No difference between state and private schools

(248 Posts)
richmal Mon 03-Feb-14 22:07:53

Mr. Gove wants anyone walking into a state or private school not to be able to tell the difference. Could they not simply count the number of children in the classroom?

jonicomelately Tue 04-Feb-14 09:31:45

I'm not sure I agree with you Agapanthers I think a lot of parents at private school have jobs with long hours, such as doctors and lawyers. Many of them don't have the time to spend with their dc doing endless activities. Other parents, who are wealthy, perhaps through doing well in business, aren't academic and wouldn't dream of taking their dc to a museum. I don't think a fancy beach holiday at the end of every term is healthy for a child, academically speaking. On the other hand, parents who state educate their parents are often quit motivated to help their dc. Not all of them don't give a crap about their dc's school career.

I also wince when teachers use sn children as a reason for poorer standards than private education. Some parents who can afford it choose private for their children with sn (dyslexia etc). I also remember my own comprehensive education where children with special needs were educated in their own building, the ROSLA block. I cannot recall one instance where the presence of 'sn' pupils interefered with the education of the mainstream pupils. Perhaps this isn't the way things are done these days but it did seem to work.

prh47bridge Tue 04-Feb-14 09:58:28

Presumably all the state schools will start having entrance tests too and the dc that don't pass will simply just not get an education

Lets beat Gove up for something he clearly didn't say.

In some countries there really is little difference in standards between state schools and independents. Here there widely believed to be a big gap with independent schools generally performing much better than state schools. One of Tony Blair's goals was to make state schools as good as independents. It seems Gove has the same objective. If we mean that the quality of education delivered is the same regardless that seems to me to be a reasonable goal. That is not, of course, the same as saying the outcomes of schools with widely differing intakes should be identical, although I note the OECD has released research suggesting that, contrary to popular belief, it is not inevitable that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds will have weaker academic performance.

UniS Tue 04-Feb-14 10:02:56

I quite like my child to go to a school where the buildings don't leak, there are no holes in the floors and all the toilets work. I note Mr Gove et all are very keen on sweeping statements and very bad at coming up with cash for state schools to use on building repairs and renewal.

bronya Tue 04-Feb-14 10:06:22

ALL private schools are selective - by parents/grandparents income. In order to have that sort of income, the parents/grandparents need to be bright, and have good jobs. Therefore the children will have a certain IQ as a general rule.

NigellasDealer Tue 04-Feb-14 10:12:46

I wonder if that means that teachers in state schools will stop displaying their utter contempt for their students? stop shouting at them for things out of their control? stop reducing them to tears for a bit of morning fun?

Impatientismymiddlename Tue 04-Feb-14 10:30:45

Gove is increasingly looking like the biggest idiot on the planet.

He wants increased testing in state schools (from age 4) in order that he and his education cronies can produce even more useless statistical evidence, yet he wants state schools to be like private schools. Does he not realise that the vast majority of private schools do not do formal testing at the age of 4. That many private schools are not concerned about national statistics or bowing down to the increasingly punitive ofsted criteria.

He wants private schools and state schools to mimic each other and have no obvious differences. Yet he hasn't twigged that most private schools have class sizes way below 30 and are not forced into teaching children in temporary Portacabins due to a shortage of school places. Why doesn't he concentrate on increasing state school capacity and reducing class sizes to a level where each child's needs can be met appropriately all of the time.

Gove is clueless.

Impatientismymiddlename Tue 04-Feb-14 10:32:00

Nigellas dealer - if you are aware of teachers behaving in that manner then please report it. Start a log of events if required. No child should be subjected to that by a teacher.

handcream Tue 04-Feb-14 10:40:54

The fact is that state schools DO need to improve. There are somethings that the privates do that state are rubbish at. At my DS's private boarding school minor punishments include litter picking and getting up early.

The state schools wouldnt dream of doing something like this. If you have to improve something look at the disclipine and what schools are able to do with a pupil who are messing it up for the rest of the school.

And also at the risk of being non PC - look at kids who need some special care and attention and teach them seperately.

singersgirl Tue 04-Feb-14 10:42:27

Almost everything Mr G says astounds me. The dismantling of the state education system from within appals me. His vast ignorance of the real life of teachers disturbs me. His casual insulting of the many massively dedicated volunteer governors makes me want to weep.

Impatientismymiddlename Tue 04-Feb-14 10:45:36

And also at the risk of being non PC - look at kids who need some special care and attention and teach them seperately.

Yes let's put the SN kids in a special room with one way glass windows so everyone else can point and mock and laugh.[hmmm]

A child with additional needs deserves an equal education.

And some independent schools also need to improve. There are good and bad in both sectors.

Are you Mrs Gove by any chance?

NigellasDealer Tue 04-Feb-14 10:46:37

what you have to remember about Gove is that he used to be a journalist so has a talent for headlines.
'impatientismymiddlename' - you are joking arent you? I have seen this kind of behaviour from teachers in just about every state school i have been in - it is pretty normal tbh.

Impatientismymiddlename Tue 04-Feb-14 10:49:51

No I wasn't joking. I'm quite angry that teachers would treat children that way. I expect that sort of behaviour in the playground between the children. It would make me want to home educate if I thought that my child was being subjected to that sort of behaviour from a teacher.sad

NigellasDealer Tue 04-Feb-14 10:54:51

i know it makes me angry too.
I will never forget standing in the reception area of my childrens junior school watching the deputy head reduce a child to tears, and then continue with it once she had seen the effect she was having, in full public view, because the child had been five minutes late. it was unbelievable. More recently i witnessed something similar with an older girl and a male teacher who was quite definitely enjoying himself, in the reception area of my dd's secondary school. Those are just two small examples.

AgaPanthers Tue 04-Feb-14 11:13:02

"I'm not sure I agree with you Agapanthers I think a lot of parents at private school have jobs with long hours, such as doctors and lawyers. Many of them don't have the time to spend with their dc doing endless activities. Other parents, who are wealthy, perhaps through doing well in business, aren't academic and wouldn't dream of taking their dc to a museum. "

That's true, but I speak to my fellow parents and they are indeed signing the kids up for activities, and probably only half work long hours, and those that do have an au pair or nanny to drop off at ballet and so on

And working-class-done-good is a small minority (they do exist), most are in middle class professions.

"I don't think a fancy beach holiday at the end of every term is healthy for a child, academically speaking."

It's probably fairly marginal (e.g., my son's French has improved from our holidays, he has seen volcanoes in person for geography), overall, but all these marginal gains add up.

"On the other hand, parents who state educate their parents are often quit motivated to help their dc. Not all of them don't give a crap about their dc's school career."

Definitely not. But it varies from area to area. In a nicer area it might be just one or two, but those parents can certainly have a disproportionated negative influence. In a poorer area, negative choices are almost universal.

"I also wince when teachers use sn children as a reason for poorer standards than private education. Some parents who can afford it choose private for their children with sn (dyslexia etc). "

Well there are specialist private dyslexia schools. Mainstream private schools vary, some aren't interested in even minor special needs, whereas others will address them, but with the help one-to-one support directly charged to the parent. There aren't any that are open to anything, they would consider each child on an individual basis, and have the freedom to say 'this child is too much trouble', and walk away. The state ultimately is the insurance policy that has to take everyone.

Spockster Tue 04-Feb-14 11:19:36

Handcream why do you say that? Picking up litter is a common minor punishment, as is losing 5mins of break time, etcetera. Clearly not getting up early in a day school.

Impatientismymiddlename Tue 04-Feb-14 11:22:15

There aren't any that are open to anything, they would consider each child on an individual basis, and have the freedom to say 'this child is too much trouble', and walk away. The state ultimately is the insurance policy that has to take everyone.

But the most difficult to provide for children will not be found in your local state comprehensive school. They will be educated separately at PRU's if they have severe behavioural problems or special schools for children with the most severe learning disabilities and in some counties even children with fairly moderate learning disabilities will be educated separately in a unit within a mainstream school.
Let's not kid ourselves that the local comprehensive school is responsible for the education of all children. The state might be responsible, but they still divide children up into groups and send the most difficult to 'more suitable environments'. It could be argued that each and every school whether private or state has some level of selection / exclusion.

merrymouse Tue 04-Feb-14 11:26:44

I for one am looking forward to seeing the state school that looks like Summerhill. I think it is fab that Gove is so open minded!!!

happygardening Tue 04-Feb-14 11:34:52

Or perhaps he wants to copy the independent Steiner Schools!!

KathySeldon Tue 04-Feb-14 11:42:13

Yes let's put the SN kids in a special room with one way glass windows so everyone else can point and mock and laugh.[hmmm]

Well, that's how it was at my state comp!! Without the one way glass obviously. We had a "remedial block" where the special needs kids were. As far as I remember, they never mixed with the rest of the year group for any subjects. They had their own form group, own building, own everything. Nobody bothered them, or them us. Nobody laughed or pointed at them, just accepted it and got on with things.

We have removed our dc from the local primary into private schools because we became frustrated with the low expectations for the pupils, and the lack of interest for the arts. Also, discipline within the school was a joke and the parents had no respect for the head teacher or what she was trying to achieve.

We are not rich by any means, but do both work. The actual teaching I think was fine - they both passed the (very basic I think) academic requirements for their new schools with not coaching or tutors.

No longer do I hear "well my children won't be biding by that rule" in the playground at pick up time. The schools don't stand a chance until the parents agree to tow the line.

handcream Tue 04-Feb-14 11:44:59

My DS was not academically inclined and has a late August birthday. He wasnt distracted by badly behaved kids and wasnt taught in huge classes.

There are strict rules and regs about what is and isnt acceptable. Consequently he did very well in his GCSE's.

At least Gove is trying to change things. And I certainly dont mean that children with SN are in a room where people laugh and point at them but they do need special care with teachers and support.

handcream Tue 04-Feb-14 11:47:54

I went to a rubbish sec modern school and wouldnt wish that on anyone.

Parents who cannot be bothered to get this children to school on time and who rarely turn up to parents evenings are exactly the sort of parents who will then kick off when their child is punished. My DM was nearly assulted by a parent who thought their child could do what they liked at school - turned up late, non school uniform, constantly messing around in class etc.

merrymouse Tue 04-Feb-14 11:58:18

Mini cheddars aside, state schools aren't generally able to get rid of parents and pupils who don't toe the line.

handcream Tue 04-Feb-14 12:13:29

Well, maybe when parents send their children to school they sign an agreement. If they cannot be bothered to be interested in their kids education well what about providing a trade or skill. If they cannot be bothered with this - then they go to special schools where specialist staff can work with them.

Impatientismymiddlename Tue 04-Feb-14 12:13:35

Well, that's how it was at my state comp!! Without the one way glass obviously. We had a "remedial block" where the special needs kids were. As far as I remember, they never mixed with the rest of the year group for any subjects. They had their own form group, own building, own everything. Nobody bothered them, or them us. Nobody laughed or pointed at them, just accepted it and got on with things.

Do you think that this type of practice is okay in the year 2014? Do you believe that those children in the remedial block were okay with being educated separately?
I really hate that word 'remedial'. It makes it sound like the children are at borstal.

I prefer schools to educate in an inclusive way (as much as possible). I don't see why children with dyslexia or mild - moderate learning disabilities need to be separated to the extent of being taught in a separate area of the same school. They just need appropriate learning support within an inclusive classroom.
We do need special schools as some children (with the most severe learning disabilities and complex needs) need smaller, sensory focused and accessible environments to facilitate their learning.

Although you say that the two defined groups of children didn't bother each other in your school have you considered the psychological impact on the children who were taught in the remedial block and what being subjected to that segregation would have done to their self esteem? Do you think that they would share your views on the success / failure of that segregated teaching system?

Impatientismymiddlename Tue 04-Feb-14 12:17:49

Well, maybe when parents send their children to school they sign an agreement. If they cannot be bothered to be interested in their kids education well what about providing a trade or skill. If they cannot be bothered with this - then they go to special schools where specialist staff can work with them.

Yes, let's punish the kids for having uninvolved parents, what a great non judgemental idea!
What makes you think that a child cannot succeed if his parents are uninterested in the child's education? Are you really suggesting that we resign children to the scrap heap because their parents are unable / don't want to be involved in their child's education?

I think I have travelled back in time by about 200 years!

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