Would you be prepared to pay more tax to get better state education for all?

(707 Posts)
happygardening Tue 26-Feb-13 16:53:19

Any other suggestions welcome to ensure that all where ever they live and whatever their background have access to education of the highest quality.

usualsuspect Tue 26-Feb-13 16:55:53

I would if it meant all private and grammar schools were abolished.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Tue 26-Feb-13 16:57:32

Yes, as long as there were no grammar and no private schools, no single sex schools, no faith schools.

NewFerry Tue 26-Feb-13 16:58:22

Yes! If I was guaranteed that it would go on education, and secondly, if I was guaranteed it would go on front line education, eg more teachers/specialist teaching staff.

usualsuspect Tue 26-Feb-13 16:59:29

I would want a truly comprehensive system, with all children going to their local schools.

RVPisnomore Tue 26-Feb-13 17:00:42


whistleahappytune Tue 26-Feb-13 17:03:24

Yes. Without conditions.

potatoprinter Tue 26-Feb-13 17:04:07

Simply "yes" but not as simple as that. I think a lot of money is wasted and resources are used in the wrong way. I think all schools should publish their accounts including expenses paid to staff and consultants. I don't mind paying teachers a good wage (they deserve it), but I do object to waste and expensive cars for SLT etc.

freetoanyhome Tue 26-Feb-13 17:04:33

yes. we used to pay 30% tax did we not. And O and A level standards were better than they are now.

NewFerry Tue 26-Feb-13 17:05:30

But, I think we need to recognise that some pupils do not want to be in school and in a poor school setting can cause almost constant low level disruption. I would like to see those pupils take out of the main classes and educated separately - maybe in the empty ex-grammar schools wink grin
Seriously, I think these secondary age pupils should be educated in a separate space as they can have a negative impact on the whole learning culture in a school that is far bigger than they merit. The whole ethos can be determined by a few, and I would rather it was a positive can-do culture.

bulletpoint Tue 26-Feb-13 17:06:49

I am not sure more tax would necessarily result in better state education, depending on what your definition of that is. Reason being the state of state education is not necessarily due to lack of funds, behaviour in schools is one, various political agendas, individual parents own perception of what constitutes a good education, home backgrounds etc

i'm not even sure the population as a whole agrees that state education isn't up to scratch, many believe it is quite good.

sydlexic Tue 26-Feb-13 17:06:52

Yes. My DS goes to a super selective Grammar but I would still say yes.

DS and before him DDS went to an outstanding state primary. DD1 very bright went to outstanding local comp as did DD2 who has mild learning difficulties. DD2 did a Vocational course in hairdressing in year 10 and then went onto college to do level 3 and barbering.

I have three DC with very different needs and IQs and they were all catered for. From my perspective there is nothing wrong with the education system.

CajaDeLaMemoria Tue 26-Feb-13 17:10:29

Why no single-sex grammars?

I went to one, with one year in a standard state school, and it was by far the best thing. Just amazing, academically.

I am not convinced that resources are the key problem.

I would like to see the abolition of all state funded faith schools.

I think there should be more outreach into those communities that feel disenfranchised from the education system. I would also like to see a higher value placed on practical and vocational skills.

usualsuspect Tue 26-Feb-13 17:16:47

Yes to higher value placed on vocational qualifications.

Instead of them being viewed as 2nd rate qualifications.

Abra1d Tue 26-Feb-13 17:20:14

'I am not convinced that resources are the key problem.

I would like to see the abolition of all state funded faith schools. '

How would you afford to pay the churches which bought their land in the nineteenth or early twentieth centuries, built their schools, etc.

expatinscotland Tue 26-Feb-13 17:22:05

What amother said and with far more investment in quality vocational schools.

HorribleMother Tue 26-Feb-13 17:23:48

I don't think that higher taxes could possibly achieve what OP wants, no matter what reasonable conditions were imposed. Sorry.

Olgathebrickshed Tue 26-Feb-13 17:26:29


However much tax we pay, there will always be familes who simply don't give a toss about education. You could throw money at schools all you like, and it would never solve that problem.

I actually think that all schools should be privatised, run by people who can manage and lead people (rather than being driven by doctrine). But that's not likely to happen...

Iggly Tue 26-Feb-13 17:28:33

Why would being a privatised school be better?

Private schools have more money hence better. But making all schools private just means that money is creamed off in profit which should be going back into the system.

scaevola Tue 26-Feb-13 17:40:21

I'm not sure throwing money at the issue will help - if it did, standard would have shot up under New Labour.

Schools get pretty similar funding now - aim of for areas with grammars, but why are some schools so much "better" than others? For the issues of demographics of the catchment aren't go to go away.

I don't think the churches could sell you the schools because they would have been set up to provide a Christian education.

Churches only have to provide 10% of the Capital costs of running the school (which can be waived by the LEA) the other 90% of the Capital costs and 100% of the running costs are paid for by the State anyway.

bryte Tue 26-Feb-13 20:07:15

I thought we already spent more on Education as a country than other countries who manage to do better than us....?

I would pay more taxes specifically towards education but I would like to see smaller class sizes and smaller (secondary) schools in return.

LaVolcan Tue 26-Feb-13 20:32:13

Yes, but I too would like to see smaller class sizes, and decent equipment, plus sufficient school places to stop this mad scramble which happens in some towns and cities.

discrete Tue 26-Feb-13 20:34:40


But I would be willing to pay more tax if state education was abolished and instead all the funds were used to pay the private school fees of children on a means-tested basis.

surreygoldfish Tue 26-Feb-13 20:47:32

No - because I don't believe it's all about how much money is invested.....the current variation in quality within the state sector cannot be explained just by funding. Agree with scaevola - it doesn't change the different demographics of each school's catchment.
If private schools are abolished, more government funding would be required to pay for all those children not currently educated in the state system.

rabbitstew Tue 26-Feb-13 21:45:19

surreygoldfish - how can you believe it's not about how much money is invested while simultaneously believing more money would have to be invested if people being privately educated suddenly moved into the state sector because of the closure of private schools???? Surely on your logic, the meagre funds could just be stretched still further to accommodate them? It's not all about how much money is invested, after all...grin

How would the extra tax be used? As the 'good' schools tend to be in the wealthier areas, with parents who engage with education/pay for tutors etc etc. Hence the whole antipathy to pointy elbowed middle classes snatching the best school places. Would it pay deposits for lower income families to allow them to move? That would be quite radical.

lisad123everybodydancenow Tue 26-Feb-13 22:01:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

happygardening Tue 26-Feb-13 22:01:39

To get smaller classes more money would have to come from somewhere I'm not sure how much more tax we'd have to pay but I would be happy to pay more. But not if independent schools were abolished in fact I don't see why the two have to go hand in hand.

rabbitstew Tue 26-Feb-13 22:15:11

Sorry, I don't see how you can ever achieve a better education for all in a society heading towards an increasing number of have nots and a diminishing number of haves holding on to an increasingly massive share of the cake. A better education for all would require a more even, less divided society in general and we are doing absolutely nothing to work towards this. In fact, we've been paddling hard in the opposite direction since the 1980s.

montmartre Tue 26-Feb-13 22:16:03

I would only pay more if all 'markets' and profit making within education were outlawed.

We already pay huge amounts of tax- 20, 40 or 50% plus 11% NI, plus local tax (currently council tax, no doubt about to be replaced by a local income tax), and 20% VAT on almost all purchases (including VAT on fuel, which is kind of a necessity in this country).

The limit for the 40% tax rate has been lowered this year, putting more people into that band too!

AScorpionPitForMimes Tue 26-Feb-13 22:34:41

Yes, but only on condition that 2 things happened:

1) That the money was absolutely ring-fenced for education, and
2) That a large amount of it was spent on setting up a system of really good vocational education so that children who aren't academic can learn a skilled trade and thrive, and not be looked down on for not being academic.

AScorpionPitForMimes Tue 26-Feb-13 22:36:33

And what rabbitstew said - we need to get rid of the persistent and significant remains of the class system, because it has fucked up this country for too long. Unfortunately we are very much moving in the wrong direction.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Tue 26-Feb-13 22:38:14

In theory, I would. However the deal you propose is not likely to be on the table anytime soon, for reasons others have pointed out.

TiffIsKool Wed 27-Feb-13 00:09:26

I am quite happy to pay more tax if it was ring fenced for the NHS and patient care and was combined with programs to cut waste. More money means more kidney dialysis machines, better post op care, shorter waiting lists etc etc.

But paying more tax for education? No.

Sure there are schools where buildings are dilapidated, children have to share worn and tatty text books, and where the 'IT' lab is a joke. These schools will benefit greatly from an influx of money. However, there are a lot of schools that are failing because of disruptive and violent children, incompetent teachers, apathetic parents etc etc. Throwing money of these schools won't resolve the social problems that afflicts these failing schools.

florencerose Wed 27-Feb-13 00:22:23


and I have a number of children who will need educating in the state system.

they/we need to spend what we have wisely and I see no appetite in the public or our rulers for such discussions!

florencerose Wed 27-Feb-13 00:23:28

I'm not so sure Tiff

healthcare is a bottomless pit the demand expands to fit the supply

again we need to discuss what we are aiming for

TiffIsKool Wed 27-Feb-13 00:33:20

florencerose - I agree that the NHS is a bottomless pit. Large chunks of any large injection of cash will probably get ring fenced for pay rises for staff.

But since we were playing "would you pay more tax for xyz"..... smile

florencerose Wed 27-Feb-13 00:35:19

Tiff havent NHS staff had no pay rises for about 3 years now?

why do you assume that the money all goes to the staff do you have any information to support this?

florencerose Wed 27-Feb-13 00:36:37

same with teachers I assume

florencerose Wed 27-Feb-13 00:38:24

why health? you could substitute hospital for school in your post and I expect it would be just as true (serious question not trying to annoy you)

LineRunner Wed 27-Feb-13 00:48:07


But no tax money or charity tax breaks to academies, free schools, private schools, grammar schools or faith schools.

I would also like to see state school Governing Bodies remunerated in some reasonable way to reflect the key role they have, and which might attract more people.

Startail Wed 27-Feb-13 00:59:51


recall Wed 27-Feb-13 01:03:24

agree with whistleahappytune yes

TiffIsKool Wed 27-Feb-13 01:04:31

flo - as you have said, NHS staff haven't had a pay rise in years. So if the NHS budget were to get a large influx of cash you reckon the unions won't be pushing for catch up pay rises?

florencerose Wed 27-Feb-13 01:07:15

Doesnt everyone push every year

cant see it happening for a decade TBH and then it wont be catch up it will just be 1%

the financial situation has stuffed an awful lot of people

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 27-Feb-13 01:13:13

No because I'm not convinced that lack of money in education is at the heart of the problem.

- Constant changes in education policy
- Ridiculous amounts of form filling
- Teach to test philosophy
- Children who come to school completely unprepared to learn and unable to concentrate due to their home environment
- Stupid policy of trying to force unacademic children into higher education

TiffIsKool Wed 27-Feb-13 01:16:28

Why health and not schools? Schools fail for a variety of reasons that has nothing to with lack of funds.

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 01:23:56


Because there is no one size fits all in education. My ideal school, would be another parent's hell and vice versa. So if we had to share the same local school with that person, at least one of us will be unhappy - if not both. Because we could end up with a school that neither of us wants.

Also, I don't want to pay even more to educate those who don't want to be educated. Or for the kids of some very large families out there.

Ronaldo Wed 27-Feb-13 06:11:44


I do not believe money is the problem in state schools and no amount of it will get the education I want to see and believe would work.

However,I would be happy to pay less tax and fund my DS's education myself.

Succubi Wed 27-Feb-13 08:04:57

No. For pretty much the same reasons already stated. You can't fix the problem that bad state schools face by simply throwing money at it.

happygardening Wed 27-Feb-13 08:37:02

Succubi how do you fix the problems of bad state schools?
I suggested a tax increase mainly because many parents cite class size as a reason for moving to the independent sector and obviously smaller classes require more teachers therefore more money.

rabbitstew Wed 27-Feb-13 08:38:00

You can't fix society merely by trying to fix academic education, you mean, let alone merely by throwing money at education. We won't solve many of our society's current problems by improving maths and English exam results.

Succubi Wed 27-Feb-13 08:49:08

I think the problem is a lessening of values (god I sound old). I don't think as a society we support our teachers enough and I think there is too much restriction on discipline.

happygardening Wed 27-Feb-13 08:53:09

In many countries education is seen as a way out of the gutter metaphorical or real.

rabbitstew Wed 27-Feb-13 09:05:44

In many countries, there are few restrictions on discipline, family breakdown is more or less prevented and the reality is that very few make it out of the gutter, anyway, particularly women who have to look after their relatives as a priority, rather than expecting the State to help look after them.

seeker Wed 27-Feb-13 09:09:55


bunnybing Wed 27-Feb-13 09:17:13

"No because I'm not convinced that lack of money in education is at the heart of the problem.

- Constant changes in education policy
- Ridiculous amounts of form filling
- Teach to test philosophy
- Children who come to school completely unprepared to learn and unable to concentrate due to their home environment
- Stupid policy of trying to force unacademic children into higher education "

I agree with what Richmanpoorman says. If you look at primary schools these days a lot of money has been spent on ICT suites, laptops, interactive whiteboards (probably the case for secondary, but I haven't been in one lately), so I don't think lack of funds is the heart of the issue.

seeker Wed 27-Feb-13 09:23:35

One problem is that a state school will have money which it can spend on, for example, IT, but it cannot choose to spend that money on, say, more TAs, which many would argue would be more useful. Because it is, i think, year on year money, rather than regular money that can be used for staff costs.

The way school funding is organised is certainly worth looking at.

socareless Wed 27-Feb-13 09:24:46

Absolutely not. Seeker do you work?

seeker Wed 27-Feb-13 09:25:27


rabbitstew Wed 27-Feb-13 09:25:56

Frankly, I think we've lost track of what we are educating young people for. What do we want at the end of it all???

ClaraOswinOswald Wed 27-Feb-13 09:27:53

I think we pay more than enough tax- it's the way our taxes are managed that is the issue. That and the fact that not everyone pays a fair amount.

socareless Wed 27-Feb-13 09:27:54

Just curious

socareless Wed 27-Feb-13 09:28:16

Just curious

seeker Wed 27-Feb-13 09:30:28

Actually, I'm on benefits, but I have Sky subscription, three foreign holidays a year and keep a carriage and 4.

socareless Wed 27-Feb-13 09:35:22

Ah I see. Thought you were a sahm.

BarryShitpeas Wed 27-Feb-13 09:40:37


seeker Wed 27-Feb-13 09:47:31

Full disclosure. I run a small business which has only made enough profit for me to pay tax once. My partner is a tax payer.

Does that qualify me to comment on this thread or not, please, socareless?

Succubi Wed 27-Feb-13 09:49:02

I'm sorry for my last post as it was written too quickly whilst on the train.

On reflection if I am honest I suspect funding plays a significant part in improving state care/education and an increase in tax will probably help to some extent.

My personal starting point on this issue is that all children should have a right to an education. Whether we as a society are in a position to give children a right to a standardised education for all I am not so sure.

I know that I am odds with many posters on here but I believe in a selective education. I am not a fan of the comprehensive system and streaming within that system.

I accept that life is unfair. I also believe that we should nuture the brightest and not have to apologise for giving them a head start in life and I accept that money sometimes buys you that start in life but there you are.

As regards the failing schools I suspect the issue is in part funding, but there are other more funadamental problems like trouble at home, lack of respect for authority, lack of aspiration and general apathy. I think the sooner we accept that it is not possible to provide a uniform education for all the sooner we can focus on also improving and/or providing a selective education for those children who society shuns and who through no fault of their own find themselves at the bottom of society's ladder.

From april. School funding is changing. Local authorities will delegate most money to schools, and schools will choose how to spend it.

seeker Wed 27-Feb-13 10:01:12

Will that apply to staff costs, notactuallyme?

TiffIsKool Wed 27-Feb-13 10:03:12

happy - Not all private parents are concerned with class sizes. Ours have 25 in a form. However, classes that use lab equipment.for example are kept small for obvious reasons.

People who roll their eyes at £15k buying you 25 kids to a class lose sight that these aren't not academically challenged kids that needs a lot (if any) 121 teaching.

grovel Wed 27-Feb-13 10:07:29

Yes, if I was given Gove's job at the same time.

socareless Wed 27-Feb-13 10:08:14

Seeker nothing or noone can stop you from commenting so by all means do comment. I am still curious about whether people who respond yes are on full time employment with no dependency on the state for top UPS. I picked on you as you are quite open about your household.
I currently work full time and earn a little above the higher tax band. I would be very unhappy to see taxes go up.

grovel Wed 27-Feb-13 10:08:32

And the teaching unions were prepared to discuss anything constructively.

socareless Wed 27-Feb-13 10:08:50

Oh and I have 3 children below the age of 8.

grovel Wed 27-Feb-13 10:18:21

socareless, most families in this country are net "takers". State education costs £5,000 per child per annum. The NHS costs £1,700 per person per year. etc etc.

TiffIsKool Wed 27-Feb-13 10:22:38

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seeker Wed 27-Feb-13 10:25:28


Please just leave me alone. It's getting boring now.

seeker Wed 27-Feb-13 10:27:59

I was asked what my family's tax position was. I said.

TiffIsKool Wed 27-Feb-13 10:32:33

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TiffIsKool Wed 27-Feb-13 10:34:34

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rubyrubyruby Wed 27-Feb-13 10:41:38

No - we pay a shit load if tax anyway.

We also live in an area that receives one of the lowest funding in the country and the school is excellent.

No, good schools have good management. I would like to see the end of state funded faith schools though and I would prefer everyone went to their local school, but thats not going to happen.

Elibean Wed 27-Feb-13 10:54:21

Yes. Another vote for more, and better quality, vocational schools as part of the deal please.

Elibean Wed 27-Feb-13 10:54:56

And wasn't put into faith schools.

socareless Wed 27-Feb-13 10:55:50

Grovel my children are on private school and we have private health care. we have gone down this route because we are fed up of state institutions.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 27-Feb-13 10:58:28

I'm a net 'payer'. I would be prepared to pay higher taxes for better services, yes, whether that was the NHS or education. I'd also frankly be prepared to pay a bit more in tax to fund better benefits for those that need them. Although, obviously, it's difficult to define 'a bit'. I'd quite like the idea of paying more in tax so that pensions are possible in 20 years time, I would absolutely refuse (I'd go to the barricades) to pay more so that pensions were better right now.


While I understand better than most that we cannot hypothecate taxes, I am not happy with the way public spending is divvied up now. I have no confidence I'd be any happier if there was a bigger pot to divvy up. I'm reasonably convinced I would be less happy. So there's that. I also think that education budgets currently are mismanaged and mis-applied. S there's that. I live in one of the lowest funded areas in the country for education (and everything else). And that wouldn't change even if I was paying over even more than I currently do. So there's that. And I wouldn't want to see Gove or any of his cronies in charge of the budget for a jumble sale. So there's that.

I guess I'm saying I'd be happy to pay more taxes for a variety of things if we had a different government. This lot, I don't trust them, I don't like them and I don't want to give them any more of my money to piss against the wall.

socareless Wed 27-Feb-13 10:59:49

in private school I meant. I am using phone to post.

socareless Wed 27-Feb-13 11:01:56

So which govt do you trust Russian? Ed's?

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 27-Feb-13 11:02:27

Socareless. Ed doesn't have a government. HTH. smile

socareless Wed 27-Feb-13 11:06:41

Yes it helps artful dodger Russian. grin

Viviennemary Wed 27-Feb-13 11:11:31

I agree with no grammar schools. And no grants for private schools from the government. But I don't think a good school is just down to funding alone.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 27-Feb-13 11:14:32

It's not my fault if you ask ridiculous nonsense questions.

But I'll help you out. I would have been prepared to pay more tax under the two previous governments and I would have been rather more confident than I am now that the money would have gone to things I thought should have it (with the fairly major exceptions of the Iraq war and pensioners). Even then though, where I live was one of the lowest funded places in the country. It doesn't matter who is in charge, we get screwed. sad

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 27-Feb-13 11:15:31

Vivienne presumably you don't agree with SEN provision either then?

happygardening Wed 27-Feb-13 11:17:45

"most families in this country are net "takers". State education costs £5,000 per child per annum. The NHS costs £1,700 per person per year. etc etc."
Grovel I think we need to get the NHS budget onto perspective here taken from their website:
"Only the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, the Wal-Mart supermarket chain and the Indian Railways directly employ more people.
The NHS in England is the biggest part of the system by far, catering to a population of 53m and employing more than 1.35m people. The NHS in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland employs 153,427; 84,817 and 78,000 people respectively.
The NHS deals with over 1 million patients every 36 hours."
Budget = £108.9 billion.
Education £36.4 billion.

MerylStrop Wed 27-Feb-13 11:19:44


Also, all private schools abolished
And proper COMPREHENSIVE education in place ie no selection by ability or faith

AND education needs to be separated from politics

The quality and accessiblity of children's education should not be subject to battles of political ideology and electioneering gimmickry. It's uncivilised.

Bonsoir Wed 27-Feb-13 11:22:04

More tax won't make education better.

Schools need to be managed better such that teachers get proper support from heads/governors. The biggest difference between schools is the quality of their management. More effort needs to go into recruiting and incentivising heads.

Corygal Wed 27-Feb-13 11:26:07


A lot of the problems with the UK's bad education are not financial.

socareless Wed 27-Feb-13 11:26:50

Some people also demand more from the nhs due to life style choices. but people who put considerable strain on resources are what matters. No one does anything about prevention.
People like me who cost the Nhs virtually nothing are constantly penalised.

MerylStrop Wed 27-Feb-13 11:27:16

Also "choice" (as in the ridiculous NHS system that offered my a "choice" of being treated for my minor eye op in Rotherham or Cheltenham in 2 weeks, but not at home in Merseyside for 12 weeks) is a total red herring and distraction from the real issues relating to equality of access to decent education.

(disclaimer: I think, like my mother, I am becoming a communist as I age)

Viviennemary Wed 27-Feb-13 11:28:05

RussianontheSpree. Can't see anywhere in my post I said that.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 27-Feb-13 11:29:19

Bonsoir - it might make it better, or it might not. Money alone is never the solution to anything. But money can often be part of the solution.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 27-Feb-13 11:30:41

Vivienne its the logical corollary of what you said. You only want to cater for the middle of the range. No pesky outliers will be considered in your brave new world.

Viviennemary Wed 27-Feb-13 11:35:42

I think you better find somebody cleverer than me to argue with RussiansontheSpree. 'Logical Corollary'???

Bonsoir Wed 27-Feb-13 11:36:48

Extra money often enables people to do things without thinking very hard about whether those things are useful and productive...

gabsid Wed 27-Feb-13 11:37:58

I wouldn't mind to pay a bit more tax for education, health service and other public services, as long as the money is spend wisely on specific things, rather than being thrown in a big pot and wasted.

What seems to be achieving results in private schools is smaller class sizes, and I it would be nice if DC had textbooks as I had to take home. It doesn't mean that they need to follow it by the letter but it would be easier to study at home and parents would know what DC are doing at school.

I have no idea what my DS (only Y3) does and hardly ever see exercise books - this makes it hard to support him and chat about what he did in school

EducationalAppStore Wed 27-Feb-13 11:38:37

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RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 27-Feb-13 11:38:52

Bonsoir oh very yes. Hence my rider when I was giving my own answer that I wouldn't want to pay more taxes to the current incumbents since I have no confidence they won't continue to piss them up the wall. smile

Succubi Wed 27-Feb-13 11:41:30

I am clearly in the minority as I believe that we should have more selective education (based on ability). I would like more grammar schools and more specialist schools set up to provide pastoral care and specialist support to those children with additional learning needs/home support. Mainstream schools will then pick up the children in the middle.

I agree that faith schools should not have government funding and if a particular parent wants a religious based eductaion for their child then they should pay for it.

I accept also that private schools should have their charitable status removed. Both my children will be privately educated

seeker Wed 27-Feb-13 11:42:31

It's only the logical corollary if you think that the outliers need to be in separate schools. Which I don't think most people do, do they?

Succubi Wed 27-Feb-13 11:49:47

Seeker I suggest you read the first line of my 11:41:30 post for the answer to your question.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 27-Feb-13 11:50:24

Seeker I do though. I think that certain types of SEN condition (other than being super bright) need to be in schools which fit certain criteria and which can cope with them, and not all mainstream schools can do that (DSs school for example would be torment to DD1).

Having 3 kids that are 2e really does focus the mind on these issues, you know. sad There are currently a variety of issues going on with all 3 of them and I can just see how much easier life would be for them if they weren't outliers on so many different planes. Since I've been extremely sick with whooping cough and pleurisy for the last two weeks I am lacking my usual energy to deal with this shit and I'm feeling a bit.....defeated.

Bonsoir Wed 27-Feb-13 11:51:33

Yes, I think most people think that the outliers need to be in separate schools. Here in France the outliers end up in psychiatric hospitals and there is a whole industry devoted to trying to "manage" the "problems" of outliers, including psychotherapy to reconcile DCs to being outliers in a system designed for the middle...

Succubi Wed 27-Feb-13 11:59:47

Or maybe I am not in the minority blush

blueshoes Wed 27-Feb-13 12:00:05

Interesting that some people say that private schools should be abolished.

If that happened, the 7% or so of children in the independent sector will move to the state sector. To fund that will require an increase in taxes way beyond what is needed to improve state education under the current landscape.

I cannot wait to not have to pay for private education because apparently with more taxes, I can get a better state schooling not. There is no way the increase in taxes will be greater than the amount I currently shell out for school fees for 2. In fact, I might be tempted to pop a few more out for England since I can get free schooling for them out of the same taxes I pay.


Bonsoir Wed 27-Feb-13 12:03:49

Some people think that others shouldn't be allowed to purchase anything that they themselves cannot afford... abolish private schools, tax "the rich" to death to prevent them buying big houses, cars and holidays...

wildirishrose Wed 27-Feb-13 12:10:27

Err are you off your rocker OP? We already pay half our money to the government. Every single child has the opportunity to learn in this country why on earth plow more money into education when half the population are not interested in learning anyway?

In theory, yes. But:

"However much tax we pay, there will always be familes who simply don't give a toss about education. You could throw money at schools all you like, and it would never solve that problem."

Spending money on schools isn't the main thing. Early intervention and/or breaking the cycle of ignorant and disruptive families would make the main difference, and I don't know how far you could go with that.

I am a net contributor at the moment and I do want to see evidence that the money the state currently collects is spent well.

I am unconvinced by comprehensive education because it failed both me and my brother. I am academically inclined and the school didn't differentiate enough (with the notable exception of a very good maths teacher). My elder brother is very practical and he came out with poor qualifications which didn't do justice to his practical abilities. Its a family joke that if something goes wrong my brother will have taken it apart and fixed it in the time it takes me to read the instruction manual. I have always assumed that DB and I are equally intelligent and able but that our abilities lie in different areas. The school didn't enable either of us to achieve our potential.

WorriedTeenMum Wed 27-Feb-13 12:33:39

Yes and yes I am a higher rate tax payer.

I have lived in NL where the marginal rate of tax I paid was 52%. Services were generally excellent. The local primary school my DCs attended was well funded and there was also a lot of parent power. There are private schools in the Netherlands but IME most of these were international or foreign language school (eg British School in Den Haag). There is a kind of national pragmatism which meant why pay for something twice!

The idea that funding decisions are going to be pushed down to schools does rather scare me as the head of my younger DCs' school is an incompetent loon.

rabbitstew Wed 27-Feb-13 12:43:26

Well, one thing seems quite apparent - Michael Gove is not interested in the education of people who aren't academically inclined.

As for schools being free to make more funding decisions - the reality is, they are still dictated to by OFSTED, targets and government whims, so have to put their money where the official national targets are, it's just that they can now take even more of the blame if the money doesn't meet the requirements of the targets set, which are all set to meet a tiresome bog standard. Basically, whilst Henry Ford said of his Ford Model T that you could have any colour as long as it was black, in state education, you can have any colour of uniform so long as the child wearing it conforms to a national statistic.

Jibberoo Wed 27-Feb-13 12:44:02

No. But maybe for nursery from 1yo

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 12:45:34

Throwing more money at schools won't work.

Yes, I want smaller class sizes. But I also want choice rather than a lottery. Being able to choose a school where kids work hard and know how to behave. AND where the school is allowed to throw out those who misbehave.

Too many times, the problem starts at home...

TiffIsKool Wed 27-Feb-13 12:48:32

I can understand why some people, in the.name of social equality, would want to ban private schools. But how is that going to improve failing schools?

If private schools was to be banned I would take the fees saved and buy next door to a highly ranked state school. Some (naive) posters seem to think that I would move to their neighbourhood and finally their DS would have naice MC activities at their school

seeker Wed 27-Feb-13 12:48:42

I suppose it depends whether you think of taxation as an installment plan or an insurance policy......

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 27-Feb-13 12:49:38

@Tas You want a school to be allowed to throw out those who misbehave? Fine. I do too. Do you know the prerequisite for that? EXTRA MONEY. Because the kids have to go somewhere - typically a PRU - and they cost a fortune (rightly so). Many kids who are managed or thrown out of schools have complex needs and good PRUs are designed to address those needs and draw the best out of the poor kids who find themselves there. But they cost money and there isn't enough of it.

So in fact, the thing that you want is one of the things that needs money chucking at it.

seeker Wed 27-Feb-13 12:52:18

Wot Russian sed.

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 13:11:26


Then I'd rather go to a selective private where that's a given... and if they didn't exist, do what TifflsKool said. Move. Even if that meant moving to another country.

rabbitstew Wed 27-Feb-13 13:23:58

Well, that's the problem really, isn't it? Society does not really want to tackle the fact that those "it" considers least worthy of having money and time spent on them are those who most need the money, time and attention. Those people are just supposed to vanish themselves away altogether and instead very inconveniently get under everyone else's feet. We could always find ourselves a nice big island and dump all our unwanted on it with a few guards to make sure they don't escape - and maybe do atomic bomb trials nearby. Or we could create gated communities in seas of crime and corruption and live like people in Moscow or Johannesburg.

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 13:34:34


I actually don't mind the American gated communities... shrugs

I don't mind sending DC to private (saving the government money), and the government bringing back the Assisted Places Scheme on tax payers' expense. I know people who went to private schools that way. They were very intelligent, and their schools - no matter how much money you threw at them - would never have offered them what they got.

rabbitstew Wed 27-Feb-13 13:48:15

Tasmania - I don't remember referring to American gated communities grin. Mind you, if you think they are situated within seas of crime and corruption, then that isn't the greates advert for the American dream, imo.

I agree with rabbitstew.

The problems within the state education system reflect the wider problems of a deeply divided society. More funding, while always welcome, would not address why large sections of the population feel so uninvested in the education of their children.

I would much rather support the continuation of Sure Start (funding has been slashed) but more importantly deal with the basics: ensure people are paid a realistic 'living wage' and live in decent, affordable housing. These are the absolute fundamentals of a civilised society and as more and more people live without them a generation is being raised who have no stake in society and consequently see education as meaningless. As this group increases state education in whole areas of the country is being swamped by the accompanying social problems of living below the poverty line - and these pupils punch well above their weight in terms of disruption. You only need 20% of kids/families to not care and the school has a massive problem which then impacts on every other pupil.

We need to tackle the widening inequality in society - higher taxes maybe but I would first like to see those evading and avoiding (big business) paying their fair share and this money used to even the playing-field between those at the top and those at the bottom.

seeker Wed 27-Feb-13 14:22:46

I was including Sure Start and other initiatives in my "yes" to increased tax to improve education.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 27-Feb-13 14:27:41

@Emphatically Evasion and avoidance are two very very different things. The key to increasing the tax take from business and individuals is changing the law root and branch. This is something the current government do not wish to do. They instead favour tacit (and sometimes vocal) support for people like uncut when they target companies which are not their 'friends' and 'solutions' which essentially involve corporates like Starbucks bunging the treasury a bit of charity money. This is completely discretionary and can be recouped by the corporates in question through fiddling with pay rates etc - which can have an overall negative impact on public funding.

I agree with you that the poverty gap is appalling. Today's child poverty figures (well, I saw them reported today, I've been out of the news loop a bit recently, I don't know when they were released) make sobering reading.

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 14:32:27


I'm all for decent affordable housing. But with this, I mean affordable from income - not benefits. You'll find a lot of people would choose not to work if that means they'll lose their benefits.

However, I don't actually think that lot of people's socialist utopia is doable economically. Unless, of course, we start living in sort of a kibbutz community - where no doubt you'll find everyone will be made to work hard to benefit the wider community... I applaud that.

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 14:36:26


The trouble with threatening big businesses with big tax bills is that they are globally mobile now. Meaning they can leave the country, resulting in ahuge job losses which benefits no one.

I believe tax evasion is illegal while avoidance is legal but can be morally dubious - is that right?

I saw those figures too Russians - it makes me so angry.

TheFallenNinja Wed 27-Feb-13 14:40:28

No no no no no.

Stop the waste first.

Tasmania - large corporations do need stable, financially viable, reasonably democratic states to flourish. If western nations worked together on tax evasion I think the percentage of companies moving their enterprises to say somewhere like Somalia,would be pretty limited. I agree that the 'working together' is a pipe dream though.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 27-Feb-13 14:45:23

There is no morally dubious. There is legal, and NOT. A company prepared to do things that aren't legal is a completely different kettle of fish than a company which is prepared to put some effort into walking the line of legality but never crossing it. That is after all what directors are generally legally charged to do (there are exceptions for eg directors of trading subs of charities, for example). There's nothing morally dubious about seeking to reduce a company's (or an individual's) tax bill so long as it is legal (I think some people may be confused by eg the Jimmy Carr scheme which was possibly not actually legal). But the law cannot cope any more. There comes a point when circumstances change so radically from those envisaged when laws were first created that no amount of fiddling with them can do the job. We need to start with a clean sheet of paper. But it would be hard. And it would piss people off. And it would be hard. And there would be little political cover in the short term for the people who made the tough decisions. And it would have to be done at the least in consultation with the rest of Europe.And it would be hard. So much easier to fiddle and tinker, or set the tame anarchists against big names like Starbucks and Amazon while ignoring the real problem. Did I mention it would be hard?

seeker Wed 27-Feb-13 14:47:40

It's just appalling if we feel we can't tackle big businesses seeming inability to pay tax because they might move abroad. Tax evasion by big business and individuals accounts for far more money lost to the treasury than benefit fraud- but never seems to make the front pages.....

Thanks for explaining Russians, smile

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 27-Feb-13 14:58:01

No seeker. Tax avoidance - which is legal - is the bigger 'problem' (issue is, I think, a better word really). And the Tories like it that way. And in the main the businesses in question often are abroad anyway. The issue is not where companies are located it's how the law deals with transnational business.

And obviously another issue is that every man and his dog think they understand the issues, very few do, and this allows the tories to do their usual smoke and mirrors look into the eyes not the hand thing and get away with more than they might otherwise.

socareless Wed 27-Feb-13 15:00:02

At least big businesses contribute I Society be it through employment which is taxes or through the provision of goods and services which is again taxed. As for those dependent on benefit...

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 27-Feb-13 15:00:02

@emphatic Basically, it would be very hard to sort out. grin And nobody has the intestinal fortitude to try. Labour certainly don't, sadly. They'd like to do it, but don't dare (also, it would be very hard). The Libs and the Tories don't even want to do it. And that actually has nothing to do with the fact that it would be very hard. sad

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 27-Feb-13 15:04:26

@socareless It is absolutely true that many of the currently most publicly excoriated businesses do indeed contribute to society in many many ways, including as you say providing jobs, providing affordable goods and services etc. They often contribute to charity too. I do have a bit of an issue with the split between flu-time living wage jobs and part time jobs where the employees still end up having to claim working tax credit. But again those businesses could argue, and they wouldn't be entirely wrong, that structurally this is the way we want it in this country.

There are an awful lot of companies behaving an awful lot worse than Starbucks and Amazon. But uncut don't seem to notice. Strange that.

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 15:13:59


There's a limit as to how many countries can work together. Don't forget - it is a competitive world out there. They don't even have to move to developing countries.Loads of "smaller" financial companies have already moved their HQs from London to Switzerland due to UK tax where they will find highly able graduates from all over Europe willing to relocate who also have foreign language skills galore (unlike in the UK). Companies like that employ loads of internationals here in the UK (who pay their taxes), so it doesn't really matter where they are...

morethanpotatoprints Wed 27-Feb-13 15:20:44

I don't think some schools need to improve due to lack of funds.
I don't pay tax but speaking on behalf of my dh and ds1 who do, they would not be happy to pay more tax.
We are H.edders as well so no longer use the system.

rabbitstew Wed 27-Feb-13 15:49:45

Problem is, businesses are only really interested in profit - that's why nobody would vote for Amazon.co.uk as Prime Minister. Yet we are increasingly governed by the requirements of big business - if we can't provide the people the businesses need at the price they are willing to pay, and don't provide a stable country and economy, then they won't stick around, but they want to contribute as little as possible to the education of the right people, the stability of the country and the infrastructure required to support their businesses. All those details are the responsibility of the little people who have to pay taxes (eg their employees). They can just move on and move on from one country to another until they've pissed in every pond.

Tasmania - yes I am (not intimately) aware of Switzerland's tax laws but they are one of the western nations I was talking about - it wouldn't work without everyone on board - hence very unlikely.

The bottom line, as I see it, is you either agree with the levels of inequality in the UK, (perhaps because you are benefitting or have overcome disadvantage to do well and believe others should do the same) or you see it as grossly unfair, (and a ticking time bomb to be honest) and want to see change. If you are in the first camp you will look for all possible reasons to support the status quo and if you are in the second, (rabbitstew discussed this in relation to tax law) you will see the lack of change more down to a lack of will than real obstacles. While those who are benefitting most from the inequality hold the power, there will always be a million reasons to prevent change - I just don't buy into all of them.

Sorry meant Russians not rabbitstew.

socareless Wed 27-Feb-13 16:02:33

No Emphatic I am not benefiting at all from the status quo. I do contribute a lot via taxes, do not see my children until 5pm everyday (yet they are very well behaved). I really struggle to see how more taxes will help. It will only serve to increase dependency on the state.

rabbitstew Wed 27-Feb-13 16:04:59

In reality, we are all dependent on each other - it's not a question of those who are self sufficient and those who are dependent on the state. If we think we can go it alone, without colossal amounts of infrastructure and mutual support, we are deluded idiots. There isn't enough space in the world for little communities of self-sufficient people.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 27-Feb-13 16:05:27

@Emphatic oh, there are real obstacles. Many of them come in human form.

rabbitstew Wed 27-Feb-13 16:08:47

"I am not benefiting at all from the status quo" my eye. Trying living in a country where there is no "state."

socareless Wed 27-Feb-13 16:13:16

I have lived in a country where there is no state and the issues are different to what you get here.

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 16:30:54


Switzerland won't agree to something like that. They are benefiting highly from their situation... and only reluctantly bowed down to the mighty US when it came to disclosing information about US citizens with offshore accounts in Switzerland.

Neither will you get the US to come to that sort of agreement as taxes there are relatively low - and you see the problems Obama has when just introducing national healthcare. What many don't seem to understand is that the Republicans over there are so far to the right that the Democrats are actually more like the modern version of the Tories (with the Lib Dems). Sweden charges a lot of tax, and loses a lot of high-flyers to London.

Germany gets away with it as they have their own big companies that have a loyal obligation to their country - Mercedes, BMW and Audi wouldn't be the same without the German taglines - and frankly, the country is economically the King of Europe.

The thing about the UK is, it doesn't reallyhave its own industry. Most of the major companies here are global institutions that have no viable interest in the well-being of the UK.

Elibean Wed 27-Feb-13 16:32:54

Very true words, Russians (ref: 'human form')

rabbitstew Wed 27-Feb-13 16:42:24

socareless - by referring to having lived in a country where there is no state, do you mean somewhere like Scotland grin? Or somewhere like Somalia? In other words, somewhere that is not entirely self-governing, but is relatively stable and well governed, or somewhere which has been without any effective central government at all, like Somalia???...

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Feb-13 16:43:24

There is nothing to stop anyone making a donation to their local school if you feel so strongly. I am sure they would welcome it....

socareless Wed 27-Feb-13 16:45:03

Somewhere like Somalia. And besides the op was will you support higher taxes rather than should we abolish the welfare state.

socareless Wed 27-Feb-13 16:47:34

Exactly Tas. Maybe we should start another op asking if people will be prepared to give directly to their state schools to improve education. If yes, are they doing so now?

Terranova Wed 27-Feb-13 16:49:51

Dh is a 50% tax payer and our local comp can't be raked any lower than it is. I don't think either is us want him to Pay any more tax!

As a previous poster wrote, our children are educated privately, (we don't have the option of a Grammer school) and for secondary health care we go private, rather than continually be disappointed!

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Feb-13 16:56:28

I would remove the disinterested to stop them spoiling the learning of others. Give them options but dont let them ruin the education of anyone else.

I am a great believer in special schools where they can really focus on how to teach them. Likewise I agree with the grammars where they can focus on the academically inclined. The one thing we are missing is the technical colleges where a trade is valued.

pixi2 Wed 27-Feb-13 16:58:34

Only if ofsted were abolished and everyone involved in depth for education (or whatever name change they hsce recently chosen) were sacked.

Only if compulsory education started at 7.

Only if school dinners were free and locally sourced and seasonal.

Only if all schools were called schools and lost the academy title which I think is a farce.

Only if schools were required to teach to a high standard and have outdoor lessons as standard.

Only if the taxes actually reached the schools.

Finally, only if a major reform took place.

ouryve Wed 27-Feb-13 17:04:17

Yes, though unlike some others, I'd want that extra money to go on making sure there were places suitable for the truly square pegs.

Maisie - where exactly are you going to put these 'disinterested'? Do you fancy rabbitstews's tongue in cheek suggestion of dumping them on some remote island?
You know the alternative provision is actually way more expensive after all.

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 17:20:31


A long time ago they sent them to Australia. Though I guess they have a better life over there now than here wink

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 27-Feb-13 17:21:25

@ouryve Yes. That would be good.Increasingly, education is becoming the playground of the soulless minions of orthodoxy.

seeker Wed 27-Feb-13 17:22:18

Once you have kicked out the disinterested (sic) what are you going to do with them?

Ha ha grin - some people really would have no problem with something similar - I despairsad

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 27-Feb-13 17:24:13

Seeker I know. grin I thought that too. But apparently so very many people are a bit thick that they have now added a secondary definition. Which, to be honest, says more about the state of education than anything, really.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 27-Feb-13 17:24:50

Seeker - perhaps we could teach them to be biased, hmmmm? wink

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Feb-13 17:37:14

The distruptive - well I certainly wouldnt allow them to stay in a class with others that are trying to learn.

With class sizes getting bigger it will only become more and more difficult to keep control of a class when a few are spoiling it. Bring the parents in and tell them what will happen if the behaviour continues. If they dont care then a different way of educating them needs to be found. Now that could be something that people will pay more tax for.

If you go to a cinema or out for dinner and there are people kicking off during the film or making a scene at a restaurant it wouldnt be allowed. Imagine that happening every day in some classrooms.

Maybe the schools concentrate on providing skills and a trade if they are so uninterested in education.

Otherwise what is the answer, allow it to happen again and again and again....

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 17:56:08

Hmm... but seriously... what DID they do with the previous disinterested and disruptive all those years ago in Australia? Most of them seem to have become valuable citizens... and managed to get out of the never-ending circle of despair.

Most have even lost that WC state of mind.


thesnootyfox Wed 27-Feb-13 17:58:44

I agree with bulletpoint.

My experience with state education as a parent is very positive. As a pupil my experience of state secondary school was very negative but it wasn't due to lack of funding.

There are some fantastic state schools in very deprived areas of the country, we should try and replicate those models rather than just throw money at it. If some heads can achieve against the odds why can't the others?

Xenia Wed 27-Feb-13 18:06:27

I would like tax rates halved and the size of the state halved, not higher taxes.

Also the average IQ is 100 so obviously huge numbers of children no matter what yo do with them will never pass many exams so it's not really worth spending a lot of money on the rump of them surely?

grovel Wed 27-Feb-13 18:12:05

Xenia, were you worried this thread was about to become boring?!

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 18:19:49

This thread... it does make me laugh.

I do think Xenia has a good point from an evolutionary perspective. The problem is intelligent people are more likely to think before procreating. So average intelligence is only going to go downhill. hmm

happygardening Wed 27-Feb-13 18:20:27

"so it's not really worth spending a lot of money on the rump of them surely?
Xenia I cant believe you write this I'm speechless, struggling to digest it I know people have asked you to "change the record" but God surely not to this.

happygardening Wed 27-Feb-13 18:24:28

"The problem is intelligent people are more likely to think before procreating. So average intelligence is only going to go downhill."
I would never of started this thread if I realised I was going to read such offensive guff!

socareless Wed 27-Feb-13 18:24:28

Xenia grin you always have to stand out don't you?

seeker Wed 27-Feb-13 18:33:04

Has this become a joke thread? What a shame- it's a very interesting topic.

I do how it has become a joke thread, by the way. Otherwise a few people's true colours appear to be coming out in a rather unpleasant way.

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 18:34:42

Happygardening... Relax grin

Never watched "Idiocracy" starring Owen Wilson? Satire about someone waking up after 500 years of liberation. Smartly lowbrow cult film. Described as a bleakly hilarious future...

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 18:35:31

Hibernation not liberation... Aaargh!

Tasmania what's a working class state of mind?

LineRunner Wed 27-Feb-13 18:43:00

'...from an evolutionary perspective...' usually leads into some awful right-wing guff based on a superficial reading of a Daily fail 'science' article.

wordfactory Wed 27-Feb-13 18:45:43

Sorry OP but I'd really rather not pay more tax. I already pay 50 percent on a large proportion. Add in NI and no personal allowance and if you listen closely you'll hear my pips squeak. That said if the UK could find some revenue from somehwere else, I'd be very happy for it to go on schools for smaller class sizes.

Emma19MilWife Wed 27-Feb-13 18:45:56

I went to Roedean which was a wonderful school. I loved every moment, and despite the expense (my parents are fairly well off), if state school could be like that, I would send my children. Sadly, they are not, so they will go to Harrow or Roedean too.

Well you don't need to worry then do you Emma? As long as your children are sorted we can all relax.

Emma19MilWife Wed 27-Feb-13 18:53:56

My point is that not everyone will benefit from a top level education but if you can afford it, or win a scholarship, surely you have a responsibility?

seeker Wed 27-Feb-13 18:54:04

Yep, that's always good to know!

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 18:54:18


In another thread, it was established that people in the UK never lose their "class", no matter what income they're on. Not a Brit - so found it hard to comprehend, but it's apparently a state of mind, and sounds to me a bit like diluted version of India's caste system.

So a WC person can start to earn 100k tomorrow and still think of him/herself as working class, and never fit into a MC environment. Even one or two generations down the line, it seems to persist. It's a them and us thing.

I wouldn't adhere to that as I would find it very off-putting, and is just a way for people to set a glass ceiling on themselves.

happygardening Wed 27-Feb-13 18:59:41

"My point is that not everyone will benefit from a top level education"
Just out of curiosty what sort of people wont benefit from a "top level education"?

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 19:02:07

@Emma - don't worry, there are just a few leftist utopian seekers here who probably would find more things to not like if they were in the world they so eagerly crave.

If people just made the best of what they've got, and stopped wasting opportunities away, we wouldn't be having these problems in the first place.

Emma19MilWife Wed 27-Feb-13 19:02:52

I am sure that's true. The egalitarianism of Britain is non-existent. Class is defined by birth, earnings are irrelevant. Born WC, always WC. It makes me sad that people rail against public schools, but continue to tolerate inadequate investment from the Government in state schools. Why? Education breeds confidence, poise and access to employment. Higher taxes are not necessary, just invest more from the budget (perhaps cut the benefits system) and model state schools on public schools. Job done....

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 19:04:09


I think she means "can".

But at the same time... if you don't have the ability, a top level education can be hell...

Emma19MilWife Wed 27-Feb-13 19:05:09

happygardening - for starters, won't has an apostrophe in it.... but to your question, I was not making the point that some would not benefit in terms of the suggestion that it would be a waste of time, rather, I am saying that not everyone can access it, and therefore cannot benefit from it. Tasmania - you hit the nail on the head.....

maisiejoe123 Wed 27-Feb-13 19:05:15

Oh blimey Emma - I hope you are wearing your tin hat......

Emma19MilWife Wed 27-Feb-13 19:06:47

Honestly - if we are talking honestly about education, we should at least appreciate the need for grammar and punctuation!

Emma19MilWife Wed 27-Feb-13 19:07:24

I rather liked the use of the word honestly twice in the same sentence - that was, to my shame, a little dig....

seeker Wed 27-Feb-13 19:08:00

What's a "top level education"?

rubyrubyruby Wed 27-Feb-13 19:08:36

The prospect that my children may become like you is the reason I don't send them private - even though I could afford it.

happygardening Wed 27-Feb-13 19:10:05

Emma as you may or may not be aware I never "rail against public schools" neither am I a "leftist utopian seeker" but I do very much believe that everyone should have access to high quality and preferably broad education and I’m interested in how this could be achieved and what people would be prepared to do to achieve this which is why I posted the thread.
By the way you haven't answered my question what sort of people wouldn’t benefit from a "top level education?

grovel Wed 27-Feb-13 19:10:29

Assuming this isn't all wind-up, a top level education can exist for all. It may not always include Latin, Proust and Theology. It will fit the child in question and equip them for adult life, happiness and employment.

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 19:12:10


This is what people will come up with when you suggest that state schools should copy public schools: the Eton On The Cheap thread

I personally find Eton's efforts commendable, but you will NEVER be able to please people...

ouryve Wed 27-Feb-13 19:14:42

I do agree that not everyone can benefit from a rigorous academic education.

In our current system, though, there are many children who are being failed because they have SN or disabilities and the ones who get the resources and education they need are the ones with the parents with the knowledge and confidence to overturn whatever barriers are put in their way. I would pay more tax to see some of these barriers taken down so that these children are more likely to become independent adults (and cost less in the long run)

There are children who will never be university material and children who will leave school with few academic qualifications of any sort. I would pay more tax to give these children a chance to leave school with more skills (and a chance to cost less in the long run.)

Emma19MilWife Wed 27-Feb-13 19:16:07

I am certainly not suggesting that I am a role model. What I am saying is that lets look honestly at the reality. Public schools are the most successful for academic children. They get more children into Oxbridge etc. If we want a successful state system, which I am all for, then they need to be copied. I am not saying that anyone here rails against public schools, rather I am referring to comments made by DT readers whenever the head of Wellington, Eton or Rugby publishes an article. I believe that a top level education should be available to everyone, regardless of class or background. The state system should emulate the public schools. I only know that they are good because I attended one and it was fantastic. That is all I meant..... can I take the tin hat off now???

grovel Wed 27-Feb-13 19:16:30

The thing is that Happy has chosen Winchester for her DS (motto : Manners makyth man).

Emma prefers Harrow and Roedean - two schools where money matters rather more than manners.

ouryve Wed 27-Feb-13 19:18:40

Emma, ellipsis at the end of a sentence is only 4 dots.

And I am aware that I left a full stop out of at least one sentence of my last post.

Using punctuation and grammar to try to sound superior to people doesn't go down well here.

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 19:18:49


Everyone knows you're not a leftist utopian seeker... I didn't mean you. All for a high quality and broad education, but that is very, very difficult to achieve... having state schools be equivalent to a public school such as your DS enjoys would cripple the economy. No modern country has that...

Would you give that up for your son, if you could get a "good-ish" sort of state school instead, with less choice of sports and with extracurricular activities less likely built into the school day? Because that's the best you could ever hope for with funding in the state school system.

Emma19MilWife Wed 27-Feb-13 19:19:05

If I have offended anyone, I apologise. I was just trying to be honest. Winchester is a marvellous school, as are Eton, Harrow and Rugby. Honestly though, the children who leave those venerable institutions are markedly like-minded.

happygardening Wed 27-Feb-13 19:19:16

"if we are talking honestly about education, we should at least appreciate the need for grammar and punctuation!"
I appreciate education very much and although think punctuation and grammar are very important. But as I have moderate dyslexia and have to work exceedingly hard to ensure words are round the right way which I find exceedingly tedious and I don’t believe they are desperately when posting on an internet site.
"I am saying that not everyone can access it, and therefore cannot benefit from it"
I'm interested in trying to find a way all can access it.

Emma19MilWife Wed 27-Feb-13 19:20:59

Oh for heaven's sake, I was simply trying to make a joke... (note the three dots, in conformance with the Oxford English Dictionary).

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 19:23:10

I just think they should bring the Assisted Places Scheme back. Friends got into private school that way (from pretty rough parts of London) and hated the fact that Labour abolished it. The schools opened a world to them no state school in their area ever would - no matter how much money you throw at them.

Needless to say, they are now successful people, and vote Tory.

Emma19MilWife Wed 27-Feb-13 19:23:27

Yes - we can all access it. Lets cut benefits, cut the ridiculous public sector quangos and structures, and invest in education. Regardless of a child's academic ability, there should be excellence. Woodwork and metalwork should be equal in investment to Latin and Proust.

Tasmania responding to your earlier post - I thought you were associating a WC state of mind with benefits dependency and a lack of interest in education - you know the 'circle of despair you mentioned'. I would argue these are not WC values - traditionally these have always been hard work, thrift and pride in your home and community.

I come from a WC family which values education even if it has had to be fitted in around earning a living. There is a long tradition of night-school further ed amongst the working-classes - being working class is not synonymous with being disruptive and uninterested. I hope you were not implying that.

Leftist utopia?... hmm how about just a fair deal for all kids. Like I said it will take more than extra funding to state education to secure this if the rest of society is left to become more and more unequal.

rubyrubyruby Wed 27-Feb-13 19:24:43

Emma - have you done anything with your education? Or has it just enabled you to marry well?

LineRunner Wed 27-Feb-13 19:28:16

This has all gone a bit mad now.

I would say the ghost of Thatch moves amongst us but she's still hanging on somewhere I think.

Ellipsis jokes - just pissing myself here.

Emma19MilWife Wed 27-Feb-13 19:32:31

I'm sorry - I certainly did not mean to hijack this thread - apologies if I have offended anyone. I am a mother, like you, with a small child. I am a university undergraduate with a husband serving in Afghanistan. I just wanted to contribute to the debate. If it is wrong for someone from a privileged background to do so, forgive me. Ruby - I hope one day to contribute to society - I was thinking WI... baking cakes is so zeitgeist...

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 27-Feb-13 19:36:13

Why would DD1's state school want to copy Eton, Harrow, Roedean or Winchester when it gets better results than those schools?

seeker Wed 27-Feb-13 19:38:49

"Woodwork and metalwork should be equal in investment to Latin and Proust.

Just wondering where you left your time machine..................

LineRunner Wed 27-Feb-13 19:46:51

Emma, nah yer all right.

Of course you have as much right as anyone else Emma but you can't expect everyone else to agree with you, (or not laugh)grin

The grammar stuff is a cheap shot - not everyone went to Roedean. I went through my entire state secondary ed in the eighties and no one mentioned ellipsis once... what is it again?grin

LineRunner Wed 27-Feb-13 19:58:56

Also, Emma, what makes you think that others on this thread aren't from privileged backgrounds?

One can be from a privileged background and be a screaming leftie, you know. grin

Indeed, what is privilege? <ponders>

happygardening Wed 27-Feb-13 19:59:11

"Would you give that up for your son, if you could get a "good-ish" sort of state school instead, with less choice of sports and with extracurricular activities less likely built into the school day? Because that's the best you could ever hope for with funding in the state school system."
No of course I wouldn’t give it up but I just find it hard to accept that in many cases the alternative is so awful and nothing can be done about it. There must be a middle ground or preferably even better (but as I’m not a leftie utopian idealist I know I have to be realistic) between what my DS receives and what I understand from the radio this lunch time; 1/3 of state schools which are apparently not even mediocre.

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 19:59:43


Working hard is a great trait, but if you are forever stuck in a WC frame of mind (i.e. this is my place, etc.) you'll just build up a brick wall in front of you. What I am getting at is that sort of attitude that was shown in that programme "Grammar Schools - A Secret History" , and escaped their past.

Most in the programme were from WC backgrounds, but many have well and truly left that behind, achieving great things in life. Some of them got into a grammar, and for many, this caused a massive rift within their families. Some parents were ridiculous - thinking their children were stepping above their ranks (oh, that' such a bad thing!), even hated the fact that they started speaking differently (more RP, I guess). The parents' attitude - that's what I would associate with a WC state of mind. And those parents still commonly exist in the here and now.

Those people benefitted from the existence of grammar schools, so they went on to do great things. Most people don't have access to such schools any longer, and although many may go on to uni, unlike those who benefitted from those schools a generation ago, they don't seem to be able to shake off the shackles of their past. They often tend to build an imaginary brick wall before them, not considering jobs they could possibly get, if they really wanted to. And it's like a communal psyche.

And apparently, no one ever excapes their "class".

I didn't grow up here, but I think such a state of mind will stop you from ever achieving your best.

happygardening Wed 27-Feb-13 20:02:25

Russian for a start Winchesterand others is not about results if I want good resuts I could probably achieve them for my DS2 at our excellent and highly rated and lets not forget free local comp.
I am curious to know which school your DC's go to with such fab results do PM me if you prefer.

LineRunner Wed 27-Feb-13 20:02:44

I didn't grow up here


chickensarmpit Wed 27-Feb-13 20:02:45

I would like to pay less tax if i am completely honest. We're taxed on our wages, then taxed on good we buy, not forgetting the bastard council tax!

I'm skint, my rent has been put up yet again as have all my other bill. So no more tax rises ffs!

The education system in this shit pit country should be great considering the amount of money the government take from us.

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 20:05:14


The problem is that in many cases, it's the parents that need educating - not necessarily the kids. I know you can't slap a kid that misbehaves and disrupts everyone in a class these days... but can we please slap the parents and give them detention ad infinitum?!?

happygardening Wed 27-Feb-13 20:07:31

"if you are forever stuck in a WC frame of mind i.e. this is my place"
Plenty of MC are stuck in a frame of mind i.e. this is my place and thats ok I suppose. Is there anything wrong with being working class? Some of the most decent people I know are working class. It doesn't have to mean uneducated uncultured or unambitious.

happygardening Wed 27-Feb-13 20:10:16

Two of the most out of control children I have ever met came from families who were hereditary aristocracy. May be it’s the working class people I mix with but I find them much stricter with their children than I ever am with mine.

bulletpoint Wed 27-Feb-13 20:10:20

Why would DD1's state school want to copy Eton, Harrow, Roedean or Winchester when it gets better results than those schools?

Please which school does your dd go to?(not being sarcastic at all just curious] and academics is just one part of the equation what about all the other opportunities theses schools offer in terms, extra curriculars, sports, music, drama, building confidence etc does your state school excel in these as well ? Because if there is such a state school i'd like to know how they do it.

seeker Wed 27-Feb-13 20:11:37

A side thought, thrown up by Tasmania's recent post. I would love to know what the social make up of grammar schools was in their hey day.

Certainly whenever the term "grammar school boy" is used in literature, it is usually slightly derogatory. Or if not actually derogatory, certainly the sort of person who would wear a brown suit. Slightly looked down on. Rather too hardworking and earnest. NQOT. Rather the way the Tory Grandees thought about Mrs T.

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 20:11:55


Nothing wrong with being WC, but I'd rather not want to bring up my DC thinking that "my rank" is the highest she can ever be, and that she should never step over that line.

bulletpoint Wed 27-Feb-13 20:12:53

Happy - please i just pm'd you if you get a chance.

I don't know Tasmania I think there are equal amounts of aspirational working-class families as the 'know your place' lot.

The thing with the grammar schools though is they helped the lucky few to achieve their potential but what about the secondary moderns - not so much. The grammar system is always harked on about as the best way to promote social mobility - but I actually see it as a form of social control almost like saying only the very brightest WC kids deserve to join the ranks of the elite - the rest of you know your place. Good quality comprehensives, that stream where necessary, I think are a better way of insuring no child gets left behind.

happygardening Wed 27-Feb-13 20:13:45

bullet I too am interested as far as was aware Westminster is usually the leading school in the UK no state school beats it.

LineRunner Wed 27-Feb-13 20:14:05

Possibly best then bring up DCs to know 'their worth'.

Actually I've usually found it's useless snobs that hide behind their rank to avoid change.

Bonsoir Wed 27-Feb-13 20:14:13

My father has employed the same gardener/handy man for the past 15 years (one whole day a week). You could qualify him as being in a WC frame of mind. He has his own gardening/DIY business and doesn't live a life of luxury by any means, but is quite comfortable - has his own three-bedroomed detached house on the outskirts of a rural town, wife, children and grandchildren about whom he frets but all have jobs etc. He is a very nice man, but he isn't equipped and doesn't desire a job that isn't a manual job. There is nothing wrong with that and it is downright cruel (condescending) to suggest that hardworking people like that ought to "aspire to more".

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 20:15:33

Rather too hardworking and earnest.

And what's wrong about that?

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 20:16:38


It is not about them. It is about them imposing their beliefs on their DCs - who may want to aspire to more.

seeker Wed 27-Feb-13 20:17:00

Nothing. As I said, I was just musing on how grammar school boys are portrayed in literature. Could give you a reading list if you like.

happygardening Wed 27-Feb-13 20:17:57

"Nothing wrong with being WC, but I'd rather not want to bring up my DC thinking that "my rank" ... the highest she can ever be"
Again maybe its the working classes I've mixed with but none have ever said this is the highest they can ever be. I think it depedns how you define WC if its all about money then perhaps many of those I'm referring too would be classified as middle class although from very working class back grounds but if its something more suble than that then they probably would be described as working class.

Bonsoir Wed 27-Feb-13 20:20:15

Tasmania - my father's gardener, like any reasonable parents, wants his DC to do the best they can aspire to! He's not holding anyone back - but he resents (and we know this, because my father and he are thick as thieves after 15 years of convivial pruning, hedge trimming, carpentry etc) anyone suggesting that he isn't doing the best he can and that his (very hard working) family isn't doing the best they can.

WorriedTeenMum Wed 27-Feb-13 20:21:29

IMO it is sad that Britain has become stuck on using private education as the get out when state education fails. You see it a lot on MN. If someone expresses concern about the state schools in their area a poster will suggest looking at bursaries for private school.

I dont want to see private schools banned, I would like to see them redundant for the vast, vast majority of students.

Without a doubt schools need to be well funded but they also need to be well managed. This is where all too many schools seem to fall down. They have great teachers, but the HT is a lousy man manager and lacks organisational skills. Good management isnt really so much about paying HTs big bucks but investing in development for managers throughout schools.

Pay good teachers well. Dont force line management responsibility onto good teachers. Good teachers dont automatically make good managers and good managers are not automatically good teachers.

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 20:22:18

Bonsoir I thought your family was from France, no?

Bonsoir Wed 27-Feb-13 20:23:24


pixi2 Wed 27-Feb-13 20:26:06

Emma has a point.

Education does breed poise and confidence.

Perhaps where private school pupils feel more able to challenge and debate with teachers on an equal footing whereas state schools are much more shut up and be talked at.

But I am also of the opinion that absolutely every child deserves a chance, and none more than those with parents who do not value education.

State schools seem to excel at turning out generations of academically able students with low self esteem primarily because the sub culture amongst students is to be anything but intelligent and capable. Therein lies another debate of how much of a role the popular media plays in this.

Bonsoir Wed 27-Feb-13 20:28:15

Nothing is more likely to give young people terrible self-esteem than forcing them down the university route, getting them into debt and them then not finding a graduate-level job.

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 20:30:34


The parents I really look up to here in the UK are my friend's parents who would be classed WC. However, they were first generation immigrants, and as we know from previous thread, they might be different.

They really did EVERYTHING in their power to get their children a good education which does unfortunately include private schooling. My friend got in through "assisted places" while her brother (Labour was in power by that time) was funded by the entire family - with uncles and aunts chipping in. They made loads of sacrifices in their lives, the most caring parents I've ever known, and are still relatively prudent with everything.

Yes, I look up to people like them - but I've noticed that this is either a trait of first generation immigrants orvery rare.

pixi2 Wed 27-Feb-13 20:32:52

But paying schools on the number or percentage if students attending university was always going to result in schools pushing university over and above other options. That's a flaw that needs to change.

Universities need to cut back and only offer courses that provide a career at the end- medicine, dentistry, physiotherapy, teaching, vetinary science, and law for example. What does American Studies qualify a person for?

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 27-Feb-13 20:34:42

Happy. There are several grammar schools which regularly get better results than Eton, Winchester, harrow and Roedean. I did not mention Westminster or either of the St Paul's schools.

For my part I'd love to know exactly which 'top state grammar' you reckon offered your DS a place. That would not out you, after all.

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 20:35:58

"American Studies" should be categorized under "Politics" and not be a different degree IMHO.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 27-Feb-13 20:36:53

Seeker. The Coleridge Grammars must be good though, or else Edwin wouldn't be considering them for Rose and Chas.

Bonsoir Wed 27-Feb-13 20:53:14

One of my cousins read American Studies and went to work for IBM, where he had a long and lucrative career!

grovel Wed 27-Feb-13 20:56:56

WorriedTeenMum, post of the thread in my opinion.

The best private schools find a way of letting the best teachers (who don't want to "manage") teach and pay them appropriately so that they don't feel disadvantaged by staying in the classroom.

bulletpoint Wed 27-Feb-13 21:00:11

Bonsoir - but was it his degree in particular that got him the job or ? my field used to be IT although i have an IT degree you could get into IT with any degree, infact at one point we had a ex train driver on our team hmm.
other roles e.g Project Management do not require a degree directly related to it, your cousin may have landed on his feet but i'm sure there are many other who studies the same course who are possible languishing at the job centre somewhere.

bulletpoint Wed 27-Feb-13 21:01:52

I do agree with Tasmania that things like American studies should come under Politics or International Relations.

Xenia Wed 27-Feb-13 21:04:03

Does it matter? Some of us are delighted with what we get when we pay and others would never as a matter of principle pay. If we're all happy and half good university places to go state schoolers most people are content.

As for types of degree there will always be people who want to study a subject for its own sake and plenty are then recruited during the milk round.

WorriedTeenMum Wed 27-Feb-13 21:06:29

Schools should not be allowed to focus only on the top 50% or whatever who will get 5 GCSEs. There should also be rigid floor targets.

Every single student should leave school able to demonstrably read, write and count (this doesnt necessarily mean GCSE). For each student who cant achieve this the HT should have a duty to demonstrate the interventions etc which were put in place to assist the individual student to achieve this standard.

If the HT fails in this duty by not being able to demonstrate that appropriate steps were taken then the HT should be handed his arse on a plate with his P45 as a doily.

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 21:06:31

bulletpoint - Unless Bonsoir's cousin was on the management side of things, IT companies like IBM are getting a lot pickier these days and often demand Science degrees. I do have friends who climbed up preeeetty high in the IT route who have what seem like completely irrelevant degrees, but make sense in the grander scheme of things.

Although, I guess, a long time ago, American Studies would have helped you getting into an American corporation...

happygardening Wed 27-Feb-13 21:08:02

Russian but it would out where I used to live and I dont wish to do this for personal reasons. St Pauls (which is a fantastic school and one I know very very well) and Winchester have very similar results in fact up until last year Winchester sent more to oxbridge than St Pauls although Winchester boys generally have less UCAS points because they dont AS levels which I believe carry UCAS points and usually only do three Pre U's because they are harder than A levels.
The last time I looked at the top perfoming grammar although they had a higher % of A-B grades than Wincheser when it cames to A*s and Oxbridge entry Winchster beat them. Anyway its all menaingless as Ive said at least 2000 times its not all about exam results its the whole package.

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 21:10:08

Every single student should leave school able to demonstrably read, write and count.

That still shocks me - over a decade of free education and nothing to show for it. That is the prime reason not to throw even more money at schools... because that's not even the school's fault... that's something else!

bulletpoint Wed 27-Feb-13 21:13:49

Tasmania - i forgot to add, that was in in the 'good old days' during the IT boom, nowadays i agree you probably wont get in with that degree although Bonsoir's cousin may have been in a different field although working for IBM.

WorriedTeenMum Wed 27-Feb-13 21:18:58

Tasmania, one of the problem I believe exist is that schools are encouraged to focus on headline stats. Following the rule that you are what you measure then schools identify which students will get a good fist full of GCSEs and damn the rest.

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 21:24:23

WTM - But... read... write... and count. I've learned the basic levels of each even before I entered school!!! I could possibly have left after primary school and have been quite good in each of those.

I do think that in those cases, it's not the school that is the problem. It's the HOME. And that's the real issue at hand. Because if everyone had motivated parents like there seem to be so many on this thread (regardless of our different opinions thanks)... we may not have this problem.

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 21:28:01

^^ Just to add... an issue that school face these days is that they seem to be expected to do more and more of the parenting. If all of them were boarding, it might help, but they aren't...

WorriedTeenMum Wed 27-Feb-13 21:37:01

The UK government's Department for Education reported in 2006 that 47% of school children left school at age 16 without having achieved a basic level in functional mathematics, and 42% fail to achieve a basic level of functional English. Every year, 100,000 pupils leave school functionally illiterate in the UK.

(above is from Wikipedia so not necessarily 100% accurate but I would guess that the order of numbers is about right)

This is not about home life IMO. This a a failure in education.

Tasmania Wed 27-Feb-13 21:44:07

... so you don't think it's odd that those kids' parents never read a book with their kids or helped them with their homework? At least once - to notice that something is not right? Because I would think that's the least a parent can do.

If people in the developing world learn to read and write in far worse conditions... why is it that these people in the UK can't?

"If people in the developing world learn to read and write in far worse conditions... why is it that these people in the UK can't? "

Some (in the developing world) manage it, but some don't. So maybe it's not so much about conditions as about personality. If I were penniless I would read to my kids. But then, I can read. I am educated. I believe in education. If I couldn't read, and was surrounded by families who didn't value education, maybe I wouldn't see the point of it either. Or, maybe I just wouldn't want to admit to my kids that I couldn't do such a basic thing as reading.

grovel Wed 27-Feb-13 22:25:29

Big companies/organisations are becoming intellectually lazy in their recruitment and will get found out.

Many of the biggest breakthroughs in IT, for example, were made by people who studied the Classics/Philosophy etc.

Many of our most progressive judges did not read Law at university.

Many of the top accountants did not read Accountancy at university.

The pendulum will swing back.

WorriedTeenMum Wed 27-Feb-13 22:30:49

Tasmania, I dont believe that the parents of close to 50% of school students dont care. Students are at school for a good proportion of the active part of the day. Saying it's all the fault of home life is just an excuse - blaming the raw materials.

As NotGoodNotBad describes, for some, the failure of education goes back generations. These parents want better for their own children but are effectively cut off from the educational system.

Many parents struggle to be active in their children's education. Like many parents I am out to work before the DCs have left for school and am back in the middle of the evening after homework has been and gone. Many parents are working hard in NMW jobs working less than family friendly shifts.

WorriedTeenMum Wed 27-Feb-13 22:31:56

Too true grovel

seeker Wed 27-Feb-13 22:37:04

"^^ Just to add... an issue that school face these days is that they seem to be expected to do more and more of the parenting". .

Like what?

LineRunner Wed 27-Feb-13 22:39:35

Schools are in loco parentis. That presupposes an element of parental care happening at school.

happygardening Wed 27-Feb-13 22:46:38

Are day schools in loco parentis? At DS2s boarding schools we sign a form authorising the HM/school to act on our behalf but we've never done this at DS1s day school.

seeker Wed 27-Feb-13 22:53:24

Well, if you're looking after a child all day, then that, of course presupposes a degree of parental care. That doesn't mean doing parenting! If I have a child's friend round for the day, I will do parenty type stuff- but I won't be parenting.

LineRunner Wed 27-Feb-13 22:55:31

The Times Educational Supplement advised in 2012, that under the Children Act 1989, teachers have a duty of care towards their pupils, traditionally referred to as 'in loco parentis'. Legally, while not bound by parental responsibility, teachers must behave as any reasonable parent would do in promoting the welfare and safety of children in their care. The idea dates back to the 19th century when courts were first coming to terms with teachers' responsibilities. It was during this period that case law established that a teacher should act "as a prudent parent".

FillyPutty Thu 28-Feb-13 00:50:35

The worst schools, the kind that people convert, move, or pay to avoid, are a product of bad parenting.

The best schools are often purely a product of good parenting (i.e. if you compared the management, etc. with the bad schools, they wouldn't be any better).

There are precious few schools that transcend their raw materials (i.e. the children and their home environments).

This is not primarily an issue of school financing.

Education spending rose 71% in real terms over the previous government (1997-2010). Where did this money go? Mostly into higher wages.

Obviously good news for teachers, but 'output' absolutely did not improve by 71% over this period.

Private school fees increased at a pretty much identical rate btw, I think reflecting competition for resources from the state sector (i.e. higher wages).

Combined of course with the withdrawal of assisted places scheme in 1997, private education is now reserved for the children of country's wealthiest families, i.e. the offspring of the likes of Nick Clegg, Dianne Abbot, George Osborne.

The previous government's policy of ruinous house price inflation and unprecedented levels of immigration also resulted in normal parents being priced out of the catchments of many good state schools.

If you are not rich, with politicians having priced parents out of both housing and private education, the only option in many areas is to quite literally pray (preferably from before birth).

Given how shitty this situation is, the idea of giving politicians any more money to supposedly improve education is laughable. It won't happen.

If you increase spending, wages will go up, there will be more building projects, but will actual educational outcomes (i.e. whether people can read and write at a functional level, not bullshit inflated GCSE pass rates) improve? Probably not.

FillyPutty Thu 28-Feb-13 01:26:13

"Happy. There are several grammar schools which regularly get better results than Eton, Winchester, harrow and Roedean. "

Hmm, a slightly arbitrary selection of schools.

Eton got:

35.7% A*
82.0% A*-A
96.4% A*-B

at A Level

According to this:


Only one boy's school (plus one girls's school, but not a valid comparison) beat either the A* or A*-B figures (no detail for the A*-A): Queen Elizabeth's Barnet, and it does this by culling 25% of the boys prior to sixth form and telling them which subjects they can study.

At GCSE, prior to kicking out dozens of boys, QEB 'only' got 90.4% A*-A, compared with 95.9% at Eton.

Winchester don't appear to publish detailed stats.

Harrow is not as academically selective as Winchester or Eton and performs less well than numerous day schools. Roedean is less selective again.

Both Eton and Winchester will send twice as many boys to Oxbridge (and, increasingly, US Ivy League) as any grammar school.

seeker Thu 28-Feb-13 06:33:44

I do think that debating results is a bit of a red herring. Selective schools get excellent results- almost without exception. Of course they do. They're selective - the kids who aren't going to get any As aren't there. And the kids who get the As will get them wherever they are. (With, obviously, a few exceptions). When people talk about this selective school doing much bette than that one, you're talking a %point to two ,not really significant.

But education should be about more than results. It should be about showing children a wider view of the world. Opening their minds to possibilities, options they hadn't even considered, or even known about. And it does seem to me that one of the things wrong with our society is that Harry from Cranbrook,nice house in the country, pre-prep, prep, Eton, Cambridge, City Law firm and Parliament is likely to have just as blinkered a world view as Harry from Sittingbourne, council estate, nursery, primary, High school, Tesco warehouse. The only difference is that Harry from Cranbrook is in charge, and has known from birth that he will be in charge. That's where the train track of his life is leading him. Obviously, Harry from Sittingbourne could get there too, but he has to find a way of stopping the train he's on, hike across a muddy field to a station on the other line, work out how to stop the train, open the door, buy a ticket........

With apologies to Crqnbrook and Sittingbourne and people called Harry. And railways.

WorriedTeenMum Thu 28-Feb-13 07:25:29

The worst schools, the kind that people convert, move, or pay to avoid, are a product of bad parenting.

FillyPutty I have to take issue with your statement. My DCs have the dubious honour of going to one of the worst (in league table terms) schools in Britain. This school is not a sink school surrounded by gangs, drug dealer and dope dens. Instead it is a typical town school in a typical midlands town.

The reason this school is so poor is that it has had a succession of incompetent heads. The current head is no better than the others.

LaVolcan Thu 28-Feb-13 07:38:04

That's where the train track of his life is leading him. Obviously, Harry from Sittingbourne could get there too, but he has to find a way of stopping the train he's on, hike across a muddy field to a station on the other line, work out how to stop the train, open the door, buy a ticket........

That certainly was true in in the 1930s seeker until the cataclysmic upheaval of WW2 happened, when a lot of people had their eyes opened to the fact that their were other tracks they could be following, and jumped tracks. Not that I am suggesting that we should have a war...

rabbitstew Thu 28-Feb-13 07:40:09

It normally takes a war to stop people being such selfish w*nkers for a year or two and realise that sometimes we have to "all be in it together."

Succubi Thu 28-Feb-13 08:32:27

I just don't get why people cannot accept that life is by nature unfair. You cannot have a one system that fits all policy. It simply will not work.

I can only repeat what I have said before we need to nurture the brightest in our society through selection. This in turn will ensure that as a society we have the best scientists, Drs, engineers etc.

We also need to select those children in need of additional educational, behavioural and social need and take them out of mainstream education so that the mainstream get the best from their schools.

The solution to my mind is not intergration. We do our children a disservice with the one size should fit all attitude.

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 28-Feb-13 08:43:20

But seeker - If people are saying 'state schools should be more like private schools' and there is little or no difference in results at a given levle of ability then the only other way in which they are different is money. For facilities. The very successful grammars prove that any state school given a similar intake in terms of ability can get the same results. Therefore there is nothing magical about the teaching in private schools. They select, they get selective style results. Like state grammar schools (although you might say that in some areas, eg the ones close enough to St Paul's or similar, the posh schools with decent bursary resources do get the pick of the pupils). But time and again we come back to Happy insisting that her school is better when really what she is desperate to do is justify spending as she is so fond of telling us £30K+ a year. And it's money. That is the only difference between state and private schools with similar intakes. Money. So we have empirical evidence that chucking money at education at that level of ability can make it better. If at that level, why not across the board?

Tasmania Thu 28-Feb-13 08:50:59

Agree with succubi.

Succubi Thu 28-Feb-13 08:51:17

No Russian the evidence that you have provided suggests that selective education based on ability gets you good results. If you want a selective education and you do not live in an area that provides state selection then private is your alternative.

seeker Thu 28-Feb-13 08:51:44

"We do our children a disservice with the one size should fit all attitude.""
Who has that attitude?

seeker Thu 28-Feb-13 08:56:03

Selective education doesn't get results. If it did, the LEAs which still have a fully selective system would have massively better results than those that don't.
A* and A kids get good results.

Succubi Thu 28-Feb-13 08:59:08

Seeker as with other similar posters on here I am not prepared to enter into a debate with you. We are simply ideologically opposed and no amount of debating will change that.

seeker Thu 28-Feb-13 09:14:32

So you're not prepared to address the fact that wholly selective LEAs don't get better results than wholly non selective ones? How odd.

seeker Thu 28-Feb-13 09:15:21

And you're not prepared to attribute the "one size fits all education" statement? How even odder.

Bonsoir Thu 28-Feb-13 09:21:41

RussiansOnTheSpree - it is important to remember that public examinations are not perfect or infallible measures of the extent of an individuals skills. Children from state schools may get A* at A-level and yet still have a significantly lower skill set or level than a pupil with an A* from a private school, because the teaching at the private school is better.

seeker Thu 28-Feb-13 09:23:48

Right. That's a first. Somebody actually saying that A*s from private schools are better than A*s from state school! grin

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 28-Feb-13 09:23:48

Ideologically opposed to what, Succubi?

Bonsoir Thu 28-Feb-13 09:25:30

I would in fact go further, and say that the skill level measured by public examinations in most countries is pretty arbitrary. Schools can get good results by "teaching to the test" and ensuring that their pupils have mastered the syllabus and exam techniques, and yet those same pupils may still not know very much at all. Thinking modern languages...

Bonsoir Thu 28-Feb-13 09:25:56

That is exactly not what I am saying, seeker.

Succubi Thu 28-Feb-13 09:29:56

Seeker I accept that I should clarify what I have said. There are posters who believe in the abolition of grammar schools and private schools preferring instead I assume (although it has not always been made clear) a national comprehensive education.

As I have said previously ,I do not believe that streaming works nationally. It can work where the demographic and geographical area allow it but it means that there remain a significant number of under-achieving schools (nationally) where childrens' needs in the comprehensive system are not being met. To my mind this is what needs to be addressed.

Seeker I have previously made my views on an open debate with you clear. I consider you to be a hypocrite and I struggle to want to enter into a debate with someone who spends so much time being angry at parents who send their children to private schools and the private school system itself where surely all that energy would be better placed trying to improve the state education you clearly and rightly value. Private schools are here to stay and you cannot change that.

Incidentally nothing wrong with being "odd". I quite like it.

gabsid Thu 28-Feb-13 09:33:40

Tasmania - "I do think that in those cases, it's not the school that is the problem. It's the HOME. And that's the real issue at hand. Because if everyone had motivated parents like there seem to be so many on this thread (regardless of our different opinions )... we may not have this problem."

What you say has usually been my assumption, however it doesn't apply to my DS (7 in Y3). DS is at or just below average, he is young and immature, hates reading, writing and the like, he finds it all hard and he is not listing and concentrating well at school.

At home we are both educated, we value education, we read to DC every day, since Y1/2 I supported DS with maths at home, we visit museums ... and do losts of stuff, TV/screen time is limited and selected, both DC are fully bilingual.

I expected DS to do well at school, but he is not, he is struggling in every way. sad

LaVolcan Thu 28-Feb-13 09:39:51

because the teaching at the private school is better.

I can't be the only person who has known teachers swap between sectors. The ones who left the state system, suddenly became better teachers? The ones who left private to go into the state sector suddenly became worse? I doubt it.

seeker Thu 28-Feb-13 09:42:07

Succubi- I am afraid I don't recognise your name. Have you changed it recently?

Bonsoir Thu 28-Feb-13 09:47:36

"I can't be the only person who has known teachers swap between sectors. The ones who left the state system, suddenly became better teachers? The ones who left private to go into the state sector suddenly became worse? I doubt it."

Teachers don't teach in a vacuum. In the private sector, some schools give teachers the means (through smaller classes, better materials, more hours, more field trips) to take their pupils way beyond the syllabus in a way that state schools cannot.

Succubi Thu 28-Feb-13 09:49:34

Seeker I am not sure I understand the relevance of your question but I have been a long time poster and I have only ever used this name.

jellybeans Thu 28-Feb-13 09:52:08

A lot of people won't as they don't want a level playing field. they want to buy an advantage for their child.

ouryve Thu 28-Feb-13 09:54:40

Tasmania - you seem to be more hung up about "class" than most people here are. My grandparents worked the docks. DH's father is a retired miner. DH and I both have degrees, have, or had jobs (I'm a stay at home carer, now) in line with those degrees and mix comfortably with most people, though gel best with people who are also highly educated, regardless of their background, simply because we find more to talk about.

seeker Thu 28-Feb-13 09:57:00

Just can't remember ever debating with you before- or hearing your opinion of me before. Oh well, my loss, I suppose!

LaVolcan Thu 28-Feb-13 10:21:50

Bonsoir In the private sector, some schools give teachers the means (through smaller classes, better materials, more hours, more field trips) to take their pupils way beyond the syllabus in a way that state schools cannot.

All of which cost more money.

Bonsoir Thu 28-Feb-13 10:31:29

Absolutely - the kind of money that state schools are never going to have.

Did you know that English state schools have some of the smallest classes for 16-18 year olds in the world?

wordfactory Thu 28-Feb-13 10:57:03

seekermakes the point that selective schools get better grades because they have selcted out anyone who might not get those grades...which is a fair point.

But only half the reason, I feel.

Selective school also get the best grades because they are specialists. They focus on a certain aspect of education and pour all their resources into that. This gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

If you want to teach a mixed ability cohort, covering all aspects of education, it costs an arm and a leg to do it properly. It is inherently inefficient.

Take my nearest town. Three comps in about a three mile radius.
That's three ill stocked libraries. Three under resourced SEN units. Three under equipped sports departments.

It makes no sense whatsoever!

seeker Thu 28-Feb-13 11:12:27

So why doesn't Kent get significantly better grades overall than other counties ?

socareless Thu 28-Feb-13 11:46:48

It may help seeker if you link us to the stats that gave you that conclusion. I thought Kent also had sec modern? are all the sec schs in Kent GS?

happygardening Thu 28-Feb-13 11:56:44

Russian so someone very kindly found that only one state school beat Eton but you tell me your Dc's are at a better school that beats everyone but St Pauls and westminster perhaps you'd like to share your schools results.
I'm not sure whether or not your being deliberately obtuse or you just can't help it but not once have I claimed that teaching in the independent sector is necessarily better and as many on MN will cheerfully testify I have on numerous occasions said that if I want fantastic results I don't need to send my DS to an independent school. I have also said on so many occasions thats its becoming boring that for me education is not all about exam results and that its about all the other things as well. You aside even the most ardent supporter of state ed admits that it not possible for any state school to provide the depth and breath of a extra curricular activates etc in comparison with a school functioning 24 hours a day 7 days a week where the ratio of children is 1 teacher for every 7 and the parents are paying an eye watering amount of money. The state cannot currently match this not necessarily because it doesn't want too or because it is bad but when the push comes to the shove it doesn't have the recourses to do this.
I am interested in how we can provide a broad and high quality education for all if people like me want to pay let them but how can we improve the situation for those who would like this kind of education and cant pay directly? Hence starting tis thread

wordfactory Thu 28-Feb-13 12:04:49

seeker would hazard a guess that apart from vague selection (top 25% isn't that selective, and you have to factor in all the other things like tutoring), Kent doesn't really do specialisation.

I would hazard that the secondary moderns replicate a lot of what the GSshools do and vice versa.

What you've got in Kent is just a bit of syphoning off, not a real effort to make the most of all resources.

socareless Thu 28-Feb-13 12:14:28

All I know is gs always come on top on league tables. Can't link as I am using phone but the league table I am looking at, the top 50 a level results for 2012, had 3 comps (cardinal Vaughn 38th, Watford grammar for girls 23rd and hockerill 10th) , 4 partially selective schools and 43 grammar schools from across the country.

rabbitstew Thu 28-Feb-13 12:16:47

I guess when it comes down to it, there is a difference in philosophy between those who think it is acceptable to aspire for your own children to benefit from superb facilities, 1 teacher for every 7 children, etc, etc, when the vast majority could never get anywhere near that; and those who think it is wrong to aspire to that level of training, perfecting and entertainment for such a tiny group of people, when the same people could grow up to be just as nice, thoughtful, happy, creative, entertaining, useful, and inventive on an awful lot less money - and have more understanding, that way, of what life is like for most people. It never in the past cost quite so much to train up our great inventors, explorers, scientists, artists, musicians, etc. I think aspiring to a life that is unsustainable unless you can grab most of earth's resources for yourself and not have to share them with others is selfish. Sometimes you have to accept that you are grabbing more than your fair share and throwing everything else out of balance as a result, because you value yourself too highly above others...

therontheron Thu 28-Feb-13 12:17:57

No, but only because I think the money would not be used as intended.

TiffIsKool Thu 28-Feb-13 12:26:53

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TiffIsKool Thu 28-Feb-13 12:29:41

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socareless Thu 28-Feb-13 12:41:58

Yes that does puzzle me. I can understand entering ds for 11+ but cannot understand the appeal if so passionate about the decisive nature of gs. Also seeker never answered the question about how is it that 75% of parents in her area look down on their own children and Call them failures.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 28-Feb-13 12:52:51

'it's before my time on MN'.... hmm Bonkers.

TiffIsKool Thu 28-Feb-13 12:56:29

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grovel Thu 28-Feb-13 12:56:29

Bonkers and total bullshit, I'd say.

Bonsoir Thu 28-Feb-13 13:03:16

wordfactory - there are some really high-performing grammar schools in Kent that are adding a lot more value than mere syphoning off.

It is important to remember that Kent is a very large county (the most populous county in the UK, IIRC) and that there are huge extremes of wealth and underprivilege too.

socareless Thu 28-Feb-13 13:04:43

<wondering how much seeker pays tosn and grovel to jump in when chalenged>

seeker Thu 28-Feb-13 13:07:07

"All I know is gs always come on top on league tables". Well of course they do! They are selective!

socareless Thu 28-Feb-13 13:11:19

But you said comps do better or areas with comps do better than Kent. I have asked for data and none yet from you just more jibe.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 28-Feb-13 13:11:53

Don't be silly socareless. It is because I regularly contribute to education threads, and because I'm regularly in the habit of arguing about the issues with lots of posters, that I find it so tiresome when certain people keep on with the same personal attacks on someone else who is a regular on these threads. It means that out of the inevitable 40 pages, about 35 end up with the same poster or posters (wink) bleating 'why did you send you dd to grammar blah blah you only cathedral carol services blah blah how come you hate the working class blah blah'.

It's nasty, it's personal and it's deeply fucking boring.

DadOnIce Thu 28-Feb-13 13:17:25

Better funding would certainly help some schools. Some less fashionable subjects really struggle through being under-resourced.

One the other hand, I have seen some very well-resourced schools whose results are still of great concern, because of other factors which can't be controlled by the amount of money thrown at the school - the children's background, the area, other factors influencing their attention to work, how bright/ motivated the pupils are to begin with,whether they see any point to working and gaining qualifications (and there are a number of reasons why they might not).

So, in general, I support good funding of state education, but it needs to go hand-in-hand with a lot of other things too.

DadOnIce Thu 28-Feb-13 13:19:05

And school league tables are like lining pupils up in order of height and pointing out that those with the greatest number of centimetres are the tallest, while 50% of pupils are below the mean average height in the class.

socareless Thu 28-Feb-13 13:20:04

Ok tosn but my ques wasn't 'why did you send your dd to a gs' it isn't a personal attack either. To use seekers phrase how odd to put something out there and not want to explain further.
I am a diff poster you there are getting quite paranoid too. Seekers nemesis has a unique MN 'voice'

WorriedTeenMum Thu 28-Feb-13 13:20:46

Interestingly on the subject of some GCSEs being 'better' than others. We are now tripping over this as DD1 has moved from GCSE to A level. The GCSEs which DD1 has now taken forward to A level do seem to have left her woefully ill-prepared for the A level. Over the weekend we will be comparing syllabuses of Edexcel & AQA for maths to find out what else she has missed out on.

Again I think that this is part of the mismanagement at her school. The school is entirely focused on getting its average 42% through 5 GCSEs A-C including English & Maths. It didnt matter how 'good' or otherwise the GCSEs were or how they would prepare students for A level - 'push 'em through and damn the lot of them'.

I have two other DCs at this dreadful school. There isnt another to move them to. So, I can look forward to another four years with my teeth sunk in the arses of various teachers ensuring that my DCs come out with reasonable qualifications.

Sometimes I read the wittlings on MN about how wonderful grammar schools are and wonder if I am in the same country as these posters. I get to pay the same amount of taxes but apparently my DCs arent permitted to sup at the same table.


seeker Thu 28-Feb-13 13:21:40

"But you said comps do better or areas with comps do better than Kent. I have asked for data and none yet from you just more jibe."

No I didn't. I said that across the country all LEAs have fairly silmilar A level and GCSE grades. If selective education was so vastly superior, the LEAs which retain a wholly selective system would have noticeably better results than a similar LEA which has comprehensive schools. But they don't. In selective areas, most of your A* and As are concentrated in the grammar schools, which is where the A* and As kids are. So you get the impressive 95%s and figures like that. Dilute those figures with the kids from the high school, and they will look very similar to a comprehensive. It's how you tell 'em.

seeker Thu 28-Feb-13 13:23:23

Socareless- everything you might want to know about my family circumstances are readily available at the touch a search button. Please feel free.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 28-Feb-13 13:24:44

socareless I'm not accusing you of being anyone else, and I didn't mean to say you were her nemesis smile As you say, said nemesis does indeed have a distinctive voice, and it is that voice which I was suggesting was more than a little tedious.

Maybe I've been on more threads, but I feel I have read Seeker's explanation of the situation and her decision more than once, and I don't get the impression that she is unwilling to offer her rationale.

TiffIsKool Thu 28-Feb-13 13:26:38

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Tasmania Thu 28-Feb-13 13:29:48

It never in the past cost quite so much to train up our great inventors, explorers, scientists, artists, musicians, etc.

rabbitstew - it was easier in the past. Not saying it was easier living in the past, but easier to invent something new, to explore new territories, to "find" something new in science, etc. These days, a lot is impossible without really superb and targeted eduction - in part because of all the discoveries that have been made in the past.

I've talked about this forever with DH (who happens to be a scientist), but the easiest way to explain this is by using HISTORY - the subject - as an example. With each year that passes by, you are creating history. Someone born in 1930 never had to learn about WW2, for example. Same thing with science. There is just soooooo much more to learn, and yet, school hours, etc. do not reflect that. Classes have become larger instead.

These days, even my DH admits that a large part of very employable/good scientists were educated in the private sector because they had the training required before they even got to uni. Even in music - Coldplay, Radiohead... private schools galore. Private schools can provide all-round education that is almost necessary in today's world (not so much in the past), but it takes money which buys time - things that are not infinitely available, but may be available for happygardening and her DS.

It makes no sense just educating all people to a satisfactory / good level but have no excellence because everyone should be educated in the same way. Even in the heydays of communism, this was a well-known fact. In our current competitive world, it's excellence that matters even if this may come at the cost of the wider population.

This was written in a rush - but can elaborate more later if needed.

WorriedTeenMum Thu 28-Feb-13 13:30:06

As TheOriginalSteamingNit said. I too have frequently seen Seeker's explanation etc and wonder why a few posters seem to feel the need to derail what is otherwise an interesting discussion.

(Seeker, I will PM you with my bank account details for the appropriate payment wink)

seeker Thu 28-Feb-13 13:30:42

This thread is about education funding and its most efficient use, TotallyBS, just in case you hadn't noticed......

TiffIsKool Thu 28-Feb-13 13:31:07

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socareless Thu 28-Feb-13 13:32:05

Ok Tosn I will back off. Some ques are difficult to answer especially when the answers may contradict what we say/believe.
I just don't get hypocrites. especially the type that takes swipes at people with differing views.

socareless Thu 28-Feb-13 13:35:21

was not planning on doing that Tiffy. I just wanted a simple answer on why 75% of parents join in with other 25% to look down on 75% of children.
The answer can't be a whole thread surely.

Bonsoir Thu 28-Feb-13 13:37:20

WorriedTeenMum "Interestingly on the subject of some GCSEs being 'better' than others. We are now tripping over this as DD1 has moved from GCSE to A level. The GCSEs which DD1 has now taken forward to A level do seem to have left her woefully ill-prepared for the A level. Over the weekend we will be comparing syllabuses of Edexcel & AQA for maths to find out what else she has missed out on.

Again I think that this is part of the mismanagement at her school. The school is entirely focused on getting its average 42% through 5 GCSEs A-C including English & Maths. It didnt matter how 'good' or otherwise the GCSEs were or how they would prepare students for A level - 'push 'em through and damn the lot of them'."

sad sad Indeed, some schools do the bare minimum of work to ensure the bare minimum number of pupils hit the magic numbers of GCSEs at the right grades. It is a scandalous situation, but other than work out what the gaps in your DCs' knowledge of the syllabus are, and fill them yourselves (or by paying for tutors), there is unlikely to be an efficient short-term solution.

Tasmania Thu 28-Feb-13 13:39:19


From my recollection (I asked that myself), there was never an answer provided...

TiffIsKool Thu 28-Feb-13 13:39:59

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seeker Thu 28-Feb-13 13:41:28

Well, if schools don't make sure that their low, middle and high ability children make at least expected levels of progress, then they will fail their next OFSTEDi inspection.

Go in armed with your child's various NC levels and demand to know what they are doing to ensure progress. One good thing about SATs levels is that you actually have something concrete to point to in terms of progress.

seeker Thu 28-Feb-13 13:42:28

The discussion, BS, in case you hadn't noticed, was about selective education.

Bonsoir Thu 28-Feb-13 13:44:52

"One good thing about SATs levels is that you actually have something concrete to point to in terms of progress." SATs results are far from immune to the quality of teaching. If you think your DC are truly being failed by the education system they are in, a WISC-V will be a lot more valuable.

seeker Thu 28-Feb-13 13:47:45

Would it? Surely it's measures of progress you need if you are going to put a school on the spot, rather than intelligence tests.

wordfactory Thu 28-Feb-13 13:52:49

Not if the original baselines are unabitious seeker!

Going from rubbish to a bit better, is progress. But it's not right if the student is actually very intelligent.

TiffIsKool Thu 28-Feb-13 13:53:35

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Bonsoir Thu 28-Feb-13 13:54:53

Progress is dependent on teaching quality. If teaching has been consistently under par, a child may be on a learning curve that looks fine according to SATs - however, WISC-IV may reveal significant underachievement.

seeker Thu 28-Feb-13 13:58:43

"Not if the original baselines are unabitious seeker!

Going from rubbish to a bit better, is progress. But it's not right if the student is actually very intelligent."

SATs are moderated, so the baseline should be pretty accurate. Or don't you agree?

ivykaty44 Thu 28-Feb-13 14:01:06

only if all schools were secular

rabbitstew Thu 28-Feb-13 14:35:30

Tasmania - that's an interesting analysis of the benefits to science of a colossally expensive education. However, if as a society we think it worthwhile encouraging continued development of the sciences (trying to avoid my luddite tendencies, here, which find the pace of technological development quite tiresome and not hugely beneficial and the lack of a focus on less profitable science quite irksome...grin), the current system of a hugely expensive, all-round education to a tiny minority is still a hugely wasteful, selfish way of achieving this benefit. It still doesn't need to cost that much to develop great scientists, surely?... unless the only great scientists now come from a tiny minority of top boarding schools?

FillyPutty Thu 28-Feb-13 15:15:04

WorriedTeenMum which school is this? You say your school is poorly managed, but it sounds like it's getting in poor raw materials at 11 to me, hence the choice of 'easy' GCSEs.

If they were getting in high achieving children at 11, they wouldn't be doing this.

It's true that some schools do better than others with similar intakes, but that's not to say that your school has got a good intake - I bet anything it hasn't.

Xenia Thu 28-Feb-13 15:43:32

On this:
"And school league tables are like lining pupils up in order of height and pointing out that those with the greatest number of centimetres are the tallest, while 50% of pupils are below the mean average height in the class. "

Yes but the tables are useful. If you want your children surrounded by children at a top 10 or 20 school educated with the brightest in a very selective environment it really helps to know which are the best schools in those terms and which are not.

DadOnIce Thu 28-Feb-13 15:47:29

They could perhaps be useful if they showed that, but they don't. They generally just show which schools are in the most comfortable areas socio-economically. If we're talking raw front-line data, "results", they are a very blunt instrument indeed and only the roughest of indicators as to what is a "good school" and what is not.

FillyPutty Thu 28-Feb-13 15:49:07

Well quite. My son is very able at maths. We visited one private school (not regarded as highly selective) and asked about this, and they said that they had one boy a couple of years ago who had done A Level maths early, on his own, during the spaces in class.

Meanwhile at the highly selective school we actually applied for, they regularly win maths competitions, they have an extension group for the most able maths students, and so on.

FillyPutty Thu 28-Feb-13 15:50:09

Obviously the second approach was more appealing, that he would have a peer group of boys with a similar or higher ability, rather than going somewhere where he was easily the best - not exactly inspiring to achieve more.

FillyPutty Thu 28-Feb-13 15:50:32

that was to Xenia's point btw

Bonsoir Thu 28-Feb-13 16:36:45

"SATs are moderated, so the baseline should be pretty accurate. Or don't you agree?"

How do you moderate for eg 3 years or 7 years of sub-standard teaching?

wordfactory Thu 28-Feb-13 16:38:56

Seeker- SATs are a reflection of attainment not abiliy. They tell you what a pupil knows at a given point in their life, not what their potential is.

Bonsoir Thu 28-Feb-13 16:42:17

A child I know well recently did a WISC-IV, on the advice of his teacher, six years into (the same) school. This child was achieving well below his peers on all the standard indicators but was doing extraordinarily well on some extra-curricular areas.

His IQ was measured at over 150...

seeker Thu 28-Feb-13 16:53:32

Sorry, I'm a bit confused. If we're talking about holding teachers and schools to account, then surely SATs are a good first step because they show actual, measurable progress. Or lack thereof. Knowing what a child's IQ won't really help with this- and anywaym IQ doesn't always correlate with academic ability, does it?

FillyPutty Thu 28-Feb-13 16:59:31

No it doesn't.

SATs are a good way of measuring progress for secondary schools.

I'm not sure about junior schools.

WorriedTeenMum Thu 28-Feb-13 17:05:22

FillyPutty - only school in a town, no GS, no major independent to suck out the brightest with big bursaries. An average town of average intelligence.

No matter how poor this school is, how many OFSTED reports it fails, it cant be closed because there is nowhere for the students to go unless they get shipped to neighbouring towns. After the latest monumental cock-up the current head should be losing his job but in reality root and branch changes are needed.

Face it, some schools are crap and it isnt the fault of the parents.

seeker Thu 28-Feb-13 17:06:56

What are the governors like? Any good?

WorriedTeenMum Thu 28-Feb-13 17:22:24

Seeker, given the numpties they keep recruiting I have my doubts. We are now an academy so goodness only knows where we will go next.

FillyPutty Thu 28-Feb-13 17:2