Sick of the fuss.(124 Posts)
Having a bit of a rant here but just feel like it.
I can't understand why there is such a fuss over what school people use for their dc.
Until recently people just took their lot as the way it was, but now we all want more and not only this but what we can't have.
If there are only a few thousand that can afford certain schools so be it.
If your dc can't go to grammar so what?
If your state school is rubbish it will get better as it will be in special measure.
If your dc aren't bright so what? If the school you would like is full so what?
There have always been situations in education that weren't perfect, or others could have and you couldn't.
Why does it matter?
OK, well I suppose the obvious question is, do you have any children of your own and, if so, how old are they?
I agree with you entirely, and so both my children have just gone to the local school. But and it is a big but my entire family are teachers and so we know we can fill in any gaps in knowledge.
My dc are 22 18 and 9.
The older 2 went all through school but dd is second year into H.ed
My point is that my dc and all the others I know just chose a school and went, with the least possible fuss. We couldn't afford private and so went local state.
If you can afford private or are grammar then that too is fine as we are all different. The bit I don't understand is the people who want what they can't have.
I suppose none of us would be on this forum if it didn't matter to us and I've seen what some people can get if they only had a little knowledge of what is possible (not always but possible).... through scholarships, bursaries, discounts, moving house, church attendance, appeals, talent and determination. Most of ds1's state primary year group went to the local comp - in special measures 5 or 6 years ago, now rated 'good' but not so good really as only 3% (yes, you read that right - 3%) attained the EBacc last year - results bumped up by equivalent qualifications and soft subjects. However, none of the children at ds2's prep went to the comp that year even though most of them were in the catchment area and some of them couldn't actually afford private school fees. A third of the year group went back into state education (and a third got a scholarship, bursary or discount to another independent) and they all found a way to escape the comp...... with a little knowledge, talent (of the children), hard work and determination.
That's pretty much the way it is in Scotland. You go to your nearest primary and secondary. No grammars, no academies. Private school if you can afford it, but the vast majority go to their local schools, and there's very little parental angst.
I think people get het up because state provision is very patchy in the UK.
You might live close to a fabulouys school that will give you everything you dream of.
You might not.
You might be offered a school miles away. You might be offered a school that had terrible provision for SEN. You might be offered a school with a woeful standard of pastoral care...
As for private school, well, the vast vast majority of people can't afford it. And even though I use it myself I can see that it is utterly unfair that purely by dint of my bank balance I can choose where my DC go to school!
In general YANBU.
However it is horrendous in the areas where there is a huge lack of places and you often just cannot get into your nearest (or 2nd or 3rd nearest) school - absolutely bloody nightmare in London and many areas that are close to London.
I think all many of us want is a similar standard of education to the one we got in the state sector - but it seems very random whether you can get it in some areas. I am also concerned about a number of practical factors such as how full up will the school be (many London schools are creaking at the seams), will it offer pre and post school care (not something my DM or DMIL had to worry about), will it offer sports and music (provision varies enormously) and will my DC get a challenging enough education or be left to coast. If she should have SEN I would be choosing mainly based on support for that.
Basically if all schools were much the same it wouldn't be worth putting much thought in, no, but as a teacher I know they're not. Also options at 11 are affected by what you chose at primary - if you had a choice that is.
So people are criticised for worrying about schools and their choices by someone who has 2 children who have left school and one educated at home?
Move to Scotland - no fuss here.
Because most people want the best for their kids and get a bit fucked off if they can't get it?
In theory you are right, but in practice, you can't "put the genie back in the bottle" and the gap between the better and the less good schools in some areas is HUGE. If you are able, who wouldn't want to give their children the best possible start in life ?
I just fail to understand why people get so worked up about it.
Fair enough there are some issues in which it is understandable but for the majority it is wanting what others have, when you aren't in the same position yourself.
I find the worst side is those that object to others having the opportunity because they can't. Classic example grammar schools.
Ar your kids bright?
Do they currently have good jobs?
Have they reached their potential?
From what I can remember, you and your DH dont mind living on the breadline, in fact actually enjoy it. Preusmably you actively want that for your kids too.
What happens if they meet the love of their lives, and a potnetial spouse or partner doesnt want that or leave. Presumably that will not bother you either. You will think, good riddance, But your kids may not think that, and actively blame you for years or for life. Would that matter to you? Perhaps not.
I am not criticising others as I have had to choose schools for all of my dc at some point and it wasn't a choice I took lightly.
However, there was very little fuss and not really a lot of choice, the same as it is for most other people.
Not everyone can have the best for their dc and this has always been the case, throughout the history of the education systems we have had.
It is a waste of time imo making a huge fuss about something you can't have. Maybe I am just not entitled, I dunno.
My children range from 32yrs to 22 years and they had their first choice of career and did what they wanted to do purely because I did fuss over all those things. I am where I am because my parents fussed, and they were where they are because my grandparents fussed. It is hugely important and of course it matters! Education is vitally important and not something to be fobbed off with second rate.
My dc are all working and are happy.
I don't think they have fully reached their potential as they are still young.
We don't live on the breadline, in fact we are well off compared to some people. We have in the past though, not that I feel that has anything to do with education, moreover lifestyle choice.
I tend to find that people attract likewise and ds1 df is similar to him and not very materialistic.
So are you suggesting I should have made a fuss when our choices were limited in terms of the schools our dc could attend? Been annoyed and jealous of what choices others had that were better? Moaned about how we deserved the best as well?
They also have no hope of competing internationally. Mine are going to foreign countries and not paying, because they work there.
But yours may not or wont have that oppurtunity.
You are assuming that your kids will want what you and your husband do. But that is not fair on them. They may not, but they may. But you have not given them or left them or encouraged them with those choices.
They may not mind now. But they sure as heck may mind later. And guess who they are going to blame.
How do you know they have no chance of competing internationally? Not that I think they particularly will want to, but who knows.
I have encouraged all their choices and allowed them the freedom to make them, and doubt very much if they want what dh and I have.
I'm not sure what they will find the need to blame us for.
Due to cockups in education policy there are less school places than children in parts of London.
There are some streets that are not "in catchment" for any state school at all.
There are areas where "the local school" has been taken over by people with really strong religious views that they are trying to impose on all of the pupils.
Due to cuts, LEAs are loathe to let SEN kids get the statemented support they need.
The curriculum is being changed even as the children sit their mocks for next June's exams
If you are lucky enough to live in an area or have children unaffected by these problems, good luck to you - if I could make a living somewhere like that I'd move. But I cant.
And if we did all move to your area, your school would be as nadgered as ours are
I think you need to bear in mind that other countries now care a whole help more about the stadard of education in their countries than they used to. Consequently, that standard of education that those pupils are getting is rising compared to ours.
Pretty sure someone can link to some stats somewhere about this.
Your personal aspirations for education for children in this country are not very high are they?
I think many posts are talking at cross purposes to my OP, or I didn't make my rant clear, which is probably the case
I know this is happening and it is awful, this wasn't the fuss I was talking about. I would have been making a fuss under those conditions.
It was more a case of not understanding why people who have a very good offer want more and sometimes despise those who have better opportunities.
I am trying to understand but find it hard.
There are few opportunities for choice in our area and lots of satisfactory/ special measure schools, but they aren't many over subscribed. Nobody wants to live here, they all want to be in London.
I really wasn't talking about fuss made under the conditions you have mentioned, especially sen.
Because schools vary enormously.
Because being is special measures is no guarantee of improvement.
Because in many areas there are more children than school places and the thought that your DCs may not get a school place at all or be allocated a place miles away is very stressful.
Because most people want to do the best they can for their DCs.
I really don't see what is wrong with worrying about the above.
Of course my aspirations for education are high, my dd has some fantastic personal tutors and both me and dh are PG educated.
My ds have a Degree and A levels etc, good GCSE results.
I never said education wasn't important.
Because the nearest school we could get a place in is FOUR miles away. Our local school isn't brilliant but we'd have taken it like a shot if we could get a place.
ETA and that's four miles across busy towns and past several schools with their own morning rushes.
The thing is OP, are you willing to just suck up the local state schools for your DD?
My undersatnding was you are home educating with a view to obtaining a place at an independent boarding school.
Which is cool. But doesn't exactly put you in a place to lecture others on their fussiness.
I understand that you are not jealous of others. Great.
Do you personally think there is a difference in grammar school education compared to secondary education, or do you think that the standard is the same?
Do you personally think there may be better, as in brighter, more able etc teachers at private schools than at other schools?
So would you have been happy with your DCs going to your local school if it was totally shit, with problems with bullying and low achievement and bad leadership and bad pastoral care?
If your state school is rubbish it will get better as it will be in special measure.
My DCs' school has gone in and out of special measures like it has got caught on the door handle. It is currently in the bottom 20 schools in England.
And do you know how many alternatives we have? Absolutely none. There is one school in the town and it is beyond crap.
Why does it matter? Because my kids are going to have to compete for university places and jobs with the lucky, lucky people who actually get access to a half decent education. That is why it matters.
I think lots of us wish our parents had made a fuss. I went to a seriously cr*p school (state) and wish my parents had thought more about it - they didn't, back then you went to a first school, then a middle, then a comp or a Catholic school and that was it. I'm glad for my son that I spend hours trying to figure out what will suit him best. He probably won't appreciate it until he has children of his own....
As I have said before we didn't have much choice in schools they were all pretty dire.
The point I am making is that we didn't tend to make a fuss in years gone by and just accepted our lot, whatever that was.
I am not saying that people shouldn't use the choices that are available to them to gain the most suitable education for their dc.
I am talking about people who make a fuss because they don't have the same choices as others for eg state/private/grammar, no outstanding school in their area. I have heard people complain that certain types of school should be banned because their dc can't go, or pass a particular test.
My rant was about people not accepting sometimes there isn't anything you can do. It wasn't about people who had no school place or sn provision as I said before.
This is what I am trying to understand.
I am not being nasty to anybody, but trying to understand why?
Several have said they wished their parents had made a fuss, I suppose I am trying to establish the difference between now and then.
Why is it important for your dc to compete with the lucky ones who got a better education, why will they need to attend the same uni's.
I am not criticising, but trying to understand the changes over the years.
I can't see that there have been changes- people have always wanted the best for their children.
I think people have woken up now. Before they accepted because they just did.
Perhaps now with the internet people's eyes have been opened.
There always was a problem as far as I am concerned. Now most people realise that and are trying to do something about it, instead of just sitting back. Good for them I say.
"Why is it important for your dc to compete with the lucky ones who got a better education".
That is an ok thing to say if your dc are say self employed carpenters.
Not an ok thing to say if you have dc who may want to be a doctor, or want to work for a multi international.
And lets be honest. The education system is there for everyone in the country, not just your dc.
I think that thre is more emphasis on achievement these days, it was accepted 20 years ago that some people were not going to do well at school, but that they would be able to get an unskilled job on leaving school, and that was ok. Now it is much more difficult for young people to get a job when they leave school, so they are encouraged by the state, by their families, to continue in education. Unskilled work is not valued as it was. Therefore young people have to compete... Not just if they want a job at an elite level, but if they want any job which they will not be laid off from after a few shifts.
I know teenagers who have no qualifications and very few choices. It doesn't not surprise me that the most viable option for some of them seems to be become a dope dealer and then at least they have enough weed to distract themselves from the reality of being a young person with no prospects.
Not everyone can have the best for their dc - may be so OP, but who gets to decide which people can have the best for their DC? Because I don't trust anyone else to do their best for my DC, so that means that they are relying on me.
I could just shrug and leave them to it, or I can make a bit of an effort to support them so that they get the maximum benefit from their education.
Pistillate - I think you are right about the availability of jobs for school leavers. After O-levels the majority of my year group left school (16 yo) and got jobs with banks, insurance companies, offices, stockbrokers etc. etc. None of these industries recruit school leavers any more, they don't even recruit people with A-levels, they want degrees.
And parents are rightly very worried that their children not get left behind.... Even nice middle class children can completely fail to achieve steady employment, and their families can go through gruelling times trying to get them to be independent. And that is without the mental health problems which are often acpssociated with unemployment. So the culture of fear of not achieving pervades throughout our culture.
I agree that people have always wanted the best fro their dc, but think that attitudes to the best may have changed.
My parents wanted the best for me but had few options, so worked with what they had and supported me at home.
Never once did I hear them or any other parents I knew fussing about dc who had better opportunities such as grammar or private, not that I think these always offer a better education.
However, during my childhood it was assumed that they did, but parents were prepared to make do with what they had.
Now it seems different.
Maybe it is because a greater emphasis has been put on education, or social mobility is more sought after.
I don't think in settling for what is available to you means that you aren't supporting your dc or they won't meet their full potential, be happy in life or be successful in what they choose.
I think your point is a major contributing factor and hadn't thought of it in this way.
Then there is much more understanding about bullying, which always went on, but was dealt with by saying'just ignore them' before. If my children were being bullied (and bullying goes on even in the perfectly good schools that ought to be just fine for most of us) and they hated school... I would see moving schools as one solution to the problem, and when choosing schools I was definately sizing them up in terms of will my dc have a hard time here? Do I trust these teachers to create an ethos of respect, kindness and understanding which will give the children a feeling of acceptance, and allow them to grow into secure people who will cope well with having the occasional hard time off someone? Or are they all so utterly caught up in ofsted targets that the happiness and self esteem of the children has dropped too far down the list of priorities?
I am nearly 50
I am the first generation in my family where I have no optimism that my children will have a better life than their parents.
a damning indictment on our parents and us
we and our parents should hang our heads in shame, not hark back to a "golden age" that predated globalisation (yeah Gove, that includes you)
You mention globalisation, do you think that now we are better educated ourselves we believe our dc should compete globally? Why do so many parents want this for their dc, do they see so few opportunities in other areas.
This may seem a daft question but I hadn't considered this until another poster mentioned it up thread.
For the record I don't think the education was so terrific in years gone by, it totally failed me and many of my generation. In fact anybody with a spld was failed as far as I can remember.
The world is no longer run by Governments, it is now run by multinationsl businesses.
The original, and most powerful of these was the British East India Company.
It ran India and all the ports on the way. The whole British schooling and army system fitted around its then needs : kids who could cope with separation from family and then learn languages became the elite.
Back then there was a steady stream of upward mobility (more people needed than in place created a vacuum and sucked people upwards) so the middle class formed.
After WW2, the grammar school system created incredible (unprecedented and unrepeated) social mobility for about 20 years, helped by Mums who had been widowed and liberated by ruling the roost during the war.
Now the UK is reverting to its normal stagnation, surrounded by former developing countries who are chaning in the way England did in the 19th Century.
International competition is largely a red herring : maybe 0.5% will be international, but plumbers and hairdressers do not tend to travel.
I'm an accountant and DH a lecturer: my niche is local. DH is so unique that his Britishness is his selling point. PISA is as weak a data sample as an Ofsted report
Why is it important for your dc to compete with the lucky ones who got a better education, why will they need to attend the same uni's.
2 of my DCs wish to pursue careers in the sciences. If they dont go to good universities, get good degrees then they will find it far harder to pursue their career aspirations.
Should I be telling them 'sorry, interesting and fulfilling careers arent for the likes of us'?
The poor education they receive at their secondary school does not prepare them for the rigours of A level (we are seeing this now with eldest). The school barely prepares students for the GCSEs it enters them for. Some examples of the unutterable crapness my eldest had to endure:
- Maths teacher who was incapable of controlling the class. A handful of students achieved an A grade, the majority failed (keep in mind this was top set). Teacher eventually went postal at the resit class and was asked to leave.
- History teacher failed to cover any part of the syllabus satisfactorily. This teacher was asked to leave at the end of DD's year 10 meaning that the class had to cover the whole 2 year syllabus in year 11.
- German teacher left DD to teach the class as she would rather mark her PSHE homework.
- English teacher left suddenly having taken examinable coursework away with her. The school failed to enter students into a GCSE English course which would meet the requirements of EBacc.
- Biology teacher went off long term sick and was replaced with a string of non-subject supply teachers.
I am not asking for Grammar school places I would just like my DCs to be able to attend a school which was mediocre.
This is why it matters.
I think it is such an English thing to just accept things and not make fuss. I am foreign and soon after DS1 started school in UK I started to question the local education system and after a year or so had transferred him to a private prep. He is at a grammar school now and my younger kids are at a prep. All of my friends who are also immigrants had chosen private preps and planning to send their kids to our local grammar. I think at least a third of DS 1 classmates are kids of immigrants. There are so many options and ways to get your child into a better school, people come here from all over the world and manage to give amazing education to their children, yet so many local parents that should know the system and how things work in UK moan about their kids' awful school but don't lift a finger to do something about their situation.
All of my friends who are also immigrants had chosen private preps and planning to send their kids to our local grammar.
I'm an immigrant.
there are no grammar schools near here
nor in fact in much of the country
so those who use the word "all" are clearly not looking widely ...
I think people have always worried about these things OP.
25 years ago when I was due to start primary school my parents looked around a few a realised the local one was crap. So-we moved close to an excellent one which my siblings and I all attended.
I really can't imagine my parents were alone in this.
I agree entirely OP.
I am a bit by the hysteria regarding schools and education on here. I read the threads on here and think am I a bad parent because I think that bright children with supportive parents will achieve whatever school they're in and if they're not pull them out and try somewhere or something else.
What always amazes me is the fuss that (some) parents make to get their child into a specific school and then do very little to support the school (or the child) once they get there. My DS has been to three separate primary schools, all reasonably good and many parents go to 'appeal' to get their child into these school - yet very, very few parents actively support the school once their child is there - it is almost a case of just assuming that it is now the school's responsibility. I have always been involved in my DC's education, doing whatever is required by the school whether it is reading, PTA, Governor etc etc. Yet a very close friend who won a place 'on appeal'
which meant over 30 children in a class and no proper desk for at least two children was quite honest in the fact that she wasn't prepared to do anything to help at school - and no, she didn't have younger children, a job, elderly parents etc etc etc .
Study after study proves that what matters most is the parental influence and support at home, the best school in the world can't provide that.
I don't mean this in a judgemental way because I have read that some parents move to be nearer a good school, but honestly I have never met any. It just seems an alien concept to me.
I think a lot of parents believe it is solely the responsibility of the school to make sure their dc receive an education and they play no part in supporting the school.
Talkinpeace, I said "all of my friends". What's wrong with it? I got five friends that came here frome the same country, two of them had also tried local "outstanding" primaries and thought that the level of education was unacceptable. For example in the country we are coming from there are no sets, all kids study the same things, there are text books from the year one and homework is given every day. the prep schools in our area are following the same system, so we all agree that this is more in line with what we expect from schools.
Can I ask....how do you 'plan' to send you DC to the local grammar??? Are you making a huge assumption that they will pass? And if not, do you just look for a private school?
I agree that there were less options, but I think that parents were just as concerned and determined to make the best of what was on offer. I think that it is great that people 'fuss'- it is only by everyone 'fussing' that you get improvement. If people just accept the status quo you get ignored.
I had spent 2 years on doing vr/nvr with him at home, he went to a prep and also had a tutor for the whole year 5. We are also in the catchment so he needed to achieve a minimum score anyway. He is very average, but managed to actually score almost full marks in the exam thanks to all the tutoring. He is in year 7 and his target for this year is 6 B for science and 6a for maths, so he is doing ok despite being tutored. All my friends are following a similar regime with their kids, can't imagine them not getting through.
That depresses me beyond belief, but thanks for answering.
move to Hampshire.
No selective schools.
Same average results (higher actually)
Happier families with more spare cash for things that really matter
So OP this is why it matters.
My son is yr5 scoring at least 80-90% on NVR without any tutoring. He is pretty good at literacy but struggles with maths - he needs time to think about what he is being asked, to construct answers, think around them. I am fairly confident that a grammar school would not suit him.
Our local secondary is in special measures, with a current pass rate of 47% A-C's.
I already feel that the education system is failing him, we don't have the money to privately educate him (not sure I believe in private education anyway - would like everyone to have the same opportunity, what they make of it is up to them)
I am sorry that I am the sort of parent that irritates you so much.
I'd love to move! But DH got a good job in this area so don't have a choice really.
Plus3, DS used to struggle with maths too, that's why I took him to the tutor in year 5. He is absolutely fine withit now. Don't give up, just try to find the areas he is struggling with, he is just probably lacking confidence. Iwould also recommend to exclude all electronic games and limit the TV in year 5, you'll see the results immediately.
I think that bright children with supportive parents will achieve whatever school they're in and if they're not pull them out and try somewhere or something else.
There isnt a somewhere else for us. We have a choice of one unutterably crap school. We cant afford to move. We cant afford private education.
What is the something else? Home ed is not a genuine option for us.
Again, I say, mediocre would be a major improvement.
It is statistically proven that children will achieve more with outstanding teaching. That, OP, is why it is so important to try and find a school with as much good or outstanding teaching as possible. The value added tables explain clearly how children achieve above expectations at the schools that add value and achieve below expectations in ones that "add" no or minus value. They do not all achieve according to their abilities, some children are served very poorly, despite the efforts of their parents.
Why would the OPs children not be able to compete internationally?
I grew up in Ireland, one school in the locality. People in my class went on to be everything from street cleaners to international journalists for broadsheets to doctors, lawyers etc. The variety is breathtaking. I can assure you much of our teaching was anything but outstanding. In History class, the teacher had a student read text and then reread the same passage in monotone, indicating sentences to underline. She did this for five years
I have two first class honours degrees from RG Unis and a distinction in a postgraduate qualification. I am nowhere near done with learning, and imagine I will acquire more over the years.
It strikes me in the UK the discussion about education is about class, primarily.
I'm not sure this is a new thing, my parents moved from a county that didn't have grammar schools to Kent so we had the option of grammar and going back even further my grandmother got a job just to earn enough to send Mum and her sisters to private school because the local school's weren't good enough.
Plus3, if it helps at all, my parents never paid out for any tutoring or private education and their oldest 5 children passed the 11+, including my middle sister and I who are dyslexic (the other 2 are in year 5 so not taken it yet) all Mum did was offer a lot of support at home and work more on the bits we weren't confident in.
Im sorry but I can't stop laughing....
I was educated in state school up North. The school was not just crap it was worse than crap. My parents were the type if you finished cooking the orders. There wass plenty of time to do your homework and revise. Yes I was in the top stream and yes I did fall asleep in class. Did the teachers mind...not in the slightest if your asleep your not creating trouble.
So it is utter bollocks to say the school you go to helps in anyway shape or form for your child to get good grades. The school can only provide material and present it in a way that you can remember. The main criteria is for you to want to spend the time to learn.
Having great parents again BOLLOCKS.. Your parents can only give you support and encouragement to do well. Doing well is up to the individual.
You can send your child to the best private school. Get a tutor for every subject so they will succeed. They may even past all the exams. Yet if they can't be arsed they will get found out sooner or later and be collecting social security.
After saying that as a parent I will afford every oppurtunity for my child. It is still up to her if she wants to be successful or not. That Im afraid can not be taught...
So yes by all means fuss over your child...but dont expect because you have taken all this effort that it will pay off.. I have seen friends with premium educations fail because they dont have it in themselves to succed..
Education and a degree does not automatically mean you will be successful.
True Kenlee. You have to hope that if you strive to get the best education for your child they see the value of it and are willing to put in the work.
Kenlee..wasn't it you that in your words tiger trained your child from the age of three (to keep up) til boarding school 7,000 miles away? Clearly you thought that would make a difference? Why go to such lengths if you believe "so it is utter bollocks to say the school you go to helps shape or form your child to get good grades"...
i think it takes an extraordinary individual to transcend a bad school and bad teaching and unsupportive parenting. ...saying it is down to the individual and applying that to a child is disingenuous - if that child goes to a "crap" school and no or little parental support either....these weigh as heavy disadvantages compared to a child that has gone to a great school, with small class sizes, good pastoral care and parents that nurture their education at home. Is having the latter a guarantee of success educationally ...no...but it does stack the odds greatly in your favour.
Kenlee to pinch your own phrase, youre talikng bollocks.
You need to learn to see the world through other prisms than your own! I did this, I did that, I did the other. What about everyone else?
I too went to a crap school and went off to Oxbridge. Does that mean it was a good school? Does that mean anyone and everyone could succeed there, if only they wanted to?
Don't be ridiculous! I am not the only measure!
The reality for pupils in the UK is that where they go to school does matter. For the vast majority of them, it will impact upon their future. The odd unusual individual breaking out does not change this plain fact.
The three main factors affecting a child's outcome are parental education, cash and where they go to school. Yes there will be notable exceptions, but they do not disprove the rule.
In amongst the op, morethan said "if your dc arent bright, so what" which part prompted me to write about no hope of competeing internationally.
someone on another thread worrying because her local (non-selective) comp has a 5-GCSE pass rate of "only" 87%. She honestly doesn't know if it's good enough.
We have way too many threads like that on MN.
Yes. I think the op sort of meant to home in on points like that really perhaps.
I do think it's very stratified here though. I don't believe it's that rare for people to transcend the hand they were dealt, either. So very few Irish people of my generation had what passes as a 'good education' here and yet I see success among very many of them. In my husband's family, like many others, generations of farmers had left school at 11 to work the land. He is a chartered engineer, his siblings are doctors and pharmacists, one working at a very high level in international research. Among British Asian colleagues I see a similar pattern.
My mother is a primary teacher and she calls it 'educational capital'. Poor and less-educated families who encourage learning and achievement produce children who succeed despite poor schools in many cases.
morethanpotatoprints I read your post out to my eldest DD who went through her secondary school being in special measures not once but twice.
This why she says it matters:
- when you are in school the exams you take will affect the next stage in your life. There are second chances but these will take far more work and may well be a very poor second best.
Something I think a lot of people miss is that a lot of subjects involve examinable coursework - this includes mainstream academic subjects. Where there is coursework the effect of good vs bad school is amplified. For my DD her poor school: lost coursework (badly supervised teacher), willfully didnt set coursework (lazy teacher), didnt cover the syllabus (poor subject supervision).
We would have been able to intervene more if the subjects had been purely end of year examination but with coursework the incompetence of the school management was hidden from us.
I am in Scotland and wish people fussed more!
People mostly use their catchment schools (although in Edinburgh 25% of pupils go private) but there is still entrenched disadvantage here.
Then there is a new exam system from next year that seems to be being used differently in neighbouring schools and yet there seems next to no discussion of it in the media.
I agree with you, I'm sending my children to the local comp. But then I'm lucky, last year 90% of children got 5A* - C and 30% of children got 5A - A*. Therefore, I am in a fortunate position to be able to say this.
However, has I lived in the local town, in the catchment area where the 5A* - C was only 38%, the school has been in and out of special measures for the past 10 years at least (including converting to academy status), and even this stat is doubled what it was a few years ago, when the number of children who got their A - Cs was around the 20% mark, and children are bullied / laughed at / picked on for being bright or working hard, then I would vehemently disagree with you.
OP your views are naive if you think everyone sending their child to the state comp is going to solve the problem. Trouble is, with the school above, the catchment area is almost entirely lower cost housing, where people have fewer options. Hence, that school is never going to get better. I remember my parents moved so I wouldn't have to go to that particular school, and that was almost 30 years ago. It really has been that bad that long!
Every child deserves the best start / education, no-one should have to settle for a second rate education. We should all be doing more, not less, to get all our children the best education possible.
[sorry for the rant, I'm a teacher and passionate about such things!]
Yes I did tiger train my daughter from the age of three something I regret to this day. As to sending her ti private boarding I am providing the best education can afford and she can aspire too. As a parent that us all I can do fir her...But if she can't be arsed to do well thats her problem. I do support and I do encourage her to be the best that she can be.
Yet I dont think it holds true that because your in a crap school that you automatically become a chav. I also don't think being a posh school will make you automatically successful.
Do good teachers influence pupils...yes they do...are state schools devoid of good teachers?...I dont think so..
In the same mode are private schools just full of good teachers?...
so yes it is bollocks that just because you come from a crap school that you wont be successful. Hell when we employ people and looking for a candidate for the hard jobs that require tough decsions I always try to hire them from the crap schools...They think faster on their feet....the PR jobs we give to the posh kids...better accents you know....
If you look at the statistics you'll see that most doctors, bunkers, solicitors etc had studied in private schools/grammars, yes there might be exceptions, but they are so rare that you only read about them in newspapers or hear about them on mumsnet. A parent that sends his child to a local comp and not taking a daily interest in their child's education must be very naive to believe that this child will become doctor/professional in an increasingly competitive world.
I mean bankers, stupid phone.
In my town we only have state schools, one is outstanding and another is good but quickly improving and has 2/4 ofsted sections as outstanding, this is the one I wanted for ds, it's the one I went to and the one that every single one if his friends from primary were going to. The rest are all much of a muchness but not great. My ds was originally assigned on of the lower end ones. I kicked up an all mighty fuss, I appealed and did days of research and writing and rewriting appeals and speeches etc. in the end he got in on the waiting list and he absolutely loves it there.
On the other hand, my friends ds goes to the school he was originally assigned, he is being mercilessly bullied for being a swot, it's so bad he has to post his homework into the school so no one sees him hand it in.
You may call it making a fuss, I call it caring about my dad's education and making sure the one chance he has of getting it right is the greatest chance of all.
Education is one if the greatest gifts you can give a child, I'm not going to fail at it.
Plenty of "Bunkers" from Comprehensive Schools.....
DH works in investment banking and he is laughing his head off at your post. He went to a grammar school and says it is sadly all about connections now, he had struggled himself despite being Oxbridge educated, due to his heavy northern accent and lack of connections. if you think a child from an average comp in Yorkshire can just walk into a banking job and earn over 100k you are kidding yourself.
Ha ha.....that is sad but so true....
Comprehensives develop the type of "Bunkers" that drive cars away from their Bank "Jobs" quickly.
Until you've visited and spent time in as many comps / grammars / prep schools / secure special schools / posh boarding schools / secondary modern schools as DH has,
please stop extrapolating your personal loathing of comps
because your experience in no way reflects what goes on in much of the country
That's my point though, perhaps everybody is wanting to be more upwardly mobile in terms of class.
I don't know many people from the schools you mention who want to work in banking earning over 100k. Their parents and themselves would consider it a whole different class to them and they would settle for something that would make them happy. You are doing no better earning 100k than 20k if you are happy with your choices.
Yes I can see that your choices would be different depending what school you went to but I know my sons and the dc they went to school with wouldn't be happy being bankers. Nobody likes them for a start
Forgot to mention my dh went to a good grammar school and it made no difference to the choice of profession he entered.
He speaks and writes really good English though.
My dc went to local high school, neither will be doctors, solicitors, bankers, accountants, but they don't want to.
They do have talent in a particular sport which they play as amateurs representing their country and playing internationally. They are both employed too.
But morethan there are two points there.
First, that the sort of people who attend poor schools simply don't want better.
Second, that they shouldn't want better.
Of course not everyone will want to be a banker, but frankly they should have the choice. At the moment it is very hard for children from the majority of the community to access a certain sector of jobs.
And those jobs tend to be highly paid and have a high impact on many of us.
But getting a decent education isnt about becoming a banker. Neither of my DDs want to become bankers but both want to pursue careers in the sciences where a poor education at the outset will only hamper them.
Wordfactory, this is what I was trying to point out! The child should have a choice, how do you know he won't be happy being a doctor? Why so many people in UK don't have ambitions? of course it suits the ruling classes, there is less competition for the top jobs and the status quo stays the same.
Worry and word
Do you not think it is better to support the dc who don't have the choices of really good schools though?
My education was terrible but my parents did what they could to help me.
My point is its a waste of time moaning about your lot and also that dc will do well if they are so inclined whatever school they go to.
My ds aren't tremendously ambitious, my dd is. I don't think this would change whatever school they attended. Their schools weren't brilliant but there are many who went on to train as doctors, solicitors, pharmacists etc. Instead of earning huge salaries they earn less in a local firm. They have still achieved what they wanted to.
Talkinpeace. OK I admit it ,one of my Young Cousins went to a inner city Comprehensive, he is top of his 2nd year group studying Law. He is very impressive.
I'm 35 and my brother is 32. My parents had a monumental battle with the LEA at the time to get my brother into the state secondary school a year early as he was a high achiever. They also moved house to get into the catchment area for what was at the time, the best comprehensive in our town. My parents are not crazy pushy parents, but our nearest school was not good and they wanted to give us the best possible chances in life. We've just done similar to try to get our DD into the primary school we want for her. People have always made a fuss, but the current system seems to leave more people more dissatisfied!
I think it's far too conveneinet to say that most people don't want to be an x, y or z.
The fact is they have little in the way of meaningful choice.
Wheras for a small subset, there is proper choice.
I went to private selective schools and thence to a naice uni which is now RG
I rebelled as best I could and was determined never to work in an office
then I discovered I was good at Accountancy
F A I L (as the kids say)
you cannot predict what your kids want to do, you can just give them the widest possible options
and if you are unhappy with the school, become a Governor and change it (I did) or shut up.
I'm very lucky I don't have to worry about this until secondary school, I only listed one choice down for DD1 for Primary, local state school (not the closest but that's oversubscribed and I didn't want her going there anyway), there's 10 children in her year group and the school's been rated as outstanding in every area for its past two inspections. I wouldn't change her to the nearest private school even if I could afford it.
But once she's 11, as things stand, I'd want to send her somewhere better then the local comp. Which means taking her to church every Sunday to try and aid an application to a catholic school 10 miles away if financially I can't afford to send all 3 to private secondary schools by then.
And there are no Grammar schools in the 2 counties my home town borders!
I think its fairly normal for parents to be concerned what school their child attends, as they spend so much time there and it presumably will have a fairly hefty impact on their futures. I don't have any idea what my children will want to do with their lives, but I'd certainly like them to have the option to follow whichever path they should choose and I believe a good education provides more options.
morethan I think you must have missed all my posts. My DCs' secondary school is currently right at the bottom of the school league tables. It isnt simply about GCSE results. It is about preparation for the next stage in life.
Every aspect of my eldest DD's education was impacted by being at such a poor school. Her school education lacked any sort of breadth or depth. Preparation for exams was hugely stressful as she also had to prepare a lot of coursework at short notice due to problems in the school I described up thread.
The effects knocked on into her first year of sixth form as she found that she was way in terms of topics covered compared to students from other better (they are all better) schools.
We found out about the problems at the school very late (parents evening platitudes covered the gaping holes). Now that I understand this more clearly I am far more critical. I take every 'it's all fine' comment with a large pinch of salt. I no longer have any trust in the school.
This was exactly the same for my dc and lots of others too. I know where you are coming from, but that wasn't really part of the point I was making. I sympathise really I do as I know what it is like having been through it twice with my ds's.
It isn't the reason but I am so glad we H.ed our dd so won't go through it again.
My point was as there is little anybody can do about it, why fuss? it doesn't get us anywhere. Its better to support. I know we shouldn't have to but extra tuition sometimes seems a better option than trusting the school.
My other points were people whose dc weren't bright and not able to go to grammar, it doesn't matter. Imo that doesn't mean we ask for the grammar system to be scrapped.
I also think in terms of choice of occupation many dc in Private schools and certainly public schools are just as limited. They are put off any occupation such as plumbing, building, electrician, carpenter etc. The vocational occupations are deemed by their parents and tutors to be below them. How do we know how many would prefer to do something else other than the few professions deemed worthy for them.
I know that I cant change my DCs' secondary school but I can make sure that the school doesnt let down my other DCs in the same way that it let down my eldest.
That is why I fuss.
I cant afford to home ed or private tutor. The poorness in the school is not limited to one subject, it is across the board.
It is an awful lot easier to change path into a vocational career with a good education behind you than it is to go into a professional career with a poor education.
A poor education means having fewer choices. Should I just accept that that is all my children are worth?
Now come back home. At first glance, morethan, you seem to have changed the goalposts since your op. Or you didnt make the points you really wanted to make, at all clear in the op.
If I have time or can be bothered, I will reply at some point.
At first glance, you seem to be saying, well mine are not very ambitious.
But you must realise that other children are not all like yours.
You seem to be saying well mine are happy where they are,
But not all other children are going to be like that.
You seem to be saying you dont want class.
I am with you there.
But other parents do want that. Perhaps that is your real point?
You say there is little anybody can do about things.
Absolutely wrong there. Many can and do and want to and dont regret it.
I think others have tried to say you are wrong in saying well children who are inclined to do so will do well whereever they go. Sooo do not agree with you there. Ask kids that you know that are at poor schools. They know and understand more than you would think.
A couple of your other points I do agree with!
With all the best intetions in the world. .It is still up to the individual if they want to succeed or not..
You as a parent can only give them the best choice you can. Sone parents can't be bothered to even do that and that saddened me.
Although I wouldn't want to label a person from whatever school they attended and prefer to see them in merit rather than nepotism.
Although having friends in the right places will always help...its a sad truth but a very real reality. O and yes private schools do very much thrive on contacts....
I have many a lazy dumbo placed on me because of favours....Its polite to employ and then to allow them to fade away....once the favour is done...
I admitted upthread that perhaps I hadn't made myself clear.
The whole fuss I referred to in the OP was not about wanting the best for your child. It was about the moaning that others have what some can't have.
It isn't fair but the world isn't fair and also when it comes to choices of occupation being limited if a child attends a poor school, I see it just as narrow if they attend some private and definitely public schools.
Just my opinion but I don't agree we all should have the same choices.
I wouldn't want somebody with no practical ability or common sense at all training to be a plumber and then working on my house. I think it down to ability, personality, upbringing, potential etc what a person decides to do with their life and not which school they go to.
I know far fewer children from state schools go to Oxford/Cambridge than the more privileged but I hear of cases all the time. My ds crummy shitty school had 4 this year. I don't hear of people from Eton, Harrow or the best private schools becoming electricians.
I think you are talking about accepting your given lot in life, education wise?
Cant agree with you particularly there either. I agree with that sentiment in life sometimes. But lilke someone else said upthread, some become school Governors, which is what I did. Or help the school in other ways, eg fundraising or drama. I never think that education is just up to the staff.
Cant see why people from all walks of life cant become skilled manual workers. Though agree that there are some parents who may actively disuade their children from doing that, which is a shame imo.
Havent been into enough schools to know whether a particular school's ethos persuades their pupils to aim for a particular job, though maybe they do?
I'm sorry morethan but I've not read such rubbish for ages! Your ds didn't go to a 'crummy shitty school' at all if 4 got to Oxbridge this year; no of KS5 students reaching 3 A levels AAB in facilitating subjects at my local 'crummy shitty school' last year was in fact 0% - 2 A levels AAB in facilitating subjects 2%. Number of students achieving EBacc at GCSE was 3% - this was from an intake of 23% high attainers and 63% middle attainers. Ofsted rated the school 'good' this year???!!! You say that everyone should stop moaning and support their dc instead but you're a post graduate and you employ tutors so you're not prepared to accept things as they are at all! Luckily, someone opened my eyes to other possibilities instead of our local 'crummy shitty school' and we made our escape, as did others - some of whom go to private schools on bursaries or gained aptitude places at outstanding schools in the next borough. Maybe that electrician could have been the next James Dyson if he'd gone to a better school.
The school my ds left this year was satisfactory and Ofsted are crawling over it. The parents were relentless in supporting their dc and the school.
I do accept things as they are, I haven't moaned about my lot, said that certain other schools shouldn't exist because my dc didn't have the same opportunities.
I did something about it, rather than making a fuss.
Maybe the electrician didn't have the business drive to become Dyson either and is happy doing what they are doing.
I can't see why people have to make a fuss rather than be active.
I don't have a problem with supporting your dc education, its what most parents do. Its the fact that some can't do it without making a fuss about what others can do.
Am i missing something here, Any (State School) including Grammar schools that get 4 kids in to Oxbridge in a year is doing something right. Morethan if you go on the performance table website at the Dept of Education. As Clavinova suggested, look at the AAB percentages for A levels, you will find even most grammar schools score under 12-15% in that measure. For a Non selective school in a socially mixed area to achieve that, is very well done.
So if there are 100 pupils in the year that is 4% going to oxbridge, that must mean 20% go to RG Universities that is excellent.
In fairness neither the dc or the parents give the school any credit for this and they are right not to.
The school is dire, really went downhill rapidly from a previous good school able to accept who they liked as CofE covering a huge diocese.
It was the sheer commitment of parents and one I believe won a scholarship or award for music which was gained through playing the organ and learning outside the school. One had been H.ed until 6th form.
It is a huge school with about 200 in sons year. Most however, don't stay on as its such a poor school and there is an excellent alternative. It isn't heard of very often but there have been other examples from our town of state school dc gaining a place.
Sorry, meant to add. It is not quite but almost as rare to hear of dc going to RG universities. The ones who choose Higher Ed usually go to a good uni though, rather than poor.
Morethan. So it was Exceptional circumstances that led to 4 kids getting into Oxbridge this year. The point is not many state schools achieve that, ever unless they have a few extraordinary students in one year.
I think the ratio Of those going RG to those going to Oxbridge would be 4 or 5 to one from a high achieving state school , someone correct me there.
I wonder how many kids from "Educating Yorkshire" play organ or get to Oxbridge. Morethan, I understand your position is "my kids are ok, so you lot should not complain and just accept your shitty schools".
I think she is saying that people shouldnt make a fuss and just do something about it.
But you op make a fuss. You get a tutor to enable your children.
I noticed from a thread you were on today, that your DH does up old buildings? Good for him. But he is able to be his own boss. And perhaps your children work for him? Great.
But you still seem to miss the point that every child is different. And some parents, for whatever reason, are not able to help their own children much in life. So it can be up to other parents to "make a fuss". For their own children, and others in their community.
Can I ask why your third child is Home Ed, but your first two were not? Did you think that the state education for your first two was not up to much, so you decided to vote with your feet as it were, or not make a fuss, and just leave state education all together the third time around?
morethan perhaps what you need to do is clarify what you mean by making a fuss.
- Is complaining to the school when a teacher is falling short making a fuss or doing something about it?
- Is making the Head aware that I hold him personally responsible for the management failings in his school making a fuss or doing something about it?
- Is posting on Mumsnet to get some sort of understanding about how unutterably crap the crappest schools actually are making a fuss or doing something about it?
no 1 = doing something about it
no 2 = doing something about it
no 3 = doing something about it.
Not doing no 1 and 2 and no3 is posting about how other people shouldn't have better than you, certain schools should be banned, etc is making a bloody fuss imo.
Our dd is H.ed because she wanted to spend her time doing what makes her happy and to pursue a career. Her primary was good and we are still in touch. There are several other schools near us that wouldn't have offered the same pastoral care, she was very lucky.
My dh and I have done up houses we live in, its not his business. He is a musician. Apart from private music lessons which dd also had when she was at school a friend who happens to have a senior position, not sure of title for the LEA in MFL tutors her Italian, we don't pay for tutors.
I wouldn't dream of suggesting that because we do this that other types of school shouldn't exist, or it isn't fair my ds didn't get to go to Eton, or a local grammar school etc.
op. I think you may be better off just hiding the education threads. You see them as fuss. Others dont.
I have come to the same conclusion
Shame though, because I'm interested in education and don't feel that some of the discussion and views are making a fuss.
Unfortunately, I find it hard to bite my lip on some occasions.
I think that the argument for saying that grammar schools or independent schools shouldnt exist is often not the school itself but what it leaves for everyone else.
If the wealthy and influential are able to buy (through fees, tutoring or house purchase) their way into good schools and more importantly away from bad schools they have no personal experience of or interest in dealing with extremely poor schools such as the one my DCs go to.
I am confident that if politicians had to send their children to their local school in their constituency without an option to buy their way into an alternative then they would make damn sure that school was good enough.
But perhaps that is just making a fuss!
I miss seeker.
People that live in grammar areas do not have the same opportunities of a comprehensive education if their child is not bright enough to get into grammar. Which is why people tutor, move house etc.
Schools that aren't grammars where we live are dire.
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