clearly DERELICT.

YoniMaroney Wed 17-Apr-13 16:18:57

There is quite a large difference between top schools in terms of Oxbridge stats.

wordfactory Wed 17-Apr-13 16:22:54

seeker it really isn't all that straight forward vis a vis selection.

DD's school isn't academically selective, yet the results are better than the nearest grammar and a more selective nearby private school. Actually, a local CofE comp does better than the later!
Christ alone knows why anyone pays for it.

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