Grammar Schools : the debate is about what happens NOW

(520 Posts)
TalkinPeace Sun 15-Dec-13 16:09:00

In the 20 years after WW2, when the baby boomers were kids, grammar schools did amazing things for social mobility.

But then, self preservation kicked back in
and since 1970, selective state schools have become progressively less inclusive
to the extent today where the (grammar school educated head of OFSTED) says
www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-25386784

the death knell has been rung
as it has for DB pensions (another great Baby Boomer nest lining idea)

so lets bite the bullet and put equal resources into all schools and reduce the carbon footprint of the grammar school madness.

wigglybeezer Sun 15-Dec-13 16:10:53

Works in Scotland.

TalkinPeace Sun 15-Dec-13 16:12:40

what does?
are grammar school choices effective in the islands?

tallulah Sun 15-Dec-13 16:33:32

AS only a very few areas still have Grammar schools, plus these days all schools get similar resources I can't see why any debate is necessary.

A pressure group in Kent has been desperately trying to raise enough signatures to force a referendum for at least the last 15 years and just can't do it. If the parents in a Grammar area were unhappy with the status quo (and given that 75% of local parents will have a child not at grammar) then I can't see that there is a problem.

TalkinPeace Sun 15-Dec-13 16:45:19

tallulah
all schools get similar resources I can't see why any debate is necessary.
would that that were true : the funding pre pupil in some parts of London is more than double that in the sticks
AND
many politicians happen / choose to live in the pockets of selective education, so have no idea that the rest of the country survives without it.

LaVolcan Sun 15-Dec-13 16:52:57

I'm not sure that it was the grammar schools which did amazing things for social mobility: it was just as likely to be an expanding economy which gave people opportunities.

Thinking back to my own 60s girl's grammar school, there weren't many daughters of mill workers or farm labourers. Mostly they were daughters of the local doctors, dentists, bank managers, fairly senior local government officials, teachers, farmers; generally speaking people with white collar jobs.

I am surprised however, that Michael Wilshaw is saying this.

TalkinPeace Sun 15-Dec-13 16:59:52

post WW2 , the GS system opened thousands of doors which have been utterly slammed shut since.

lets admit that,
stop state funding of any segregated school
and get on with getting the best out of all kids
- even those with fuckwit parents.

trice Sun 15-Dec-13 17:06:59

OK, as a scientist I feel that policy decisions should be made according to the results of good and continuing research. I was under the impression that current research on schooling indicated that the most good to the greatest number of children came from a fully comprehensive system.

I think it also found that very able children did better in a selective system. So we need to decide if we prioritise the most gifted over the average majority of children.

Do we give pupil premium to deprived kids or to super talented kids? Does that not leave average kids at a disadvantage?

Give is a prat who wants all schools to be run like something out of Just William. With Ex military teachers flicking chalk at boys in caps learning the Kings of England by rote.

trice Sun 15-Dec-13 17:07:58

Gove I mean.

straggle Sun 15-Dec-13 17:27:03

It's topical because Gove has had to refuse permission for a new grammar school in Sevenoaks because the law does not allow new selective schools. Kent council claimed it was a satellite school (under the Academies Act grammars do not need permission to expand) but the fact that the so-called 'main sites' of both schools offering to expand were single sex and miles away and/or had different admissions requirements rather gave the game away.

What I can't understand is how Kent council managed to convince people it had any decision-making powers. An LA can't even set up a new school - it has to be an comprehensive academy - let alone a selective school or secondary moderns. And you don't get the former without three or four of the others.

LaVolcan Sun 15-Dec-13 17:53:24

post WW2 , the GS system opened thousands of doors which have been utterly slammed shut since.

Post WW2 the GSs opened some doors, and gave a lot of nice middle class children a free education when pre-war they would have paid for it.

Many of these doors remain open for children, in areas with good comprehensives. Good comprehensives do exist up and down the land although you would never believe it, if you relied on Gove and company.

skatingRink Sun 15-Dec-13 17:56:31

tallulah said "these days all schools get similar resources"

They all get similar resources from the public purse. But what about from parents? For instance, how many comprehensive schools have a suggested parental contribution of 520 a year?

The pupil premium goes some way to redressing the balance, but what about all those people in the middle, the working poor, who don't qualify for free school meals, but can't afford substantial parental contributions?

whereisshe Sun 15-Dec-13 18:05:55

stop state funding of any segregated school
So that would include all state schools that have a selection criterion based on religion as well, presumably?

TalkinPeace Sun 15-Dec-13 18:15:51

skatingrink
funding from the government per pupil varies from over £7000 in central London to under £4000 in Wiltshire ...

whereisshe
too right : why should segregation on purported faith be allowed under the taxpayer.
You want god, go pay for it, same as in the USA

FastLoris Sun 15-Dec-13 18:22:47

Talkinpeace -

"all schools get similar resources I can't see why any debate is necessary".

would that that were true : the funding pre pupil in some parts of London is more than double that in the sticks

What on earth does that have to do with the issue of grammar schools? London has only a very small number of superselective GSs relative to its population size, and these take such a tiny proportion of each cohort of children that they make no real difference to the rest. Grammar schools are far more pervasive and important in certain areas of "the sticks" such as Kent and Lincolnshire.

Tallulah actually brought up a very good point: The OP suggested a very common fallacy as fact, in the idea that grammar schools are supposedly better resourced by the government than others. They aren't. In fact, with the pupil premium now, they are likely to get significantly less money than the non-grammars in their vicinity.

many politicians happen / choose to live in the pockets of selective education, so have no idea that the rest of the country survives without it.

Evidence that the geographical distribution of politicians' homes matches that of grammar schools? Or have you just made that up?

skatingRink Sun 15-Dec-13 18:26:36

TalkingPeace said "funding from the government per pupil varies from over £7000 in central London to under £4000 in Wiltshire ..."

All schools get similar resources to other schools in their local areas.

Yes, schools in different areas have different funding, but that is a separate debate, not related to the Grammar school issue.

FastLoris Sun 15-Dec-13 18:27:44

skatingrink -

They all get similar resources from the public purse. But what about from parents? For instance, how many comprehensive schools have a suggested parental contribution of £520 a year?

Where do you get the idea that grammar schools routinely expect that much contribution? Mine does nothing of the sort. In fact I don't think they've asked us for anything.

And yes, I understand that there ARE comps in some wealthier areas that are helped out by significant parental contributions. But this is an entirely separate argument about the fact that parents with more money are going to spend more on their kids.

Mintyy Sun 15-Dec-13 18:30:35

They should be scrapped.

TalkinPeace Sun 15-Dec-13 18:31:28

fastloris
I am the OP
I did not (and never have) suggested that sselective schools get more per pupil than other schools.

It is a basic fact that all London schools get more money per head than the rest of the country : a direct policy decision dating back to the 90's

Most politicians spend their week days in Central London : an area where selective education : private and state - is deemed "normal" by much of the population.

They have no concept of the much more relaxed, non selective education system that the rest of us have to work with.

whereisshe Sun 15-Dec-13 18:39:56

I'd rather start with banning state funding for religious schools, which is a far bigger problem than grammar schools IMO. At least grammar schools promote a high-achieving environment for smart kids (even if those kids are almost universally middle class). School selection based on religion does nothing for society as far as I can tell.

Mintyy Sun 15-Dec-13 18:51:04

Oh yes and faith schools should be scrapped too.

skatingRink Sun 15-Dec-13 18:51:27

FastLoris said "And yes, I understand that there ARE comps in some wealthier areas that are helped out by significant parental contributions. But this is an entirely separate argument about the fact that parents with more money are going to spend more on their kids"

All schools can encourage voluntary contributions, and the ones with the wealthier parents will raise greater contributions in that way. That's not the issue. The issue is that there isn't a level playing field between schools in the same area if some, like Grammars, are significantly more selective than others. The only way of ensuring similar funding between adjacent schools is for them all to have a similar (i.e comprehensive) intake.

WhomessweetWhomes Sun 15-Dec-13 19:02:32

Surely the main reason that grammar schools no longer help social mobility is that there are so few of them. Therefore the areas which have them are seen as very desirable and become very expensive to live in and are totally dominated by wealthy middle class families.
If everywhere still had grammar schools they would not just be the preserve of the wealthy middle classes.

NoComet Sun 15-Dec-13 19:07:00

The working class grammar school pupils of my grandparents generation went to university. Meet and married bright partners and had bright DCs.

In turn these, now MC, DC went to university meet intelligent partners and had bright DCs.

Now these bright DCs fill our local grammars and set one at our local comp.

Basically once girls could go to uni it became a bright people's dating club. This easy goes back 70 years from my DFs stories.

That's getting in for 3 generations of bright couples being able to meet and marry.

Outside areas with large immigrant populations, there is a real splitting of bright haves with degrees, their genetically and socially advantaged DCs and the rest.

LaVolcan Sun 15-Dec-13 19:10:03

If everywhere still had grammar schools they would not just be the preserve of the wealthy middle classes.

I am pretty sure they would be - they used to be before. I don't think there was ever any real evidence that they promoted social mobility, except for one or two bright working class students. I expect they would probably have bettered themselves anyway as young working adults despite the grammar school.

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