Why can't SATs be used for Grammar School Entry?

(19 Posts)
MonthofMay Sun 11-Sep-16 17:54:56

I heard on the radio during the week that they wanted to make grammar school tests not require tutoring.

Why don't they use the SATs results to offer the place?

Rather than giving levels why don't they give the scores as percentages.

The primary schools are already doing the tests so no more work than currently. Every child in state sector sits them, if children in the independent sector want to sit them they either attend a school that offers them, or can be an external candidate at another school (like it is possible to do with GCSEs/A Levels).

Parents can decline a grammar school place if they'd prefer their child to go to the secondary modern, and the place would be offered to the next child in the list.

Any tutoring or improvement of SATs will benefit the primary schools.

I don't think its possible to produce a non-tutorable exam, any type of exam is improved with some level of tutoring. Even if its just explaining to a child how to circle the answers quickly on a multiple answer sheet.

Children don't then have to sit or prepare for two exams in year 6, as they currently have to.

2StripedSocks Sun 11-Sep-16 18:25:31

Because parents will simply tutor for that and the kids at weaker primaries will be at a disadvantage.

2StripedSocks Sun 11-Sep-16 18:31:17

They are also very different with different aims. Sats waaay easier to prep for. Not sure Grammar schools are that bothered re Spag or kids being able to do a lovely piece of writing in joins with similes or whatever else is on the current gov shopping list chucked in ad nauseum.

buffalogrumble Sun 11-Sep-16 18:32:32

I quite like the idea of SATS being the grammar test: children wanting to attend a grammar school would need to attend a state school in order to sit the test.

That would shake things up a bit in terms of fair access to secondaries.

BetweenTwoLungs Sun 11-Sep-16 18:37:17

Would require a change in organisation - children currently get high school places before they sit the sats.

Also you absolutely can tutor for sats, they're really quite predictable.

zzzzz Sun 11-Sep-16 18:38:59

grammar school tests DON'T require tutoring.

2StripedSocks Sun 11-Sep-16 18:40:36

What about the poor kids in weak primaries competing with those in the best?

And surely Spag gives no indication of intelligence.

NancyJoan Sun 11-Sep-16 18:42:16

I quite like the idea of SATS being the grammar test: children wanting to attend a grammar school would need to attend a state school in order to sit the test

Not so. I work at a private school, our Year 6 pupils all sit SATS.

thecatfromjapan Sun 11-Sep-16 18:43:10

Well, the people who own houses in the catchments of great primary schools would love that idea. How much extra do you think it would add to the value of a house if you know that by buying a house in the catchment of school X (where 100% of children get top SAT results) you are virtually guaranteeing your child entrance to a grammar (as opposed to school Y, where only 30% get the top SAT levels)?

ScienceRocks Sun 11-Sep-16 18:43:32

The main reason is because the sats results come out in summer. Secondary school places are offered in spring. It would be a logistical nightmare for schools (and it would be all schools, not just the grammars, that would be affected) to have to go through all the offer stages through the August summer holidays, and kids would miss out on the primary to secondary school transition days that often take place before the end of the summer term.

Plus, arguable sats are about comparing schools to each other as opposed to children.

namechangedtoday15 Sun 11-Sep-16 18:48:11

Not sure how it's done elsewhere but entrance exams here are done at the grammar school under strict exam conditions so every single child has the same time / takes them at the same time of day / the school knows immediately if there are any disruptions etc. Think it would be difficult to monitor that all schools did it exactly to the letter - class inadvertently got an extra few seconds / pupils were helped in some way.

namechangedtoday15 Sun 11-Sep-16 18:51:07

thecat that already happens - schools here will tell parents the number of pupils that pass the entrance exams and house prices close to schools with good pass rates exceed those that don't.

HPFA Sun 11-Sep-16 19:16:55

How about we just give up the idea that there is a test that can determine at 10 how well you will do at 18, 28, 38, 48.......

bojorojo Sun 11-Sep-16 20:21:48

That is not what a grammar school test is doing though HPFA. It is selecting children for a specific type of school where the education is delivered at quite a fast pace. That does not determine what you achieve at 16, 18 or beyond. I live in a grammar school LA and loads of children from the secondary moderns get to very good universities. If the children attend a very good secondary modern, and there are some, they are not disadvantaged against the grammar school children and will do better than some! This is why some parents fight to get into the best secondary moderns!

House prices here are more to do with places at the best primary schools and availability of transport to London! We also have upward of 30% high achievers in some secondary moderns but largely they have not passed the 11 plus (some parents actually choose the secondary moderns over the grammar schools).

Here the CEM test is supposed to be tutor proof and passable with just doing the national curriculum in school yet more and more pass from private schools who tutor for years and less and less on FSM. Unless everyone gets equal tutoring in exam technique and is used to taking exams, poorer children will continue to be disadvantaged. They tend to have few peers who are likely to get to the grammar school and possibly have parents lacking in ambition too. The schools are the only places who can make a difference but state schools here cannot tutor. It is grossly unfair.

bojorojo Sun 11-Sep-16 20:24:48

All the tests here are taken in the primary schools! Not in the grammar schools. As a governor at a primary school, the numbers we get to the grammar school are never reported to us. We just talk about progress and Sats.

Longlost10 Sat 17-Sep-16 11:56:48

Anyone can sit SATS, you don't have to attend a state school

t4nut Sat 17-Sep-16 16:59:00

Because those who favour grammar schools aren't interested in fair - they want a system where they can buy an advantage.

2StripedSocks Sat 17-Sep-16 17:01:47

And those who shoehorn their DC into the best primary schools and coach their DC with Sats workbooks etc don't?

We'll gloss over the fact they test different things.

yeOldeTrout Sat 17-Sep-16 17:51:31

I thought SATs test what you know & 11+ is test for what you're capable of -- the tests were designed with different aims. Whether they achieve all that is another question.

SAT results don't come out until July, quite late to be getting secondary school choice organised.

How about pulling names out of a hat to choose which kids get to go to the more prestigious school? They only get to stay at PS if they keep up with the material and kids who got the duff school in the lottery would need to work far above the group average in order to get transferred to the PS. That would be a more honest system.

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