Changes to 11-plus to stop middle-class parents 'buying' access to grammars by hiring tutors

(1000 Posts)
breadandbutterfly Sat 01-Dec-12 21:48:28
Ponders Sat 01-Dec-12 21:51:06

hmm - good luck with that

(I am very much in favour of disabling the tutoring advantage but I can't imagine how you'd do it confused)

SherbetDibDab Sat 01-Dec-12 21:58:30

I've not read the article - but some children can just as easily be tutored by their degree educated, system savvy, parents - some can't.
At what point do you say an advantage a child has in nature, not nurture.

I certainly think they should try to make the test one which can test for innate abiity rather than what has been taught. But it will be hard to take away the advantage of being tutored completely - even teaching a bit of 'exam technique' can make a significant difference to how people do in any exam, whatever it is testing for.

I've just done a course at work with an open-book exam at the end. We spent a whole day practicing different types of questions and talking about strategies!

I'd be very interested to see a test for which you couldn't improve your results by tutoring and/or practice. I don't think there's any such thing as a test for "innate ability".

Besides which, brains are pretty plastic. If you look at the extremes of failing families, the kids often stand no chance, whether they were born intelligent or not. (Indeed, is there any such thing as 'born intelligent'?) You can't tell whether a child has any innate ability if they are brought up in a chaotic household with no books and parents who cannot read, don't feed them properly and spend their time with drink/drugs instead of playing with their children. The kids just don't develop the skills they need to succeed at school.

rabbitstew Sat 01-Dec-12 22:18:27

If achievement were all about innate ability, we wouldn't need schools in the first place. grin

Takver Sat 01-Dec-12 22:33:20

Well said, rabbitstew. Its a serious point, and one that isn't discussed enough.

Its a bit like the debates about retakes on exams - is the point to assess whether students have reached a specified standard in a subject, or rank them in order of some notion of innate 'ability'?

Sometimes it feels like education in this country has become almost entirely a positional good, and that any actual useful skills the pupils learn are an unexpected side effect . . . And that politicians are not only accepting but actively happy with this situation confused

difficultpickle Sat 01-Dec-12 22:49:37

The Eton pre-test in year 6 is supposed to be tutor proof.

seeker Sat 01-Dec-12 22:55:44

That's why the 11+ should be abolished, the whole hideous, iniquitous idea of judging children as successes or failures at the age of 10 should be outlawed, and all available resources should be put into the least worst option- proper comprehensive schools.

ChristmasSALutations Sat 01-Dec-12 23:00:45

I consider the middle class children in the nice primary schools already at an advantage to my dc, who go to school in a disadvantaged area.

I am counting on a tutor (and I will skimp and scrape to pay for it) to bring them up to a level so they stand a chance in the 11+ exams.

Scrapping the tutors will not help the children in this working class household.

Ponders Sat 01-Dec-12 23:18:39

In the bad old days of the national 11+ - before comprehensives, when all children in what is now Y6 sat the exam - there was no tutoring, all schools taught more or less the same curriculum, & afaik apart from a few anomalies (both ways) the children who should have passed did pass. I'm not saying selection is a good thing, but as far as it goes it used to work.

I agree with seeker that proper comprehensives is what we should have, but until we do, it should be possible to just ban tutoring. Schools will always know - kids will always talk.

difficultpickle Sat 01-Dec-12 23:26:24

How do you ban tutoring? confused

I sat the 12+ (first year they did it and it didn't last long as it meant we spent an extra year in primary learning nothing).

We did three practice papers in class. No tutoring. Not sure tutors or Bond books even existed then (mid 70s). It was viewed as no big deal. Schools had different pass marks so the higher the pass the more choice you had. Some children passed unexpectedly, struggled for a term in grammar and then went to the secondary where they excelled.

I still live in a grammar school area but the landscape now is unrecognisable. If you haven't booked a tutor by year 2 then you have little hope of getting one. Everyone tutors for 11+. I don't know anyone who isn't/hasn't. Thankfully we ds's school goes to 13 so we won't have to deal with 11+ (I think CE is much more straightforward).

seeker Sat 01-Dec-12 23:33:58

You can't ban the tutoring. That's why you have to ban the system.

rabbitstew Sat 01-Dec-12 23:41:01

So, what changed, then, because the move from no preparation to the current situation was far too slow to be because of the abolition of most grammar schools - and it has even spread to areas which still run a grammar school system without super selectives in the locality.
Was it the move to GCSEs and more people going to university? Did that result in the mad rush to get your children into a school with a "reputation" for excellence? Or did the standard of education drop so dramatically that people are these days having to make up for inferior primary education? Or are a higher proportion of people generally more neurotic, competitive and insecure these days and taking it out on their children, who 25 years ago would have breezed into a grammar school without years of intensive tuition in exam technique, first?

Ponders Sat 01-Dec-12 23:47:52

the latter, I think, rabbitstew

we live in an area with a grammar school & my eldest took the exam 20 years ago. To my knowledge only one child in her class was tutored (& that child subsequently went to medical school so was pretty bright anyway - it was the parents who felt the need confused)

From the following years I know of children who scraped in without tutoring & went on to do brilliantly, & children who got in with tutoring, & then floundered.

I don't see why tutoring couldn't be banned. I know plenty of primary school teachers make a lot of money on the side from doing it, but that's not a reason not to ban it.

Ponders Sat 01-Dec-12 23:52:51

also, fwiw, the introduction of the national curriculum did make a signifcant difference (locally) to those primary schools which had previously struggled a bit when it came to getting their kids up to passing for the grammar school - so in fact the standard of education actually increased, making it harder for a child to pass.

Which should be a good thing, no?

AThingInYourLife Sat 01-Dec-12 23:55:45

"the children who should have passed did pass"


I can't get my head around this.

If there are children who should be passing and we can identify them even if they don't pass, why do we need the test?

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 00:00:55

If you don't have a test, then the people who used to pay tutors to help their children pass the test will spend the money on bribing the headteacher for a good reference, instead. grin

Spockster Sun 02-Dec-12 00:05:14

It would seem odd to try to ban or even discourage tutoring without a ban on independent primary schools or prep schools, which are surely just full-time tutoring establishments? In Bucks, the private primaries have approaching 90% succes in 11+ compared to 10-15% for the local state primaries. This is just as unfair, arguably more so, than tutoring.

seeker Sun 02-Dec-12 00:12:14


Spockster Sun 02-Dec-12 00:20:52

The bum hole that is Michael Gove will not let that happen. And even if he turns out to be allergic to something, shiny pink potato face Eton man won't let it happen, either.

LaVolcan Sun 02-Dec-12 00:21:26

I can't see how they can abolish tutoring. The only way I could see would be for them to keep changing the style of tests, so that you didn't know exactly what to prepare for.

I don't agree fully agree with those who say that people weren't tutored in the old days. I went to a grammar school in the 1960s. I went to two junior schools because we moved house, and both schools were streamed rigidly. If you were in the A stream I think you got more push and more practice at the sort of exercises you would meet in the 11+. Your chances of passing from the B stream were extremely slender, as far as I recall. Some children were put in the B stream at age 7, so effectively got written off then.

Nor do I agree that on the whole the right people got into the grammar school - a lot of perfectly able children were deemed to be failures. The whole system was deeply unpopular because of this. You were tested on arithmetic and English and those funny shape matching sorts of questions. If you passed you were deemed capable, for example, of learning languages, but not if you went to the Secondary Modern. Now the sort of absurdity you got is the example of a close friend of mine 'failing' i.e. deemed to be unsuited to learning a foreign language but who already spoke Dutch because her mother was Dutch. (She later went to university and got a 2:1 and I could think of a good few more people like her too.)

seeker Sun 02-Dec-12 00:24:10

I know. And they want to spread the hideous, divisive, unfair process to other counties. And the smug, smooth faced , red cord wearing Tory lackeys will agree, because even of their children fail, they will whisk them off to private school. And obviously nobody cares what happens to the poor and disadvantaged.

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 08:04:36

I was most interested to turn on the radio this morning and hear the end of some piece about a Catholic voluntary aided school being set up that has been allowed to favour baptised Catholics for 2/3 of the school entry over anyone living nearby, and which then plans to become an academy, so bypassing the requirement for academies not to be so selective of their intakes!!!..... The smug, smooth faced, red cord wearing Tory lackeys and the insane Michael Gove have absolutely no problem with encouraging communities to become ever more divided and divisive.

EdithWeston Sun 02-Dec-12 08:14:18

Bond books certainly did exist in the 70s: I was clearing a cupboard at my DM's and found a pre-decimal one.

EdithWeston Sun 02-Dec-12 08:16:18

" so bypassing the requirement for academies not to be so selective of their intakes"

Faith-based criteria are legal and can be used in the same way by non-academies.

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 08:19:35

According to the radio article, academies cannot be that selective, which is why the school was set up as a voluntary aided school and THEN plans to academise, rather than setting up as an academy school in the first place - in other words, according to Radio 4, there is a difference...

OneHandFlapping Sun 02-Dec-12 08:21:33

The way to end the advantage that middle class parents have in buying tutoring for their kids for the 11+ is to bring tutoring into the primary school curriculum in year 5 in 11+ areas.

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 08:22:30

... and also, according to Radio 4, it has caused divisions in the coalition government, as Michael Gove and Vince Cable became personally involved... so don't tell me it isn't divisive or a loophole in the law until you've made a complaint to Radio 4 for inaccurate reporting!

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 08:30:12

Human nature appears to dictate that those near the top of the pile want to stay there or climb still further and any improvements in the lot of those below them will just lead them to more and more excesses to ensure they remain where they like to be.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 08:32:28

I see this notion of there being " bright underachieving" ( what class?) children denied "opportunity" because other children are tutored - but is there any real evidence for it?

I know the govt and Rowntree roll out figures for the under representation of such children in places like grammar schools but I do not think that is the same thing. Maybe, if we are honest, a large number of these children are sumply not under achieving but lack basic ability? I know its not nice to suggest it but I recall in my old very w/c secondary modern that most of the children we could identify as belonging to this " social class" were in fact not underachieving.

I will say here, I was not "underachieving" either. I was just misplaced.

There is a link between social class and educational sucess and achievement but it is cultural. Maybe we need to stop all this multi cultural valuing all equally and recognise that some cultural values are likely to lead to achievement and promote that and that alone?

So if you want to achieve you find the "right" culture. If not, Ok, but lets not go around talking of under achievement in such situations.

(this btw is at the heart of why I would never place my DS in the state system - he just would not fit in the bog standard state comp in this country).

seeker Sun 02-Dec-12 08:38:33

"(this btw is at the heart of why I would never place my DS in the state system - he just would not fit in the bog standard state comp in this country)."

Why not?

BoffinMum Sun 02-Dec-12 08:42:55

I can think of nothing more nausea inducing than sending my children to a school full of kids who had been crammed for the 11+.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 08:47:15

He is the possessor of the "wrong" culture for state education (as Bernstien would have said) Seeker. Most state schools have a culture which is largely not that my DS has. I will not play "social inclusion" with my childs future.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 08:50:00

I guess by that you mean a prep school BoffinMum. I bet it would surprise you to find out that most preps do not cram! The education is different and it probably lends itslef to developing those skills DC need for "passing" the 11+ but it is not a crammer usually. It may also often be full of DC who have " educational achievement" potential ( cultural mainly) but those factors do not make it a crammar.

seeker Sun 02-Dec-12 08:52:58

So what "culture" does your son possess?

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 08:53:16

What is the culture for state education? I always felt perfectly happy not being a sheep who copied those around me and I was state educated.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 08:54:02

Seeker - the same as that of my wife and myself.

ptangyangkipperbang Sun 02-Dec-12 09:00:31

I work in a primary school in a 'disadvantaged' area. From the moment the children walk through the door they are encouraged to aim high. We try to get parents involved but if that doesn't work we do all we can to help them succeed.

Very few, if any, parents could afford a tutor and many don't know about the 11 + system so the school steps in. Staff give up their lunchtime to tutor the children and parents are given key dates and admission info.

We've had fantastic successes. However, the 11+ is never regarded as superior. We have links with the local comps and all pupils are encouraged to go to the school where they will achieve their potential.

seeker Sun 02-Dec-12 09:01:27

Ronaldo- which is?

Firelighters Sun 02-Dec-12 09:03:25

How about they just improve education at primary level and all the way through? That's the only way to get rid of tutors, selection, eleven plus, private schools, grammar schools. Make state education better. In other words, as I read in a wonderful internet Spike or something - Please Teach My Children Some Fucking Stuff.

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 09:08:57

That isn't the answer, Firelighters, not while some people wish to remove themselves and their children from the majority of other parents and children, because they think the majority will contaminate or corrupt their children with idleness and poor attitudes to education....

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 09:09:41

Seeker - bourgeois (masculine) and bourgeoise (feminine) and intellectual if I have to put a lebel on it.

The chattering and avante garde.

Firelighters Sun 02-Dec-12 09:10:06

I think they sort of do it because on the whole they want a better education.

bamboostalks Sun 02-Dec-12 09:12:04

Ronaldo Am sure you mean that you and your wife value education, want to learn and want your son to mix with those of the same. You feel very sure that this is not the case in the bog standard comps you speak of.

bamboostalks Sun 02-Dec-12 09:12:58

X post. Your answer was so much worse than I even anticipated!

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 09:13:58

Please Teach My Children Some Fucking Stuff.I think they may already do that!

But what they teach is not the " stuff" of achievement and success. I certainly do not want my DS taught anything "F" ing anyway. smile But maybe that is precisely the difference I am talking about whan I say " possessorof a different culture".

Its not that I cannot swear, its that I make sure its appropriate and in a suitable place.

seeker Sun 02-Dec-12 09:16:28

I've just realised who you are, Ronaldo. I'm out of here.

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 09:16:47

Ronaldo - missed apostrophes. From you!

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 09:18:02

Bamboostalks - that is probably part of it, but I think its a bit more than that too. Its as much about what DS is taught as how he is taught it and what environment he is in.

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 09:18:17

Is it achievement and success you want for your child, Ronaldo? Or just a certain way of life?

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 09:19:27

Sorry about the typo's! Its just fat arthritic fingers and a CBA morning today.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 09:19:53

Both rabbitstew.

wigglybeezer Sun 02-Dec-12 09:26:48

Ronaldo, it may surprise you to know that state schools are not mono- cultural, children generally do a good job of finding friends who come from families with similar values and streaming and subject choice result in them being taught with children with similar educational ambitions ( choose physics and you tend to have other bright kds in your class).
My older two sons are very different, Ds1 is very sporty rather than intellectual, DS2 is more of a boffin, their comprehensive manages to accommodate both their needs.

wigglybeezer Sun 02-Dec-12 09:30:07

Oh and my local independent school is not mono cultural either.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 09:39:53

I am not surprised that state schools are not a mono culture.

My DS is young and I would rather he had a sense of who he is and where he is from and be able to feel that he fits in before being subjected to multi cultural systems (I am not being racist here - many independent schools are culturally far more diverse but socially far more cohesive).

I do want my DS to be in an environment which shares a wrok ethic, which develops good manners, good speech habits, politeness etc. I alsowant him to to develop in a culture where his abilities and skills are not scoffed at. Where as I said, he will be the possessor of the wrong culture because we do not watch BGT or I'm a Celebrity - Get me Out of Here.
( we may not even watch TV in our house sometimes).

Whilst there may be a few DC in a bog standard comp who may share his "culture" they will be far fewer ( in fact, in my own case, possibly none)

Its about simple things and more complex ones.

I have worked in challenging schools and in "bog standard" ones. I have also worked in some of the elitist of places. The differences are in the small things often. Its the small things that matter though.

I am not telling others to educate their own DC as I would mine, but I do not see why I should be criticised for my views and lifestyle either

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 09:44:50

In short I am looking for a type of school which supports the cultural capital we have given him. Thats about more than "achievement" or " aiming high" and its quite, quite different.

PolkadotCircus Sun 02-Dec-12 09:50:25

So what are those of us with kids at crap schools supposed to do then?

Personally I can't afford £30 an hour X 3 anyway but surely the rich kids in private primaries(who teach consistently to the 11+)and those with dc in Outstanding primaries are going to get advantages however they change the exam.

I think kids at private primaries should be banned completely from going to state grammar schools(top notch education in classes of less than 15 is an equal unfair advantage imvho)and kids in Satisfactory or under primary schools should get bonus points.

Kids in primary schools with poor progress and results are at a huge disadvantage to kids in schools with Outstanding teaching,progress and results.I can already see it.My dc have cousins and friends in Outstanding primaries(they are in a Satisfactory)year on year you see the impact this has.

Xenia Sun 02-Dec-12 10:16:22

It's a good plan. However most of the country has no grammar schools at all so it's pretty irrelevant to most people.

Startail Sun 02-Dec-12 10:22:21

Our grammars select MC parents because there is no free transport.

Mintyy Sun 02-Dec-12 10:25:35

Sorry but pmsl at Ronaldo.

Why are they trying to stick plasters on this stupid system that is only available to a small minority of children anyway. The grammar "system" is nowhere near a level playing field because most of the country simply doesn't have them. Its a joke.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 10:25:58

Indeed, Xenia makes agood point. Probably the majority of places do not have a grammar school system. Some others have a system where the grammar school intake is far wider (in terms of distance/catchment) than it would have been in my day. But even more will ( like I do) find themselves with one choice of catchment comprehensive - a large school usually which takes all sorts. Often such schools are dominated by a lower cultural presence which is reinforced buy the school staff and management as a
"norm". The only alternative then becomes a private school ( or HE ).

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 10:31:49

I am sorry to hear of your bladder issues mintyy .

But I admit I find a large number of posts on MN such that I find it difficult to contain my incredulity at their their inability to understand simple self evident things sometimes. Things like why it is a smll number of individuals educated in a particular way run this country ( largely without real opposition as they are of all political/ economic/educational colours but only one cultural grouping).

APMF Sun 02-Dec-12 10:32:56

I spent 6 months tutoring mine. At 4 months he was scoring 85% regularly in his mocks. At 6 months it was 89-91% and that's where it plateau-ed.

a) YOU can tutor your kids. The test is aimed at 11 year old kids so it's not rocket science.
b) A parent can tutor the DC from year 2 if that is their choice but the law of diminishing returns applies. So stop going on about your kid being at a disadvantage when that kid will probably be over cooked after so many years of tutoring.

Bottom line: stop complaining about how unfair the system is. If you can't be bothered to tutor your child then that is your choice. Just don't interfere with mine. If your child doesn't take to the tutoring then don't complain that your DC was denied a place because the system is unfair. If he can't handle some home tutoring then he is obviously not as bright as you think.

seeker Sun 02-Dec-12 10:35:31

It is important for people on here to realise that Ronaldo's child is, I think, 6. Also, he teaches in an independent school and has had no significant contact with the state system since his own unhappy school days which were, I think more than 30 years ago.

So large pinches of salt required.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 10:40:11

Its also worth remembering that life is unfair. Learning this is a good basis for future success IMO. Its something I often tell my students ( A level) when they cry my marking ( because I give them less than they think they deserved) or my lesson plan decisions (usually to run a test).

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 10:43:28

Please do not ply lies seeker. I have had considerable contact with state schools ( teaching) in my life. I have only worked in an independent school for 4 years or so - and its been an eye opener. I have spent much of my life working with pupils from challenging schools or in "bog standard" schools.

QODRestYeMerryGentlemen Sun 02-Dec-12 10:51:17

My dd had the crappest year 3. Her school burnt down (whilst they were trapped on the field) infront of them, she had emotional problems after this (naturally!) and had a teacher who she was just scared witless of. In the end, in yr 4 she got put in remedial maths. I paid for a tutor to build her maths back up, as did several other parents. Dd is at grammar school, hasn't had a tutor since and is in the middle group (3 of 5) and working at level 7.
So it's not as clear cut as you may think.
Of the other children, 2 others are at her school, 2 at the local high school. All given the same "advantage" but only 3 got in.
There has to be a certain level of ability to be taught, to learn and retain.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 10:54:16

My children all attend a state school, one of them attends a grammar solely because of his SEN and tbh I think we made a mistake but that is another thread .

We are a family that discuss over the dinner table, we value achievement, have manners, speak well etc and although I may watch the odd episode of X factor all my children think it is terribly vulgar and low brow and would never watch it.

Is it just the fact that I may watch a bit of X factor in a Saturday night that means my children can thrive at state schools and your children can't Ronaldo? Maybe you should start watching, you could save yourself 30k a year.

JugglingWithPossibilities Sun 02-Dec-12 10:59:18

Whatever the system is well educated "middle class" parents who know how important education is for their children will always crack it - it's like cracking the Enigma code smile An interesting challenge !
Like someone said you could try to ban tutors but some parents already have tutor skills they use all the time with their own children.
How to really improve things for less privileged children is a huge challenge.
Greater equality will be hard to achieve, and I don't think it's fair to ask more middle class parents to sacrifice their aspirations for their children or their own children's education in order to achieve it. Don't see that happening anyway.

Spockster Sun 02-Dec-12 11:06:56

Bog standard was fine for me, and would be fine for my kids. But the options are grammar or "academy" (essentially secondary modern). If there were no private schools, free school, grammar schools etc etc and all public finances and went into the state comp system, we could all have good, local schools for our kids. I realise this wouldn't suit those who want "cultural fit"; ie the snobs and social climbers.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 11:07:45

No its not just X factor Arisbottle ( as well you probably know). Its that and other factors ( like those that make mintyy have bladder issues perhaps?).

Its difficult to explain because whatever I say its by example or I simplify it and it ends up being misinterpreted. Maybe I should not bother. Suffice to say maybe that we a lifestle which would make my DS stand out so much in a state school that he would more than likely find himself culturally at odds there.

I do not believe it is good for a DC to have to feel they do not belong in that way. It makes them lack confidence and esteem at an early and important stage and they may not recover. One of the biggest single characteristics of a good independent school education which separates it from state schools
( grammar or comprehensive, old and modern) is that pupils of independent schools are able to mix and work effortlessly in any situation. Its that apparent effortlessness that is key to their success and their achievement often.

Whilst this next point is specific , it is also aconsideration: I am also very aware that my DS is very gifted and very intelligent ( not PC to discuss on MN) . We have to select carefully and nurture that.

So I will not send him to a state school.

Spockster Sun 02-Dec-12 11:11:21

Snort... Mintyy's stress incontinence is catching!!

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 11:11:27

btw, if a grammar school were available where I live I would not send my DS ( assuming of course he passed the 11+). It does not give the edge in education that I am looking for.

rainbowinthesky Sun 02-Dec-12 11:12:28

Ronaldo - I am sure I will be deleted but it sounds really boring in your house.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 11:12:28

I am intrigued as to what it is that you are doing that means that your son just could not fit in in a state school but my children can.

Are you just being too polite to tell me that I am very common?

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 11:12:38

My DW said to me that there are pelvic exersises for ladies who have that problem.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 11:13:38

My son is at a grammar school and we are distinctly underwhelmed . As I said we made a mistake but we cannot move him now as he would find it too distressing.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 11:14:34

rainbowinthesky -maybe it is, I dont know. Coping with boring is another good lesson in life. smile

Spockster Sun 02-Dec-12 11:14:55

A total lack of understanding of normal, state-educated people and their cultures, backgrounds and lives; sounds familiar! A good explanation of why this country has the social problems it has, when the decisions that affect us all are made by the people Ronaldo is trying to make his DS emulate.

Phineyj Sun 02-Dec-12 11:15:07

How on earth would you 'ban tutors'? You'd have to make all private tutoring illegal and knowing how good governments are at creating unintended consequences with legislation, that would inevitably catch in music lessons, sports coaching, home education, Kumon maths & english...

I attended and now teach at a selective grammar, in one of the areas of the country where grammars educate a significant proportion of the children. The school now draws students from a much wider geographical area than in my day and it's easier for parents to find out how the system works thanks to the internet. I know a lot of people (including apparently most of the teacher training establishment) really hate grammars and everything they stand for but is selecting by parental income (independents) or house price (popular comprehensives) better?

I find it bizarre that the same people who will unthinkingly accept that a top football team or a West End show should select entirely on talent think those principles fly out of the window when it comes to an academic education. The brightest children (however you define them) are not going to achieve their full potential in an environment where it is seen as bad to be clever, they are socially ostracised and they are not challenged. I am not saying that that environment has to be a grammar but it's evidently going to be harder to achieve in a school with widely mixed abilities, unless you have a grammar-stream, in which case why is separate education within the same building so much better?

Meanwhile the independent schools I've visited are packed with the children of the aspirational, ethnic minority, middle classes...

rainbowinthesky Sun 02-Dec-12 11:15:37

Good comeback!

Mintyy Sun 02-Dec-12 11:16:28

I am finding this hilarious and intriguing. What can it be about Ronaldo's ds that makes him so unique? I really really really want to know now.

rainbowinthesky Sun 02-Dec-12 11:16:52

his parents?

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 11:17:44

Arisbottle, I have said what it is we do many times - its what makes other people find us so funny that they develop severe bladder problems isnt it? That is precisely why my DS would not fit in a state school - any state school, clearly.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 11:18:19

I am not unique - just not state school material anymore.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 11:19:04

If Ronaldo has only just recently entered the independent system I suspect he is a little like an overly zealous religious convert. Very excited to be part of the new club, merrily condemning those who fall out of it and trying very hard to fit in.

I suspect he is seen with amusement by those who have been in the independent system a long time.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 11:20:40

Thank you rainbowinthesky , I will take that as a compliment.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 11:21:03

I am not sure what you have said that means that your child would self combust the moment they entered a state school. You mentioned some vague qualities and aspirations above which my family have or do, and yet somehow mine cope with being in a state school. No, they don't cope they thrive.

What is different ?

rainbowinthesky Sun 02-Dec-12 11:21:51

Ronaldo - I would be very concerned if my child would not be able to fit into any state school.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 11:24:23

I suspect he could fit into a state school and I say that as someone who mistakenly withdrew her son from a comprehensive thinking that he would not fit in because of SEN. Maybe Ronaldo's son has similar needs to my eldest.

I think Ronaldo sees it as a badge if honour that he thinks he could not possible be educated amongst the masses.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 11:28:21

You have to remember Arisbottle I am from the eleite of eleitetoo - Cantab educated. I saw a lot of private educated people there. Hob knobed with the top of British Industry / legal brains and litteratti along the way. I know the difference and I would like my DS to have the advantage of that from the outset.

It was a different world and a fantastic place. I unfortunately did not have that "effortlessnes" I spoke of earlier and had to learn it. My DW on the other hand has a natural flair and finish ( as well as social class) and my DS has benefitted from her guide.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 11:32:23

My husband and I are both Oxbridge graduates, our children still manage to mix with the masses.

It strikes me as quite sad that you are clearly so ill at ease with yourself and you are projecting this into your son.

Mintyy Sun 02-Dec-12 11:32:33

Oh I see.


Its not that your ds couldn't thrive in a state school, its just that you don't want him to? How very ordinary!

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 11:33:31

Neither DH or I would describe ourselves as elite because we managed to strike lucky and get into a good university.

Either you have some kind of personality disorder or you are making this guff up .

Mintyy Sun 02-Dec-12 11:34:41


Mintyy Sun 02-Dec-12 11:36:37

I do hope him becoming the "eleite of the eleite" isn't your main ambition for your child?

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 11:36:48

Someone said earlier what I firmly believe and have experienced . It is much harder ( if not almost impossible) to have a good work ethic and to achieve academically in an environment where it is not good to be clever or to show academic ability ( where school is not cool). It is even more difficult for those who have a high intelligence because they will be laughed at and ostracised.

State school has a culture of trumped up instant success ( I oooze talent from every pore and so Simon Cowel will be by soon and will spot my greatness as I hang on this street corner even though I havent displayed any real talent before or worked at improving it , is the obvious attitude!) and a cultural disposition for the popular. Its not cool to work or to improve at something through work.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 11:37:40

I refer you to my earlier comment about arthritic fingers and a current CBA attitude today.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 11:39:01

rainbow - I am sure my DS could learn to fit in with a state school, but I think he would find that at odds with his home life. At 6 he should not have to do that.

rainbowinthesky Sun 02-Dec-12 11:40:04

Lots of very bright children manage to be successful in state schools. Do you think your son wouldn't be able to cope like so many others? Surely if he were that exceptional he would and would also be able to impart some of your his wisdom on the commoners.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 11:40:15

Arisbottle - as you said , I dont want to say what is different. I dont want to offend. Least said eh?

rainbowinthesky Sun 02-Dec-12 11:41:07

Perhaps then the problem is you, Ronaldo. Can you not simply let him be a 6 year old child because it sounds like you are making him a mini me rather than a child.

rainbowinthesky Sun 02-Dec-12 11:42:01

You're trying to make out how privileged and extraordinary your ds is but I actually feel very sorry for him and for his future.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 11:42:52

My children attend state schools with one exception they all attend comprehensives or will do, they all want to achieve and all have friends who want to achieve.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 11:43:36

Ronaldo you will not offend me, I find you a constant source of amusement. If you with to tell me why your family are so superior to mine, go right ahead.

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 11:43:43

Ronaldo - I was Oxon (!) educated and saw a lot of privately educated people there. It was indeed a different world and a fantastic place in many ways, but it did contain an awful lot of *nobs without the hob... I certainly saw plenty of vulgar and immature behaviour of the sort I'm sure you would disapprove, mainly coming from the privately educated who really ought to know better, if what you say about the superior culture at private schools has any credence.

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 11:45:09

I then observed the same childish and vulgar behaviour working as a solicitor in the City with largely privately educated people.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 11:47:22

I am just a very ordinary middle class bloke with ordinary middle class wishes for my DS. Nothing more. I think it is quite unnecessary to make your point by suggesting my D S is being disadvantaged because you do not want to accept that state schools do not cut it!

Lets face it, most of the real achievers are from private school backgrounds
( see anhother thread).

I feel sorry for your DC too - it must be terrible having parents like you too. IMO Glad my boy doesnt have to live with you.

Would you be taking your DC to Canada this Christmas?

Mintyy Sun 02-Dec-12 11:47:24

Are you really fantastically wealthy and loaded Ronaldo? That is the only kind of "home life" you don't see much of in state schools. Although some of the super rich do believe in the comprehensive system, I don't think there are all that many exceedingly wealthy families at my children's state school.

Other than that I cannot begin to think what makes your child's home life unique. But you are being all coy about it so I'm off to interact with my children. Topics already discussed here this morning (just general chit chat) include the geography of South America, what is the weight of an elephant when it is born, what is the difference between shortcrust pastry and puff pastry, how does Sky (as in satellite tv) work, and I've been helping my Yr 7 dd do her level 6b maths homework. How I manage to do all this without being an elite of an elite I will never know!

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 11:49:32

No I am not taking my children to Canada, is that why my children can cope at a state school and yours can't. Is it something in the Canadian water?

Xenia Sun 02-Dec-12 11:50:22

Parents who want children at state grammars have to move to find them as most places don't have them. Others who like comprehensives have that choice and those who work hard enough to pay school fees have that choice too. If the state school parents like the result from that system and the private school their own resulting children then we're all happy, nothing to argue over.

This is thread about state not private schools. Most of those at Oxbridge who didn't go to fee paying schools I believe went to state grammars, same with judges - most of those who did not go to a private school went to a state grammar. The interesting issue is do we find that areas which have not had state grammars for 40 year like where I am from have they found their proportion of Oxbridge entrants has reduced, increased or stayed the same as the same children will be in those regions without selective state schools and presumably their IQs are not lower.

CecilyP Sun 02-Dec-12 11:51:12

^So, what changed, then, because the move from no preparation to the current situation was far too slow to be because of the abolition of most grammar schools - and it has even spread to areas which still run a grammar school system without super selectives in the locality.

Was it the move to GCSEs and more people going to university? Did that result in the mad rush to get your children into a school with a "reputation" for excellence? Or did the standard of education drop so dramatically that people are these days having to make up for inferior primary education? Or are a higher proportion of people generally more neurotic, competitive and insecure these days and taking it out on their children, who 25 years ago would have breezed into a grammar school without years of intensive tuition in exam technique, first?^

What's changed; when I took the 11+, there were 3 papers English, Arithmetic and verbal reasoning. The English and Maths were what you were doing in primary school anyway. The verbal reasoning was an unknown, although our teacher did mention some of the types of questions that might come up. If the 3 subjects had equal weight, then parents who wanted their child to go to grammar school were probably missing a trick in not teaching it - but there wasn't so much information in those days - no bond papers and that sort of thing. Probably the internet has a lot to do with fuelling it.

Today, many 11+ tests have replaced testing things taught at primary school with tests of VR and NVR, (although I believe Kent adds maths to the mix). So nothing to do with inferior primary education. In fact the idea was to make up for variations in quality of primary eduction and the theory behind the tests is to test potential rather than ability. And, if all children came to these tests cold, that would be the case. But these days parents are much more savvy, much less likely to know their place, less likely to think 'if the test shows you should go to this school or that school, that must be the school for you'. Then you have far more parents who, years ago, wouldn't have thought of state education entering the competition - for competition is what it is.

Mintyy Sun 02-Dec-12 11:51:44

Yes, that's all very well, but we want to know about Ronaldo and his non-state- educatable son.

Mintyy Sun 02-Dec-12 11:53:06

Sorry, that was to Xenia not you Cecily (thank you for your interesting post).

dreamingofsun Sun 02-Dec-12 11:54:44

personally i think the stranglehold on top uni places by privately educated kids is a bigger problem that needs addressing. my son's girlfriend goes to one and she is one of only a few state educated kids on her course.

for the state to provide the best uni education only to privately educated kids is just totally wrong. and rather than just tweaking grades something must be done to widen access to all bright children eg give them a decent education in earlier years.

CecilyP Sun 02-Dec-12 11:59:58

Ronaldo, you really do have delusions of grandeur if you think that there is no other child in a state school that is sufficiently like yours, that your child would have to make a tremendous effort to learn to fit in - certainly at 6 years old. Even Boris Johnson was in a state school at 6.

tilder Sun 02-Dec-12 12:01:43

You see, its threads like this which reinforce my view on private education. It is not something I would choose for my children.

None of my family or dh family went private either. Between the families there are 6 siblings, with 3 PhDs, an md, a barrister and I think 9 other degrees. Not quite sure how we have been disadvantaged by our lack of a private education. Apart from imvho having better manners, a lack of snobbery and a lack of a certain superiority complex.

Although that may be seen as rude and showing off to some. I would never list things like this normally, it just really irritates when the view that success can only follow a private education is wheeled out.

CecilyP Sun 02-Dec-12 12:02:46

I think it probably applies to me as well, Mintyy, as I had only read the the first page before I posted.

peteneras Sun 02-Dec-12 12:05:24

'Lots of very bright children manage to be successful in state schools. Do you think your son wouldn't be able to cope like so many others? Surely if he were that exceptional he would and would also be able to impart some of your his wisdom on the commoners.'

Huh! That brings back some fond memories alright. DS was already a fully paid-up member of British MENSA at 6 and was helping teacher to ‘impart’ some of his wisdom on his state school peers. This went on for the next few years when I decided it’s time someone else imparted some wisdom on him for a change and off he went to private school.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 12:07:41

Could his teachers not impart some wisdom to him. Was your problem that state school teachers are not very bright or that your son is so bright that he has nothing to learn from adult?

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 12:08:28

grin At Even Boris!

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 12:08:52

Why have you changed your name back?

Viviennemary Sun 02-Dec-12 12:14:26

I think the 11 plus examinatin should be totally abolished. It is a ridiculous system and I would never have lived in an area that used it.

Viviennemary Sun 02-Dec-12 12:15:18

*Examination. See, I wouldn't have passed. grin

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 12:20:13

Am I exceptionally wealthy? I dont know,how do you define "exceptionally wealthy"?

Is my lifestyle different to the average state school parents? Therefore will my DS find it difficult to be seen as like them?

Well, put in a nutshell. I have a home in Canade as well as here in the UK. My DW is Canadian and my DS has duel nationality. I doubt that is "normal" in state schools.

We travel to Canada several times a year. I dont suppose that is normal for state school. It is normal in many independent schools.

My previous occupation is likely to make me different. I am also older - doubt many state school kids have a dad like me. Independent schools, I am not that uncommon.

My DW has also had a good education and is musically gifted and has been career led that way. DS plays the piano quite exceptionally well ( may not be common in state schools either).

He is also bi lingual - alkthough both DW and I are actually English speakers.

We all speak RP. We sound "funny" we make people have incontenence.

He is intelligent by any measure ( not PC on MN), so another feature to make him an obvious target for bullies in state schools (not so much in independent ones). He is also gifted at maths.

I and my DW are married and live together...... is that unusual too these days?

We live in a decent middle class house in a small hamlet in SE England
(middle Englander country). We have a study and library and a collection of books. We all read. We all write.

We have two cars here. We have a car in Canada as well.

We have dinner, go to the loo, eat meals together at a table usually, say please and thank you always. We wash daily and wear clean clothes and are well groomed. I get my hair cut at a barbers every six weeks.

We do not swear except under our breath or privately.

I woiuld rather take my DW to dinner and a good ballet than I would to a pop concert and show her a good time with fish and chips afterwards ( although we do get F&C on a Friday night sometimes).

I own a DJ ( thats Dinner Jacket).

We listen to classical music ( played by my DW often or by my DS sometimes). We have a collection of classical music too.

I have about three modern pop records - from the 1960's!

We value a good education. We do not break the law. We stand up for what we believe.

We ride, I play golf, we dance sometimes but we do not have animlas because we go away too often. We do have a cat.

I love my DW.

Just ordinary. Thats a snapshot. Go on laugh. But the finallaugh is on you because you fail to realise how important those things may be in the future. So children need to mix with all kids - how are your state educated children ever going to meet people like those who run governments or big business in your state schools?

I may disadvantage my DS by being an oldie and a bit eccentric and having some avant - garde and names not to be dropped lightly friends and being middle class. The least I can do is ensure he mixes with people like us as far as possible.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 12:21:32

Lots of very bright children manage to be successful in state schools

Do they? Really? There is success and SUCCESS.

tilder Sun 02-Dec-12 12:26:55

Ronaldo, just curious, but what would you define as SUCCESS.

Firelighters Sun 02-Dec-12 12:35:55

"I think kids at private primaries should be banned completely from going to state grammar schools"

Drop their tax as a consequence and a lot wouldn't mind.

GlitKnit Sun 02-Dec-12 12:37:13

Ronaldo you sound like a cock.

rainbowinthesky Sun 02-Dec-12 12:37:19

Ronaldo - I hate to say this but your list is not so dissimilar to a list I would write or many of the parents of other state educated children. I was expecting something very out of the ordinary and your list simply wasn't. We aren't going to Canada this year for Christmas but will be next Christmas.

rainbowinthesky Sun 02-Dec-12 12:39:08

You have a rather strange view of how families in state schools live.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 12:40:37

Someone who has an entry in who's who.

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 12:42:02

Ronaldo - your post about what you think would be unusual and make you out of place in state schools just makes you sound utterly ignorant. What sort of state schools did you actually teach in?! Did you once have a missionary zeal and deliberately seek out the worst performing state schools in the roughest areas?... Fwiw, my dh was privately educated and I was state educated and I fit better with your mad list than he does. Personal taste is personal taste, you don't have to go to the "right" school to develop it unless you are a pathetically weak individual with no mind of your own and no family to set any kind of example for you.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 12:42:45

As I said Painbow, there are not so many differences - I am an ordinary bloke.

But because of afew of the things I mentioned above, I wont be putting my DS in a state school. Ifyou choose to , thats up to you. Clearly there are differences there - maybe I havent mentioned them?

GlitKnit Sun 02-Dec-12 12:42:58

Ronaldo has No clue about anything apart from his own little world where what he does is right.

He needs to do some work with people from wealthier and poorer backgrounds to realize what a smug twat what a blinkered and bigoted view he has.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 12:43:42

I shpuld have added above I love my DS and my DW and they are the best things that have ever happened to me in my life and I will do everything I can for them

GlitKnit Sun 02-Dec-12 12:43:47

My sons state school got the top in the league tables for the new eBac.

It outstripped most private schools.

Poor son. Poor boy. ;)

rainbowinthesky Sun 02-Dec-12 12:44:08

I'm leaving this thread as I think you are using it as a platform to elevate yourself and I just can't respond in the way you expect i.e. look up to you with awe and wonder at your brilliance as you're just not doing it for me.

GlitKnit Sun 02-Dec-12 12:44:35

My nephews state school sends SIXTEEN to Oxbridge every year
Even to study medicine etc.

Poor nephew

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 12:45:25

I fail to see how your approach to your ds is going to make him a SUCCESS rather than a success, though, Ronaldo. I can see your ds becoming a minor academic, but I'm not sure you are going all out to groom him for SUCCESS, for which you need a thicker hide than the one you appear to have.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 12:47:06

I have worked in state schools, I know exactly what they are like. Yes I am being snobbish - so what. I dont value the cultiure of state schooling.

I can just imagine what would happen if my DS goes to school and says to your rainbow or mintyy or any one of you " XXXX (famous top politician or composer or author ) came to dinner last night or stayed the weekend or we went to theirs "...... how you would react.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 12:48:50

I do not think my approach will make him a SUCCESS rabbitstew but it will give him the best chance of making it if he has the ability.

You see, itsreally about what I havent said - about who we go to school with, who we mix with. I believe the modern parlance is networking.

GlitKnit Sun 02-Dec-12 12:49:33

And how will he network with normal people when he works?
Is he like little lord Fauntleroy ?

BoffinMum Sun 02-Dec-12 12:50:09

Ronaldo, I've actually worked in the prep school sector and pulled one of my children out of it as a consequence, as the education was far too snobby.

I speak as someone who went to prep schoo herself and public school. Independent education is a lot snobbier than it was, to its detriment.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 12:50:35

Ronaldo I an sorry but you are quite ordinary. Increasingly families have dual nationality , they travel , lots of couples are married and own their own home . Lots of husbands and wives play gold and I suspect we all read.

The only thing that sets you apart is the fact that that you think you are better than anyone else.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 12:50:45

I can do better than that GL - we had 20 who went to Cambridge Colleges this year and around a 1/3 of the year who went to Oxford. Private education. Not many went elsewhere.

PolkadotCircus Sun 02-Dec-12 12:50:59

Why Firelighters?In a civilised society most people pay for benefits they never use.

State grammar schools were designed for state pupils not wealthy private pupils with parents hoping to save on school fees.If you buy out of the state system you're out end of.

It's fundamentally wrong for privately educated kids who have experienced an education the vast majority could never afford to steal places from the state children grammar schools were designed for.

Personally I think parents who do this should be ashamed,it's wrong,wrong,wrong.

rainbowinthesky Sun 02-Dec-12 12:51:13

Coming back for a moment - I would ask who especially if a politician as pil was an MP (in another country) and travelled the world meeting other VIP people as part of his work on human rights. DH continues to work on human rights when he is not working at his day job and mixes with a lot of MPs because of this. Oh and DH also went to v expensive boarding school in another country whilst I went to a comp yet earn double his wage.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 12:51:21

Arisbottle its all in that thought though isnt it?

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 12:53:09

That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard, Ronaldo. I've had a "famous" classical composer stay the night, my family have mixed with "famous" people. Why would their staying the night be a matter of more note in school than anyone else staying the night? Why would I feel the need to tell people who was sleeping in my parents' house, anyway? That would be as vulgar as telling everyone that a famous popstar or footballer dropped by to say hello, wouldn't it?!

tilder Sun 02-Dec-12 12:53:11

Thank you for your definition of SUCCESS. Another question - what will happen if your ds fails to attain that? How will he feel, when you obviously have such strong expectations. Note I didn't say high expectations - a lot of people have those.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 12:53:19

And how will he network with normal people when he works?
He wont because those who he works with will be like him. He will know how to "manage" the others - effortlessly. Thats the difference.

rainbowinthesky Sun 02-Dec-12 12:53:22

But Ronaldo - you aren't fooling anyone that you are better than them. It's only worth thinking you are better than others if they believe it too.

BoffinMum Sun 02-Dec-12 12:54:31

<looks around for Xenia>

rainbowinthesky Sun 02-Dec-12 12:54:38

He's only 6 years old and you have his life mapped out for him. Sometimes dc don't follow what their parents expect of them.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 12:54:55

Tidler - he wont fail. It will not be allowed. Even if he isnt as good as your FC, his background will give him the advantage that you so clearly do not realise is there.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 12:55:29

Teah - I am looking for Xenia too! Come and back me up girl!

rainbowinthesky Sun 02-Dec-12 12:56:04

Sometimes it's important to allow our children to be their own people too.

rainbowinthesky Sun 02-Dec-12 12:56:32

I don't think Xenia is a girl.

BoffinMum Sun 02-Dec-12 12:56:43

Abandon the 11+. Just take them all on a survival course, and let the most socially aggressive and feral children have the places, then?

germyrabbit Sun 02-Dec-12 12:58:39

of course xenia is a 'girl' hmm

though she is only interested in independents grin

mn does have quite a warped view of comps imo, so i tend to rely on real life experienced of them rather on here which is vv middle class

though i don't understand why some places have grammars and some don;t

rainbowinthesky Sun 02-Dec-12 13:00:00

Really? I thought she was a woman.

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 13:00:39

At least Ronaldo is being honest about his reasoning behind wanting a private education for his child - the grooming of a ruling class. You have to believe you can rule others effortlessly and deserve to be in that position to go ahead and do it. It doesn't pay, after all, to have too much understanding of the real impact of everything you do, or you'd never go ahead and do it. In other words, it helps to understand little, but feel you know a lot.

tilder Sun 02-Dec-12 13:01:37

Oh bless.

Not often I am left speechless but that comment just makes me feel very sad.

Am tempted to write my views but I don't see the point. I would just say good luck to your son.

LaQueen Sun 02-Dec-12 13:01:52

Bit pointless...really.

If you advocate the Nature path, then many middle-class children will have inherited their graduate/professional parents IQs, anyway...and if you follow the Nuture path, then most middle-class children will be exposed to lots of reading, conversation, and mentally stimulating environment by their graduate/professional parents, anyway...

And, the fact is...there are hundreds of thousands of children who could spend hours with an 11+ tutor, and they still won't pass the exam - because they just don't have the inate ability.

Most MC children have a combination of inate ability and some coaching/polish from a tutor or their parents.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 13:02:45

rabbitstew - it seems to me that just everyone knows all the famous people. Of course they do. I dont want to offend but I think too many on MN edut their life storiies. When I said I was cambridge educated once , suddenly all MN ers were similarly educated. One had a first in PPE ( well mines maths but hey!) and everyone has a first.

Forgive me if I think you are over egging it now.

rainbowinthesky Sun 02-Dec-12 13:05:11

Absolutely right, Ronaldo. It is only you on mumsnet who is bilingual, knows famous people, goes to the ballet, has a study and has been to Cambridge. You naughty, naughty other mumsnetters making up stuff that simply must be a lie.

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 13:07:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

seeker Sun 02-Dec-12 13:09:38

I've been waiting ages to find out what is so exceptional about Ronaldo's
home life- I have rarely been so disappointed in my life! Apart from the golf, Canada and the bilingual bit, he has just described my family life! And substitute Canada for Spain ( a posh bit , obviously) and he exactly describes my brother's life!

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 13:10:01

The only issue in question is who you view to be "famous"... grin Would I have heard of your lovely wife?

tilder Sun 02-Dec-12 13:10:14

FWIW I don't think my children are better than your son. Am really not sure why you would think something like that.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 13:10:20

I come back and we're on P7 - few people seem to have read the linky in my OP though and noticed the article refers to KENT only - so very relevant to those such as Seeker, who have experienced the Kent system, and I thought might be interested to hear of potential improvements. Not currently directly applicable to the rest of the country, though, unless it gets rolled out more widely.

"Ronaldo" - not clear why you have name-changed in order to post clearly as your alter-ego from previous threads, but I wish you would go away and stop cluttering up an interesting discussion with delusional fantasies about your poor DS, and about state school pupils. I have no interest at all in your son's amazing intellectual prowess or your own (clearly demonstrated by your astonishing grasp of apostrophes), or your supposed social superiority, but wish you would start your own threads to discuss them. Oh, and Xenia is no more a 'girl' than you are a 'boy'.

To return to topic, Durham/CEM do offer 11+ exams to schools that they claim are untutorable for. The reality is, sadly, not the case - the same papers are reused, as well,in different areas of the country, which lead (in the modern internet age) to obvious opportunities for cheating.

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 13:10:50

(Talking to Ronaldo, there, of course - he of the multi talented, musician wife who now stays at home to look after their gifted son).

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 13:14:09

Absolutely right, Ronaldo. It is only you on mumsnet who is bilingual, knows famous people, goes to the ballet, has a study and has been to Cambridge. You naughty, naughty other mumsnetters making up stuff that simply must be a lie

No, biut it is not usualy for the vast majority of those who go to bog standard comprehnsives either. That I do know.

Lets face it, this is the internet and everyone wants to be right.

Like they say on the internet,
men are men, women are men and 9 year old girls are FBI agents. Thats nearer reality.

seeker Sun 02-Dec-12 13:15:53

Oh and we have loads of modern music too.

ivykaty44 Sun 02-Dec-12 13:24:54

Its not cool to work or to improve at something through work.

It has been at the two state secondary schools my dd's have attended, tbh dd1 did much better at school than I could have hoped for due to it being cool to work hard and achieve.

we have five secondary schools in the two towns but no grammer school - they need to travel 10 or 15 miles to the grammer schools, which some choose to do. There is also two indi schools and one public boys school.

Mintyy Sun 02-Dec-12 13:35:10

Oh God, what make Ronaldo special was even funnier than I was expecting. And all the other Oxbridge mumsnetters are making it up! Fantastic morning's entertainment, thank you.

Takver Sun 02-Dec-12 13:39:06

The thing is, I don't think there ever was a 'golden age' of grammars when the bright children of the working classes were somehow magically recognised.

There's a great passage in one of JL Carr's novels (he was a primary headteacher in his day job) where it describes the grammar school interviews - this would be 50s/60s - one of the questions the children are asked is "what does your father do", the boys are also asked questions about cricket. Strangely enough, children from the 'right' side of town get in, those from the estate don't.

Similarly, my mother (who actually is pretty positive about grammar schools) describes her school where each year had in her words a token Jewish girl, a token girl from a bad area, and sometimes a token black girl (she was the one from the bad area).

The massive difference in the 50s/60s/70s and the thing that is always ignored is that there was a massive expansion of the middle classes. So the fabled 'social mobility' that people talk about didn't actually include many people going down - only people going up the social strata. And at the same time there was a substantial reduction in income inequality between social classes, and an increase in the proportion of national income going to labour (as opposed to capital).

In that situation, of course there isn't the same pressure to get your dc into the 'best' school - you could be pretty certain that they would get a job when they left school, and also have a good chance that it would be a better job than you had yourself.

And even if they didn't - well, everyone was getting a better income year on year, there was a good social safety net, and overall you expected them to have a better quality of life regardless.

JugglingWithPossibilities Sun 02-Dec-12 13:44:38

I could say that I know famous people, went to a Russel group Uni, have professional qualifications, have lived abroad, go to the opera and the ballet, listen to classical music, children play flute and trumpet etc etc

But I would never see myself in those terms or boast about it on Mumsnet wonders if got away with stealth boasting

Omits to mention shopping at LIDL, watching Strictly etc. etc.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 13:53:29

Your middleclassness is showing juggling. Never shop atLidl ( thats the m/c ers whose income is stretched). Real wimmin' shop at Asda.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 13:56:19

He's only 6 years old and you have his life mapped out for him. Sometimes dc don't follow what their parents expect of them

I have not mappedanything out for him. All his options are open . There are only two words I will not allow - the "F" word and the "C" word - we do not allow fail and we do not allow cant.
He can do anything else he likes

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 14:08:41

I think for you Ronaldo it is all in the thought of being superior and it would be foolish to think that there are not others in the independent sector who feel the same .

It is not something I understand though and I think you are doing the independent sector a disservice by making out that you fit in because of your superiority complex .

If I were your employer I would be quite concerned that you were peddling such drivel and outdated stereotypes.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 14:13:07

Go away, Ronaldo. This thread is about grammar schools, not your tedious son or astonishingly tedious views. FWIW, the only thing to distinguish your life from those of the majority of my acquaintance is that you are older than most. You are also ruder, more snobbish and precisely the reason I would never send my child to a private school - because of the risk that the majority of parents and worse, children, there, would be as ghastly as you are.

Is there any chance that if you opt to remain on this thread you could STICK TO THE TOPIC? Or is that beyond your supposed intellect??

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 14:18:13

I do not think that Ronaldo represents the average independent school parent either.

Most of my friends who independently educate their children would not wish to be associated with such ideas.

JugglingWithPossibilities Sun 02-Dec-12 14:25:45

Before we get back to the topic do you mind if I just say, in response to Ronaldo, that I go to the opera because I like Puccini, and I go to LIDL because I like their £3.99 Bailey's substitute grin

And only one word is banned - by DH - in our family. That's the B word - as in "I'm bored !"

My music teacher had a motto "I can and I will" which is OK I think, but I'd be worried about children growing up being told that "Can't" and "Fail" are banned words. I think you'd need to add something like "If you've never failed at anything you haven't given yourself enough of a challenge" smile
And that old classic "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again"

SolomanDaisy Sun 02-Dec-12 14:32:49

I am interested in how Ronaldo's child has become bilingual living in an English-speaking household. I do hope the story involves Dora the Explorer.

I am interested breadandbutterfly.
I have 3 dcs in the kent system, one in a superselective grammar, one in secondary modern ( as described by latest ofsted report) and one in private prep school( so I am not anti them ).

In the superselective, nearly 50% come from prep schools. My ds is mixing with the sons of Chief Execs of multinational companies, silver circle lawyers and fund managers.

They are lovely boys and ds is thriving at this school ( which beats most private schools in the league tables) but it is not helping the bright working class which it was originally set up to do.

Ds is from an anti grammar state primary and did have tutoring for familiarisation. I don't regret that, he is so happy there and was utterly miserable at his primary.

And I am not ghastly because I send my child to a private school. My dd is there after trying two state primary schools where she was bullied horrendously because she is high functioning ASD and doesn't fit in to a 'normal' box.

It's not fair, but that's a whole different argument, please don't judge based on the one or two loud mouths who appear regularly on private school threads.

GlitKnit Sun 02-Dec-12 14:40:57


If he is a doctor how wil he speak to patients ? Through a translation service. ?

OxandAssinine Sun 02-Dec-12 14:41:28


If you met many of us and our children I bet you'd struggle to sort out who had been privately educated and who had been state educated. You are making huge generalisations which undermine your claims of superior intelligence. The is lots of overlap of manners, attitudes and living habits between people who choose private and state education.

In my dcs comp, achievement is not scoffed at, the top streams have exceptional results. They send 5 or so children to Oxbridge every year, many to Russell group. Our dcs are high ability (hate term gifted), we eat at the table, read, discuss interesting things and many of the other bizarre lifestyle details that you identify as the preserve of the privaetly educated.

My father achieved success by your rather ridiculous measure of being in 'who's who?'. He also dined privately with the queen on numerous occasions but would never have mentioned it, as name dropping was not his style.

You are going to bring up a child who believes he is better than others, which will not make the world a better place.

SoupDragon Sun 02-Dec-12 14:45:57

It was completely unnecessary and out of order to refer to Ronaldo's son as "tedious"

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 14:47:29

I think the comment on grammar schools has been clearly made. For most of us ( I say us as it includes me) they are not an option. They do not exist in most places.

You can attempt to buy as much capital in those places as you like, it wont make a lot of difference. The future of most children is sewn up long before they start school let alone go to a grammar school.

Its not going to make an earth shattering difference . State is state.

GlitKnit Sun 02-Dec-12 14:49:07

So. High court judge from a state school is a failure ?

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 14:50:58

And that old classic "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again

That is the difference between success and failure. You do not fail if you continue to try.

The state system - partiicularly grammar schools are really about failure - failing the majority to sponsor a few and even then there has to be roon at the top for those few. That room is occupied by you know who ( those whose schooling cannot be mentioned here)

GlitKnit Sun 02-Dec-12 14:52:53

When did you last go into a school? A state school ?

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 14:53:46

So. High court judge from a state school is a failure ?

Name one - who isnt my age or older. In my day there was room in the system because the war had left a big gap in the system where bright grammar school and those with ambition could walk through ( with help). Now the ruling elite are back to strength and promoting their own again.

Sorry to disillusion you so badly there.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 02-Dec-12 14:56:21

Ronaldo your list is the most mundane, ordinary and perfectly unremarkable thing I've seen in a while! Shan't even bother to comment on how lots of my daughters' friends are of dual heritage, travel a lot, and even eat meals with their families..... But what I REALLY want to know is why you described yourself and your wife (who, uniquely and shockingly, you love) as 'avante garde'. How so?

noddyholder Sun 02-Dec-12 15:00:52

Threads like this really make me lose the will to live.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 15:05:26

My father achieved success by your rather ridiculous measure of being in 'who's who?'. He also dined privately with the queen on numerous occasions but would never have mentioned it, as name dropping was not his style

Where have I named any names? I was just offerring examples and then there were no names. Stop being pretentious.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 15:07:48

When did you last go into a school? A state schoo

Is this addressed to me? About two weeks ago actually. However if you mean when did I actually last work in one , it was 2008.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 15:10:25

I am interested in how Ronaldo's child has become bilingual living in an English-speaking household. I do hope the story involves Dora the Explorer

Sorry to disappoint. My DW is bi lingual as her papa is French speaking. I speak some French and we brought him up to be bilingual. Quite mundane..

OxandAssinine Sun 02-Dec-12 15:11:57


The point is you don't have to be privately educated to live the lifestyle you describe, nor to achieve success even by your own measures.

I didn't name names, could be any old queen.

Stop jumping to conclusions.


iyatoda Sun 02-Dec-12 15:12:00

This is pathetic, you women please read your postings and bow you heads in shame at how childish and silly this entire thread is. Are you all real???? who tries to reason with a maniac by declaring 'oh your insanity is like sanity to me ..too sane'.

noddyholder Sun 02-Dec-12 15:12:05

I think we should hook Ronaldo up with Xenia in an arranged marriage stylee

OxandAssinine Sun 02-Dec-12 15:13:58

Agree, iyatoda

<<leaves thread>>

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 15:14:04

'avante garde'. because in mopst ways we are. But thats not always something that comes across. Its not that we dont do the same things as others, we may not do them in quite the same way.

If I were not banned by other MNers I would have given you a " day in the life" of my current school compared to my last state school so you could appreciate how we do som many of the same things a little (lot) differently. As I said, its all in the small details really.

noddyholder Sun 02-Dec-12 15:15:19


TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 02-Dec-12 15:22:31

Perhaps we understand different things by the term.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 15:27:22

By avant - garde I mean innovative , experimental and free thinking in philosophical and artistic / musical/ creative terms. Quite liberal thinking in many ways
(although modernist as opposed to post modernist).

I dont know what you mean.

APMF Sun 02-Dec-12 15:29:37

@minty - Maybe Renaldo doesn't want his kids to be educated next to people who can't spell 'elite' even though it's there two posts up and the phone has spell checker.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 15:32:39

Maybe I just prefer him to not be educated in any system at all APMF? I dont like bricks in walls and sausage machine education.

No one has even gained anything from being good at spelling except a bob on themselves for being good at spelling. Many of the best authors could not spell at all. It didnt stop them being either creatibe or good thinkers. Meanwhile I have yet to see anything worthwhile contributed by the good spelling league of friends ( except negative and self promoting criticisms)

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 15:34:08

creative - I dont know where that came from as I especially checked it.

Viviennemary Sun 02-Dec-12 15:35:06

I am not bilingual, haven't gone to Oxford or Cambridge, don't know any very famous people. But I love going to the Ballet. And my children have never played the flute or the trumpet. Recorder and piano were quite enough torture on my ears thank you. And I know a few people who have gone to Oxford or Cambridge from Comprehensives. So it can be done.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 15:35:14

I have never knowingly eaten with the queen . How I have been failed by my state education.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 02-Dec-12 15:36:19

Well, I obviously don't know the nature of your musical and artistic exploits, so can't comment on whether I'd consider them cutting edge or not.... I'm surprised you think of yourself as liberal though!

SolomanDaisy Sun 02-Dec-12 15:36:21

I'm disappointed the story doesn't involve Dora, but it also means your original story about your bilingual child despite English-speaking parents was misleading. Incidentally, many, many children in the UK's worst performing schools are bilingual.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 02-Dec-12 15:37:47

Strikes me my girls - or Chorizo and Chipolata, as i call them - are going to end up a lot less sausaged than some.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 15:39:58

I have been failed by the state education system too. I wont comment on the other one.

However, reading through many MN threads I am more convinced than ever that I do not want my DS in a local authority school. I am not keen on school at all although I acknowledge there is a time when DS has to be placed in one so he can have some experience of how the world works through systems.

That said I am now realising why some parents sit their DC in GCSE so early. Its corssing my mind too. But thats another thread

GreatPost Sun 02-Dec-12 15:44:37

So you went to state school?


How can you eat at the same table as yourself? Surely you have oafish manners and lack the ability to have an avant-garde conversation?

I don't get your logic at all .

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 15:44:57

Exactly original steaming nit - at least you recognise that you cannot know a person through the things said here. You cannot know who I am and what I am " famous" ( or not) for, as I cannot know about you either.

noddyholder Sun 02-Dec-12 15:48:33

You sound ridiculous though that is obvious

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 15:52:16

How can you eat at the same table as yourself? Surely you have oafish manners and lack the ability to have an avant-garde conversation?

I try very hard not to :P

I spent too much of my life trying to reconcile the culture of my state school with my homelife ( and failing) as I never quite got theidea. My DM believing that by putting me in a diverse background mixing with so many who were so different from me would give me a head start by enabling me to mix with all sorts of people. I was my DM's social experiment.

It didnt help at all. I turned out one confused little boy until I found out about social class and all of that ( at about 15) and went to Cambridge and realised that things were different there. I adopted the particular culture and even if I say it myself, I thrived for the first time in my life. I was happy and I was at home with that. I have never admitted to coming from a state SM in RL since. Since my parental background tells a different story to my educational one, I dont have to lie to deal with that.

GreatPost Sun 02-Dec-12 15:54:26

Now I understand why you reject the state system wholesale.

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 15:57:04

He certainly needs some experience of how the world works through systems in order to stand a realistic chance of getting that vital Who's Who entry, Ronaldo. You have merely chosen the gourmet sausage route as opposed to the one most other people take - still looks like a turd and tastes like a sausage.

noddyholder Sun 02-Dec-12 15:57:23

Ronaldo you sound mighty confused and dare I say a bit ignorant of the light and shade of real life. Arriviste unfortunately always struggle as you can never just relax.

seeker Sun 02-Dec-12 15:59:15

I would like to know which particular garde Ronaldo considers himself avante. From his posting it sounds a completely incongruous description!

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 16:00:00

I am not denying it rabbitstew

GreatPost Sun 02-Dec-12 16:00:34

Aaaw rabbit

You've put me off my sausage supper

Turd -in the- hole


Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 16:03:40

Why dont you just use the word? I am an upstart (well not quite but close thanks to my DM not giving me the start I should have had - and the one she gave my DB).

I was delivered of the wrong culture and now we are full circle.

Its strange how the dumbed down pleb culture is always more dominant, even for people like myself who had experience of both.

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 16:03:47

Didn't you know it's avant garde to want your son to be a creative thinker but nevertheless to put him through a "system" so that he can understand how systems work and fit in with those around him, who are all carefully selected establishment figures with a taste for classical music and dressing up in DJs for social events?

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 16:03:53

Takver, thanks for interesting post 2 pages ON THE TOPIC.

I disagree that grammar schools were exclusively middle class in the 60s and previously. My FIL got into grammar from a v working class background in the 50s - tutored by his mum who was a cleaner. My uncle got into a grammar despite being a refugee living in a hostel. You're right that there were quotas, though not nec as strict as you suggest - in my mum's grammar,there was a Jewish quota but certainly a lot more than 1 pupil per year - think it was more like 50%, owing to the area.

My gut feeling - from reading 11+ forums etc - is that a large part of the rise in tutoring is down to two factors - firstly, the creation of national league tables (rather than just local knowledge of which the 'good' schools were), creating a kind of feeding frenzy around the 'top' schools,along with increased numbers of recent immigrants from cultures that value education highly, but lack the first-hand knowledge of the British system, so tend to aim for high-scoring schools as a default position, where their finances will not stretch to private schools.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 16:04:14

post 2 pages BACK

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 16:04:37

You dont know seeker. You should not judge.

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 16:06:23

As a private school teacher of 4 years experience (state sector doesn't count, after all), I guess you are a bit of an upstart to think you have found your niche in the upper echelons of the establishment.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 16:07:02

Well, its hardly mainstream is it rabbitstew? Add to that I am considering being really radical and putting him in for GCSE next year and what do you get in that mix if not something creative?

Mintyy Sun 02-Dec-12 16:08:00

APMF Sun 02-Dec-12 15:29:37
"@minty - Maybe Renaldo doesn't want his kids to be educated next to people who can't spell 'elite' even though it's there two posts up and the phone has spell checker."

Not sure I catch your drift APMF, but I do hope you weren't suggesting that I don't know how to spell elite.

wigglybeezer Sun 02-Dec-12 16:08:35

Ronaldo in my earlier post when I mentioned a monoculture I did not mean a racial monoculture I meant a class monoculture ( my DC'cs attend a rural comp in Scotland so ethnic diversity did not spring to my mind first).

I was referring to middle class "culture", playing rugby rather than football, plenty of books at home, music lessons etc. and working class culture, football, Sky television, holidays in Spain ( to use sweeping generalisations that are very crass). It is my experience as a parent and a pupil that many comps contain children with a great variety of home cultures and most children find friends who share similar backgrounds. Your DS would have no difficulty finding friends with a similar family background at DS3's state primary, there are at least three children in his class alone who have a parent who teaches in an independent school and two of those have one parent from abroad and are bilingual.

The local independent school has a fair sprinkling of parents who are well off but are not what you would call " cultured".

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 16:08:36

but this is my swan song rabbit. I have done my bit in the upper echelons. I am on the way down now - well down on the giddy heights of muy main career. I havent always been a simple teacher you know.

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 16:09:37

ON THE TOPIC - grammar schools did advance members of my family through the social ranks. No idea what proportion of children genuinely benefited but I know plenty who didn't benefit from grammar schools!

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 16:12:37

Oh, Ronaldo. You have told us all about your redundancies in the past. That doesn't sound very glamorous or in the realms of giddy height-dom. What about the golden handshakes? Or the continuing streams of people bowing down before your wisdom, even post-retirement? Surely you would have expected some of that?

noddyholder Sun 02-Dec-12 16:13:35

You don't have the courage of your convictions or the confidence to really educate your child how you see fit? Why don't you do what you really feel is right eg no school and break the cycle you seem to feel there is in your family? FWIW I was privately educated and that firmly made me decide that my ds would be state educated

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 16:14:14

Wigglybeezer, I think I have been honest previously but I will breath catchingly so now - I dont want my DS to mix with state school kids lower middle class or otherwise. I just do not want him in the environment.

I know that there are some less culturered upstarts in independent schools too.

I currently HE. I hope the school we have chosen has eliminated the undesirable elements. Now that will cause lots of trouble here.

Get a life folks. Some few people do feel that way, we just dont say it often I guess.

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 16:15:34

You don't have to say it, Ronaldo, it seeps out of the pores of people who think it.

GreatPost Sun 02-Dec-12 16:16:54

Were you bullied, Ronaldo?

GreatPost Sun 02-Dec-12 16:17:29

Sorry, that was too personal, don't feel you have to answer.

exoticfruits Sun 02-Dec-12 16:22:46

I am wondering if Ronaldo is just a name change, he sounds just like another poster. I feel sorry for his child if he doesn't accept fail and can't. Failure is good for anyone-it often spurs them on and if you are frightened of failing you don't risk anything.
To get back to OP - I don't think it possible to design a tutor free test but I do think it a step in the right direction to acknowledge that parent's 'buy' their DCs grammar school place and it needs to be stopped.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 16:23:00

I have been bluntly honest rabbit. That was warts and all giving my redundancies. Of course I got a good hand shake and was actually promoted before being "retired off" on that redundancy.

Yes, in the 1980's recession I did come back from Canada because I was not given tenure . I would have stayed in a heart beat but thats because Canada has a culture of " Canadians first" In fact its law. It wasnt because I was a failiure as such. UK doesnt have this attitude of putting its own first. I dont disagree with it. But it cost me a job and I had to come home here.

So yes, I bitted around academically but my research and publishing work went forward and my academic career went forward and upward (title wise) as one might expect.

If I had said I had taken new challenges instead of telling you I was pushed out, you would see it differently wouldnt you?.

Thats the trouble with being really truthful people want to interpret it as failure. Many men ( and women ) move on in careers. People say they are finding " new challenges" - often they are being eased out. Same coin , two sides in description.

Jux Sun 02-Dec-12 16:27:59

Research showed that the advantage of practice on a test occurred mainly after the first time; thereafter there was little or no effect.

A way To level the playing field would be to have all schools practice the test a couple of times, with a bit of coaching/teaching first.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 16:28:05

You don't have the courage of your convictions or the confidence to really educate your child how you see fit?

I do, my DS is home educated. He will not go toschool until he is 7. We have selected a quite different school for him then. He will continue to be HE in that we will control his education base. As I said, I am even considering if we should be putting him in for GCSE in the next year or so.

He has piano lessons and dance lessons and has passed grades in piano and music. He is well above his level for his age.

I am not convinced of the value of sport and we do not do any. He does not do scouts etc. for similar reasons. I have very strong and different views than you might think.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 16:30:27

And I think Grammar schools have had their day. They are not a solution. They are not a way forward and they are not a social mobility stepping stone.

You can "buy" into them as much as you like and spend your money on tutors but it wont help. Better by far to just spend your money where it counts.

Not everyone can do what I and my DW can do.

EvilTwins Sun 02-Dec-12 16:51:32

Ronaldo, I'm astounded that you think your lifestyle, as you describe it, marks you out as different in any way.

I teach plenty of bilingual kids, who often travel to other countries, and I'm in a bog standard comp. DH and I both went to state schools, yet we have a study, plenty of books and own two cars confused Also, my DTDs (aged 6) play the piano and have been to the theatre on a number of occasions. They are charming and polite.

On the subject of the thread, I live in a town which has a state grammar so well regarded that people will travel across 2 counties to get their DCs to it. It's ridiculous. I say change the system. Get rid of the remaining grammar schools and create a true comprehensive system. The government needs to invest in all schools. Academies and free schools can go too.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 16:58:38

Could we all agree to stop prodding "Ronaldo", please? I know it is entertaining, but it is pointless and rather cluttering up the thread. Pointless as he is almost certainly at least partly fictitious - see Dora comments above as to the language his chid previously spoke - and even if he is 100% genuine he has made it clear his position is unalterable. (Much to my relief, so my 6 year-old ds does not run the risk of being educated with boys whose parents have problem attitudes like this.)

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 17:00:38

Everyone is a critic and everyone is astonished,.

Ye Gods! I am sure you have taught ESL children ( who are bi lingual) thats not quite the same is it?

I am sure my lifestyle as I described it is so ordinary. I am sure all the children in your bog standard school are so highly cultured and know all about the sugar plum fairy. But what else? I am sure you have books on your shelves.
What kind I wonder? Dont bother.

I am astonished that you are all so wonderful.

I am also astonished that you all claim to come from bog standard backgrounds when having met so many from such backgrounds I know you are laying it on. Two sides of the coin again.

Its what I didnt say that counts.

exoticfruits Sun 02-Dec-12 17:01:35

I was right - it is a name change! I thought it was rubbish with the old name and I haven't changed my mind!

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 17:02:46

Jux - you make a great point. Though research shows that more than 1 intro session is required - or the intro in the exam room itself would suffice, which it does not at present. I think it is rather that it is a law of diminishing returns after a certain point, say 6 months as someone else suggested upthread. So tutoring for the 11+ by law in yr 5 in grammar areas would ensure equal access for all. Or places allocated on school results/recommendations as happens in Germany.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 17:03:36

So you think they are charming and polite eviltwins? How do you know I would agree with that? Ones man brassly is anothers classy.

It wasnt me but I know poster here ( not sure who) made a comment once that often these charming and confident DC we speak of are outspoken and over familiar. So which might it be?

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 17:05:43

exotic fruits I havent changed my mind about you either.

exoticfruits Sun 02-Dec-12 17:06:18

The proof will be in the pudding- Ronaldo's DS is very young and appears to be an experiment- no one(least of all Ronaldo) can tell how it will pan out in 12 years time.

exoticfruits Sun 02-Dec-12 17:07:43

I am not going to out you- but proof that it is just a name change or you wouldn't know my opinions from a couple of posts- only from crossing swords on numerous threads like this!

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 17:08:06

exotic - don't prod. The new name change is the same as the old but without the fake courtesy. This incarnation has come to a website full of middle class women to tell us we are all his social inferiors and our children his ds's intellectual and social inferiors.

Actually,I think I've cracked it. Ronaldo, you are Michael Gove, and I claim my £5. grin

ivykaty44 Sun 02-Dec-12 17:09:28

He is also bi lingual - alkthough both DW and I are actually English speakers.

then the answer you gave was this

My DW is bi lingual as her papa is French speaking. I speak some French and we brought him up to be bilingual

you painted a lie in the first statement you are seeming to be pompus and deceptive

wigglybeezer Sun 02-Dec-12 17:10:53

"I don't want my DS to mix with state school kids, lower middle - class or otherwise"

Not sure what you are implying with this part of your post, that the highest class of person found at state school is lower middle - class, or that being an "oik" is catching.

I have personally known a huge variety of people in my life ( and family) from the daughter of an heridetary peer ( who went to a state sixth form college) to those brought up by single parents on benefits. My own family is resolutely middle class and well educated in a mixture of school types, independent, grammar and comp yet we are all very similar.

I think you actually have an irrational phobia about state schools and should just admit it.

exoticfruits Sun 02-Dec-12 17:11:56

We will never know how the experiment works out- it isn't one I would try.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 17:12:01

I will not experiment on my DS exotic fruits. I have always maintained that I do not do social inclusion experiments, multi cultural experiments or play with my DS's life with my childs life or experiment with his education.

I leave that to the state schooling system. Its nothing but an experiment in social engineering and half cocked learning theories put into practice at the whim of some chump in the Department of Education every other week.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 17:12:10

Why are you so keen to keep my state educated children away from your son? What do you think they will do to him ?

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 17:12:25

Oh, but Ronaldo is so entertaining on a Sunday night! Just think, such an eminent figure with so many books to admire in his library and so many famous and influential friends staying the night and he chooses to chat online to us all rather than read his books or influence his friends! We are very lucky! He wouldn't have given us the time of day when he was at the height of his career. grin

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 17:12:58

And no,Ronaldo, be off with you, and start your own thread entitled "My son and I - why we are better than you."

Here's something to inspire you (esp in the light of your v classy comments about numbers of cars you own - nice touch and not remotely nouveau riche):


Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 17:13:15

exotic fruits , whats the gripe? I never made a secret of my name change. Indeed I think I more or less announced it.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 17:14:09

Furthermore what will you do of they should end up at the same university .
How bizarre to build a life around keeping your son away from most of society.

I do think that you are a figment if your own imagination . Or rather, I hope you are.

exoticfruits Sun 02-Dec-12 17:15:00

I missed the announcement - just came upon here and thought 'heard it all before'.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 17:15:30

Ronaldo is my guilty pleasure. He has kept me entertained all afternoon while I have been on bedrest,

exoticfruits Sun 02-Dec-12 17:16:05

OP must be a bit fed up - a sensible discussion has been hijacked.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 17:16:46

Right, I am moving my own thread across to a new thread for those who wih to discuss grammar schools. For those who wish to discuss Ronaldo, or whatever his newest incarnation is, and his son, I am starting a new 'Boasting Thread'. Please make sure you put all the details there, Ronaldo.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 17:18:03

Ivy, its not deceptive. My DW speaks English as her first language ( schooled in English. In Canada you can be schooled in either and that determines your language base).
Her father was French. Her mother was English speaking. They also both spoke English as main language in the home.

I speak some French . I am not French and I am not a native speaker. We set out to ensure he could speak both languages because we didnt want him disadvantaged in the future in Canada. Thats not deceptive. We speak English as a first language in our home. DS speaks both English and French as its part of his education ( we HE).

dinkybinky Sun 02-Dec-12 17:19:10

I think you are a total wind up Ronaldo. I have friends at state schools in the SE of England, they are all professionals, lawyers, doctors, accountants etc, have 2 luxury cars, own 5 bed homes, go on holiday 3 or 4 times a year their children are educated and polite. I don’t think you really know anything about state or private school for that matte,r and it sounds like you live in some god awful part of the UK If that’s your interpretation of state schools in the area.

wigglybeezer Sun 02-Dec-12 17:20:31

I feel sorry for Ronaldo's DS, having such a controlling and overbearing parent, he might really enjoy sport or scouts. What happens if he meets a lovely young woman from the wrong gene pool?

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 17:20:58

*Furthermore what will you do of they should end up at the same university .
How bizarre to build a life around keeping your son away from most of society.

I do think that you are a figment if your own imagination . Or rather, I hope you are*
Thats not necessary arisbottle. I havent been rude to you. You asked,I answered and then you dont like the answers?

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 17:22:09

"I feel sorry for Ronaldo's DS, having such a controlling and overbearing parent, he might really enjoy sport or scouts. What happens if he meets a lovely young woman from the wrong gene pool?"

Ah, so you have read the Marie Stopes story?

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 17:25:22

You know ladies ( women) I feel really so sorry that you are all so determined to embrace difference cultural, racial and educational except when it comes down to it, you cannot because you have to target my choices because they are not yours. What happened to all that multi cultural embracing the difference attiude here then?

Each to his ( or her) own.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 17:25:43

I am on galley duty. I have to go.

EvilTwins Sun 02-Dec-12 17:29:01

I don't understand why you are so set on turning your DS into a mini you, Ronaldo. No sport? Why?

What a shame to limit a child to only the things that the parent enjoys. When my girls were younger, they had a friend whose mother wouldn't allow her DD to try things she had been no good at, on the grounds that the DD probably wouldn't be any good either and it would knock her confidence. I always feel very sad for children whose parents won't let them try things out for themselves.

wigglybeezer Sun 02-Dec-12 17:33:40

I wouldn't 't say I 'm really that embracing of difference, I am willing to say that it is better to be well - educated than not, I am just not prepared to say that my children are likely to catch under - achievement by sitting on the same bus as " working class " children.

Is it a clue that you mention Marie Stopes, well known to be a proponent of eugenics?

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 02-Dec-12 17:35:11

We don't live in a grammar school area, and ds goes to an OK primary, but if I had the money I would pay for a maths tutor for him because he is getting behind already, and struggling to understand.
I am helping him as much as I can, but I am worried he will develop a "block" about maths, and I really don't want that; not because of getting into any school (he will go to the local comp) but because I think understanding maths is so important.
I would hate it if I wasn't "allowed" to do this, as I dont think the school have the resources or time to help him properly.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 17:40:45

IfNotNow - your view is certainly the mainstream among Daily Mail readers not a criticism, BTW - I am one too) - as the comments were strongly against debarring assistance from tutors. The point of the changes, though, is not to ban tutors as such, but to introduce new 11+ tests which would not be tutorable for (supposedly). So your mats tutoring could continue. Just it wouldn't give your ds an advantage as such in the 11= exam if he sat it, compared to children whose parents couldn't afford tutors - which seems fair.

wigglybeezer Sun 02-Dec-12 17:42:09

It's interesting that Ronaldo keeps mentioning Canada. Canada comes out much higher ( than the UK ) in all the health, well being,happiness etc. indexes that are published, alongside all the other countries that are more equal than us. If he is really interested in his DS being happy he should move back there and cease being such a frightful snob.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 17:45:15

I don't understand why you are so set on turning your DS into a mini you, Ronaldo. No sport? Why?

Mainly because
a) he shows little or no interest in it ( although he does like dance) and
b) he is a pianist and musician and he needs to protect his hands ( DW says).

EvilTwins Sun 02-Dec-12 17:46:10

Oh FFS. He is SIX.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 17:48:50

On the contrary Ronaldo, I adore your answers. As I said the character you have created has kept me entertained on what could have been a rather dark lonely day.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 17:49:00

Is it a clue that you mention Marie Stopes, well known to be a proponent of eugenics?

Nothing to do with me. Someone else accused me back handedly of being a eugenicist ( saying what would happen if my DS chose someone from the wrong gene pool). I hit back with the stopes comment. I think the person who made the gene comment was a eugenicist

Spockster Sun 02-Dec-12 17:49:54

For someone so dismissive of the other posters on here, Ronaldo has spent a rather disproportionate amount of his Sunday communicating with mumsnetters!
Meanwhile I, on the other hand, have been engaged in many upper middle class, professional-at-play type of activities with my DC, involving education and yet fun; classics, history, literature... We had a great time. How smug we feel! Back to our Director-level jobs and state primaries tomorrow, to tell the oiks all about how clever yet fun we are grin

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 17:51:32

To be fair to Ronaldo I have been on here most of the afternoon.

Sometimes I post on here whilst pretending to watch my children at a club.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 17:53:52

It's interesting that Ronaldo keeps mentioning Canada. Canada comes out much higher ( than the UK ) in all the health, well being,happiness etc. indexes that are published, alongside all the other countries that are more equal than us. If he is really interested in his DS being happy he should move back there and cease being such a frightful snob

Actually wiggly I have said it is my intention to go to Canada beforemy DS reaches Secondary school age. At the moment it is not practical - mainly because I cannot. I cannot get a work visa ( too old) and cannot retire ( too young) We spend as much time there as is feasible.

So right now we are biding time. We have a school selected in Canada and DS has his name on the admissions list. (not a public/state one though). A good school.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 02-Dec-12 17:54:53

Oh, OK breadandbutterfly. I dont agree with the 11 plus at all anyway, so I think they should get rid of that everywhere.
I do think that ds has, I suppose, an unfair advantage over some children, in that I care a lot about his education, and also in that he is an only (so far) and so a tutor would be cheaper than if I had 3.
However, as a lone parent who has always been skint, I feel a bit like he has already been disadvantaged in many ways, so i could live with myself if I scrimped to get him through maths!

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 17:59:25

I have been heremostof the afternoon too arisbottle. I am not pretending to be anything . I am hiding in my den ( study) . I have put the supper on and thats me done for now.

I am not dismissive of anyone. However it seems from here that many posters would like to dismiss me ( are my views so uncomfortable to you?) .

Is it any wonder when you call me names ( not you personally necessarily arisbottle) , you make rude comments about my DS, you say you hope your your DC wont have to go to school with him ( because of whatever reason - intelligernce, my views as a parent, our failure to share your cultural values etc) I would rather not send my DS to a school where your comments here may become a reality for him?

He doesnt need to be called names and bullied for being different or having parents who are different. Not at his age.

Cahoootz Sun 02-Dec-12 17:59:48

I seriously couldn't be arsed didn't read all the posts. Sorry.

My view is that Grammar Schools should be phased out and DC's should go to the closest Comprehensive. The school catchment areas should be planned to include as much as a mix of DC's as possible. All schools should then provide suitable education for DC's of all abilities. With academic DC's being treated with as much importance as all other DC's.

It really is that simple isn't it?

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 18:02:12

I think it is that simple Cahootz. I can't see why being clever means that you need a separate building.

EvilTwins Sun 02-Dec-12 18:02:49

I agree with Cahootz.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 18:04:19

Most of you would like tosay I am experimenting with my DS's education but in fact it is the stateeducation system that is the experiment It has been ever since the end of ww2 when the state schooling system was implimented in essentially its current form (especially grammar schools and later comprehensive schools).

They seem to have both clearly failed by all evidence.

I am giving my DS a good old fashioned , tried and tested education by comparison.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 18:08:36

The school catchment areas should be planned to include as much as a mix of DC's as possible

I would agree with much of what you say except for the above. Firstly social mix invariably reduces to the lowest common denominator.
Secondly there will be those , like myself who will seek an opt out -and get it because we do not like social mix and thirdly all you will end up with in effect is a school where social differentiation takes place within the setting system rather than the schools themselves. Lower sets will be occupied by those who do not have social and educational advantage.

Thats more or less what happens now.

wigglybeezer Sun 02-Dec-12 18:09:54

Anyone with half a brain would be able to tell that I was being ironic referring to " the gene pool"

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 18:10:56

I think what you are all desperately trying to do is abolish this countries social stratification system using state education institutions. It wont happen. This country is deeply stratified ( as are most but its clearer here )

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 18:13:58

Anyone with half a brain would be able to tell that I was being ironic referring to " the gene pool"

Were you wiggly? Irony doesnt travel well on the internet. If you are suggesting I want social exclusivity and association with DC of a higher intelligence group( as might be increased in chance by social grouping). Then yes, I will own up.

I certainly hope he finds a suitably matched partner.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 18:30:10

Ronaldo - The Boasting Thread is open and waiting for your fascinating insight into life with your amazing wife and brilliant son, in your socially superior home. Please don't deprive readers of an insight into your everyday life - think what we could all learn about how our social and intellectual superiors behave!

Now bog off my thread - I've asked you nicely but you have the skin of a rhinoceros.

This thread is about GRAMMAR SCHOOLS. Your son is 6. He is not at a grammar school. You are not planning to send him to a grammar school. You have never been to a grammar school or worked at one. You have NO connection with grammar schools at all, in fact.


breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 18:31:16

Could you find a different thread to infest???

wigglybeezer Sun 02-Dec-12 18:33:58

Whenever I read opinions like Ronaldo's I move a little bit closer to voting yes in the independence referendum in 2014 ( I hope he is English or my point is ruined).

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 18:34:20

OP to be fair Ronaldo is responding to our questions. Lots of MN threads organically develop into something else. You can't dictate who does and doesn't

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 18:42:29

Whenever I read opinions like Ronaldo's I move a little bit closer to vomiting.

Cahoootz Sun 02-Dec-12 18:43:28

I just Wiki'ed Grammar Schools. I didn't realise there were only 164 of them in England and that they are so unevenly spead about the country. hmm
Interesting. smile

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 18:45:11

Arisbottle - you may have no interest in the original topic, but others do and I am not alone in finding it quite frustrating that intelligence response is shouted down by a loud man with no conection to the topic. It's extremely rude as well as utterly irrelevant.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 18:51:51

On the contrary breadandbutterfly I live in a grammar school area, reluctantly have had to place one of my children in a grammar and have taught in a grammar. I have a further two children yet to move up to secondary so it is something that interests me. I have posted my thoughts on here and I have posted in your other thread.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 18:52:37


wigglybeezer Sun 02-Dec-12 18:55:50

I better go away then, as there are no grammar schools at all in this country, thank goodness. If I did live in a grammar school area I would want them to take more children, not have entrance based solely on a test and have a more fluid intake, eg. at 11, 13 and 16.

wigglybeezer Sun 02-Dec-12 18:59:23

Sorry about not walking away from Ronaldo's baiting breadandbutter, I'm off to watch The Walking Dead for a rest.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 19:00:03

I live in a grammar school area and hope they take as few children as possible.

seeker Sun 02-Dec-12 19:01:38

I think changing the test is just rearranging the deck chairs. The only wqy is to abolish selection. Comprehensive schools, properly setted , is the least worst option.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 19:02:38

Arisbottle - cleaerly you have had a v bad experience of grammar schools and as I don't know what that is can't respond, expect to say that many people do have very positive experiences of grammar schools and those who went there themselves are often their keenest supporters.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 19:03:45

seeker - if this new test had existed and your ds had passed it, would you still feel strongly anti-selection?

seeker Sun 02-Dec-12 19:04:02

I could be convinced that there is an argument for super selectives taking the top, say, 2% academically. But the is no argument at all, apart from the blatantly self interested, in favour of the sort of grammar school that takes 23%.

seeker Sun 02-Dec-12 19:06:17

Yes, breqdandbutterfly, I would.

SolomanDaisy Sun 02-Dec-12 19:07:33

Oh Ronaldo, you're a wealthy former academic who couldn't get tenure. An unusual combination. What's your h index?

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 19:09:21

@seeker - but you sat him for the test - why do that if you were so strongly anti-selection?

Why choose to live in an area you must have presumably always known had the 11+?

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 19:10:53

It is more that I have experience ce of excellent comprehensive education. My son is only at a grammar because we allow our children to make free choices and he was being badly bullied. He will leave school with a string of A* but I suspect he who have done so if he had gone to the comp. The teaching is dull, although my son likes dull regularity so it suits him.

I teach in a state comp which is packed with ex grammar school pupils who all swear they would never teach or send their children to the grammar. I tend to find that men who have been to grammars are much more positive about then than women who have attended.

exoticfruits Sun 02-Dec-12 19:11:46

I think that the top 2% is fine, I am against any more and ideally I can't see why you need to select. I would at least like it to be fair so that the bright DC with parents who have no money and no interest have an equal chance. Sadly a pipe dream.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 19:12:20

I am anti selection but my son is at a grammar . It was a decision we tried really hard to make and I am not sure it was the right one.

I live where I do because my husband has family ties here, nothing to do with grammar schools.

exoticfruits Sun 02-Dec-12 19:13:51

People don't actually have a choice where they live- they go with the work. I was lucky that I was able to move out of 11+ area to a comprehensive one- but that was only because of a job change otherwise I was stuck.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 19:16:38

I think lots of people do intentionally move into grammar school areas, I am just not one of them. I have made sure that we live on the fringe of a grammar school area though so we do not feel the effects so keenly. It does mean that DS has quite a commute to school.

seeker Sun 02-Dec-12 19:19:59

breqdandbutterfly- I think I'm going to draft a little paragraph explaining myself that I can c and p whenever there'a thread like this! grin. we moved to Kent at a time in our lives where we were convinced we weren't ever going to have children. For reasons too long and complicated to explain we aren't in a position to move. Where we live there are grammar schools and high schools- no comprehensives. Ds has a high IQ and is a high achiever academically. He would be in the top sets of a comprehensive, so he should definitely be in the school geared up to cater for the top 23%. you have to work within the system that exists- we would be using the selective system whichever school he was at. Our other child is a a grammar school. For the avoidance of doubt, I have been a vociferous anti selection voice in reql life and later on here for many years.

exoticfruits Sun 02-Dec-12 19:20:00

Of course they do! Arisbottle - I was a complete hypocrite when it came to selling my house and I always got it into the conversation! Interestingly the DS of the family that I sold it to failed. They appealed and even employed a solicitor to help their case and he still didn't get in.

seeker Sun 02-Dec-12 19:23:34

"To be fair to Ronaldo I have been on here most of the afternoon.

Sometimes I post on here whilst pretending to watch my children at a club."

Ariabottle- I wish there had been iPhones when my dd was spending most her weekends at gym competitions!

Chandon Sun 02-Dec-12 19:24:08

The thing everyone agrees on , ot seems, apart from me, is that somehow the brighter children deserve a better education ( grammar school) than the ordinary/ not so bright.

Why is innate intelligence so important? It should not matter, also, I very much doubt it can be measured by any tests.

I find it very interesting that my DS was bottom of the bottom set, and that friends said I had to accept that Someone had to be bottom of the bottom league, after a year of better quality teaching (private school) in smaller class now does much better on the sats and other tests. The difference is marked. It shows an average child can be seen as " low attaining" in one place, and " above average for his age" with a bit more help. Not talking aboit a glam prep here, but a school that focusses on SEN.

I wish ALL children could get better education. As it stands, and overall, education in this country is just not up to scratch. Just picking the "innate bright" for grammar schools through a newfangled test will do nothing to alter the fact that a lot of kids in this country are being let down spectacularly.

We need an educational revolution. I am open minded about free schools, coud it work?

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 19:24:20

seeker - none of my business, but why do your think your ds failed the 11+ and how do you think it could have been improved to prevent that? I'm not questioning your assessment he should have passed - I think you sound pretty clued up on his abilities relative to others.I accept that you'd rather both your dcs lived in a comp area. But humour me - how in your experience could the existing transition to existing grammars be improved?

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 19:26:24

Chandon - don't think 'everyone agrees' at all - read this thread.

exoticfruits Sun 02-Dec-12 19:28:30

I agree with you Chandon, I find the old chestnut of 'the 11+ gives the bright DC from a disadvantaged background a way out' very annoying because the subtext is , if you are not so bright you should jolly well know your place and stay there! They deserve the best education too and a way to better themselves. Excellent education should be for all and I have never understood why it can't be under one roof to give movement up and down.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 19:30:29

Arisbottle - your main criticism of the grammar system appears to be that your ds's grammar is dull and you teach some kids who didn't like (the same?) grammar. That does not mean there is something inherently wrong with grammar chools - clearly, if all were dull and disliked by former pupils they would not be massively oversubscribed. My dd's school is not dull at all.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 19:32:32

Agree 100% that everyone deserbes the best education - do not agree at all that 'the best' education is the same for all pupils. I blieve in differentiation to suit individual children as much as possible. Lumping all kids together and saying that one size fits all fails most children.

Chandon Sun 02-Dec-12 19:44:24

Exotic, DS old school said all this, it was all about how children moved up and down between the sets....the reality was that a bunch of kids were pretty much written off as "low attaining" , which means the teacher had low expectations and the bar was set low for these kids, which suited a lot of them, as it was nice and easy.

I have worked with primary age children for a few years ( not a teacher, but in drama for "underprivileged children, an EU funded thing) and I have never met a "thick" child. Some children are a bit slow, some are dyslexic, some are daydreamers, some are late developers, some are not ready for school until they are older. But none are thick. All kids could be educated to a good level, I really believe that.

The point of education should be to get all children up the maximum of their ability. I am so disappointed with the State system, though I know it works for a lot of people, too many kids are let down through low expectations.

Chandon Sun 02-Dec-12 19:48:06

Yes, breadandbutter, I am therefore quite interested in the Free Schools idea, and how that will work out. I do not " believe" in the comprehensive system, OR in grammar schools.

Why are so many people against free schools? Because they will be better? Or worse? Or because they will all be different? Or...?

seeker Sun 02-Dec-12 19:48:22

Ask anything you like bandbfly- i'm used to being quizzed on the subject.

I don't think there is a way that would make the transition to grammar school better or fairer. I don't think, for a start, that there is an untutorable test. Eton claims ton have one, but that doesn't stop people tutoring for it. And I certainly don't think there is a single test which would not favour the children of the professional middle classes, regardless of tutorability. Which is why the system is inherently unjust.

About my own family. I have one who was borderline, and passed. And one who was considered a shooin, and who failed. Catastrophically. Both untutored. Both at the same adequate primary school. Not sure that shows. If anything!

Chandon Sun 02-Dec-12 19:55:44

I Seeker, fancy seeing you here wink

Chandon Sun 02-Dec-12 19:56:32

I Meant Hi not I

PlaySchool Sun 02-Dec-12 20:04:08

What is so good about a grammar school? It is bound to get great results because it is selective, doesn't have special needs kids, has a disproportionate number of kids from affluent backgrounds, doesn't have many looked after children or those with emotional and behavioural difficulties, has a lower proportion of kids with English as an additional language. There would be something seriously wrong if a grammar school did not get better results than the local comp. I don't understand why people think their children will get a better education at one. I do think a lot of it is middle class parents wanting to prevent their children mixing with the riff raff.
The grammar school system is so socially decisive it should be banned.

PlaySchool Sun 02-Dec-12 20:05:19

Also, in a comprehensive, one size does not fit all. The curriculum is flexible so that it caters for all abilities.

LaQueen Sun 02-Dec-12 20:17:30

We live just over the border from a GS area, and fingers crossed both our DDs will pass the 11+.

However, our local state comprehensive has just been awarded an Outstanding Ofsted, and I think it is the top performing comprehensive in our county? Most parents would give blood to get their DCs in there.

However, I have worked at this school - and yes, the top sets are clever (probably comparable to the GS just over the border). But I don't like the attitude/behaviour I see from a lot of the children at this school - with particular regard to studying/academic endeavour. There are also some issues with truancy/discipline which I don't like.

The atmopshere at the GS, and the attitude towards academic endeavour is very, very different and there just aren't the truancy/discipline issues...and this is why we want our DDs to go there.

LaQueen Sun 02-Dec-12 20:20:15

Playschool I disagree. I couldn't give a moneky's if my DDs are sat next to the daughters of illiterate, imigrant window long as these girls are very clever, well behaved and want to excel academically.

We do not swear except under our breath or privately.

I fear if you send your child to private school, he will swear like a trooper. Caring / getting upset about swearwords is seen as awfully lower middle class...

PlaySchool Sun 02-Dec-12 20:22:03

If the school has just got an "outstanding" it must deal with truancy and attendance very well. Are you sure the problem is not historical?

My DS goes to a comp and he has just been rewarded for attendance and punctuality with a trip to the cinema. There are loads of incentives for good behaviour at his school and plenty of punishments for bad behaviour.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 20:23:47

No, my main criticisms are that they are divisive, unfair and favour those who already have the dice rolled in their favour anyway . It is just another reason for the middle classes to opt out of mainstream education. It harms those left behind and is too permanent. As if that were not bad enough there should be no need for them any way.

PlaySchool Sun 02-Dec-12 20:26:18

LeQueen The point I make is that you are unlikely to get children of "illiterate, immigrant window cleaners" at a grammar school and that is why I disagree with selective education.

I do see your point that you don't want your child to sit next to a disruptive child. However, I think it is wrong to assume that this is what is necessarily going to happen.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 20:27:28

Just because the children are in one building it does not mean that they get the same lessons or style of teaching. As a comprehensive school teacher over a week I will see children over a vast range of abilities for those who have the reading age of my son in reception to those heading off to Cambridge with a fleet of A*. It is my job to meet their needs, as a professional I can do that.

CrapJokeThing Sun 02-Dec-12 20:29:53

The reason that everyone tutors now is that the job market has changed.

Once upon a time jobs were:
Professional: Paid a good salary, no overtime but might be benifits such as company car. Eg Lawyer, business executive. Jobs through nepotism or University. Might be able to work your way up from shop floor in certain industries. Pay increased throughout your working life.

Skilled: Hourly paid, benefits such as overtime, holiday pay negotiated by a strong union. Good salary after your aprenticeship, unlikely to increase much during your working life. Nepotism in certain industries, eg Film for some roles.

Unskilled: Poorly paid, very little job security, little chance for improvement.

In Slough with it's Grammar school system it was better that your nice but dim son, went to the local secondary-modern, left school at 16, got a trade and was earning good money by 19/20. Very few people tutored because the wrong kid in the wrong school would never work and a decent salery was available through other routes.

A huge chunk of those skilled, well paid jobs have gone, hence the rush to get to University.

Eton school boys were all weird and really looked down on by my school, posh boys, bought brains, never thought they'd get anywhere. Never miind the tutors it's Dad's money that really gets you places.

notnagging Sun 02-Dec-12 20:34:39

I can't believe some of the generalisations made on here. We were a working class family, my ds took the test and passed. We moved to a grammar school area so he wouldn't have to go to school and get bullied for being intelligent. His primary school said they had to concentrate on the 'lesser abled'. Our parents worked hard to give us a better education. My sons school has a mixture of children from private schools and looked after children. I would never begrudge him that opportunity.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 20:40:16

There is no way on earth either DH or I would have made it into a grammar and we were both very academic. Our parents would never have paid for tutors and would never have tutored us. They would certainly never have paid our bus fares into school , the expensive uniform , never have taken us to sit the exam. Both DH and I also had very poor attendance because of our family backgrounds, so in some ways we were late bloomers, DH especially.

Having said that, we went to the kinds of schools that would make most MNERs bleach their eyeballs in fear, we were never bullied for our geeky ways. We were not Mr and Mrs popular either but certainly not picked on.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 20:42:12

Most of my son's friends at the grammar are not from state primary schools, they tend to be from the preps who openly advertise themselves as prep schools who almost offer a guaranteed place at the grammars.

bamboostalks Sun 02-Dec-12 20:43:37

I don't think any parents begrudge their children their opportunities. It's the fact that their children don't have the opportunities your son is lucky to have that they begrudge.

LaQueen Sun 02-Dec-12 20:44:11

Play I take your point...but, I don't want my DDs attending a school where the children have to be bribed to behave well. I want that good behaviour to have been bred in them from birth, and for it just to be a given when they're at school.

notnagging Sun 02-Dec-12 20:44:22

In our area, the kids take the exam in their primary school and they all sit practise papers. The parents don't have to take them to sit the test. The primary school assess them and give parents an honest opinion in whether that are suitable, not necessarilly academically but also in terms of work ethos.

Spockster Sun 02-Dec-12 20:47:26

How do they do that Arisbottle? Do they tutor kids specifically for 11+ within an inch of their lives..or is there another secret? If the former, is a new "tutor-proof" test likely to change the intake in favour of state primaries?

Spockster Sun 02-Dec-12 20:48:25

(accepting for the moment that there could be such a thing as a tutor-proof test)

notnagging Sun 02-Dec-12 20:48:41

That's why we moved from inner city london so he could have a better opportunity. Grammar schools tend to be in better areas. Lots of parents, especially ethnic minorities have moved to get into better schools. Parents will do all they can to give their children the best education they can. Like it or not, the future is grim for our children especially under Gove.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 20:48:57

You have to go and sit the test here. My daughter was teased mercilessly by the other children on her table for not going for the grammar. They told her that she must be thick as only thick children don't go to the grammar . She has also been teased for not having a tutor , Apparantly only thick poor children don't have tutors.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 20:51:04

I have not taught in a prep school but having spoken to friends who have their children in prep schools they are heavily tutored in school and then parents have the income to tutor them outside if school. I suppose because they are not having to study the national curriculum they can rehearse skills needed for entrance exams, whether this is for a grammar or for a scholarship to an independent.

chibi Sun 02-Dec-12 21:02:58

here is a canadariffic fact: there are no grammar schools, and private schools are mostly rare, and confined to large cities. i grew up in a town of some hundred thousand people, with no private school at all. this is pretty standard.

Cahoootz Sun 02-Dec-12 21:18:01

In Quebec about a fifth of DC's go to private school and in Montreal it's about 40%.
(this may be a bit out of dateblush)

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 02-Dec-12 21:37:32

Laqueen, but do you really think that all bright children - or even all middle class children, come to that- are innately well-behaved? I'm afraid I don't. And of course you can be bright and well behaved and polite to teachers and still be a horrendous little bully, too.... It seems to me terribly naive to assume you can eliminate all nastiness or bad behaviour of any kind just by making sure your intake is either academic, or middle class.

APMF Sun 02-Dec-12 21:43:24

@Arisbottle - You never taught in a prep but you think that having friends whose kids went to prep equips you to generalise about what goes on inside a prep???

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 02-Dec-12 21:53:07

Because the child who gave my daughter the unhappiest time in primary was probably the brightest in the class: very able, very manipulative, very skilled at playing one child off against another. Luckily, they're both at different state comprehensives now.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 21:54:36

notnagging - well said.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 21:55:21

Arisbottle - your experience is not my experience. V few kids from prep schools at either my dd's school or mine.

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 21:57:04

CrapJokeThing - agree absolutely.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 02-Dec-12 21:57:43

(would also suggest that if the children in the high school you've seen, laqueen, seem wary of and disrespectful towards, academic achievement, it might be because they were told at the age of ten that it wasn't for them and they weren't having any if it. It's the system, not the children.)

APMF Sun 02-Dec-12 21:59:37

@chibi - I like how you said that there are no private schools in Canada APART from in the large cities.

It may surprise you to know that sparsely populated parts of the UK don't have private schools either smile

breadandbutterfly Sun 02-Dec-12 22:00:40

LaQueen - also totally horrified that a parent could cite as an example of good practice a student needing to be rewarded by a cinema trip just for turning up to school! What do they get if they actually do some work? Sweeties? Cash? A new car?

That is exactly the kind of ethos I would run a mile to avoid. Any school where the discipline is so poor that this kind of blatant bribe is necessary has already clearly lost the plot.

EdgarAllanPond Sun 02-Dec-12 22:11:24

there's nothing you can't prepare for in terms of testing.

reasoning - doing logic problems before hand will get you in the frame of mind
numerical reasoning - basic maths and arithmetic and related problems will