BBC news Kent 11+(113 Posts)
I am confused how does making the 11+ maths and English based reduce the value of paying for tutors.
Surely it increases the value of paying a current teacher to tutor your child to the very very top of the primary curriculum. Well of parents are still not going to leave it to chance that their DCs class teachers have.
I'd be quite happy to buy a few bond Verbal and non verbal reasoning books and tutor my own DDs (I'm not Kent and in the end DD2 decided not to try for our grammar which is a very long day).
DD1 gets 131 on non verbal reasoning without having ever practiced at all, she just likes them.
English on the other hand I certainly would need to pay someone, I've tried marking SATs practice papers the mark scheme is in
gobbledygook teacher speak. It's not simply right or wrong like maths or VR/NVR
regarding year 6 sats. My son goes to a mixed ability and mixed socio economic background middle school and he has no tutoring and has been put on the level 6 papers for his sats :because he scored 39/40 and 40/40 on the level 5 papers
and we aren't even middle class
The alternative to selection by ability is selection by parental income, faith or house price. None of those is very fair either.
These things are not mutually exclusive; assuming that all the academically selected are happy with their selective option, this still leaves 80% of 11-year-olds, most of whose parents will want to choose the best of the remaining non-selective options.
The point of 1950s stats is that little has changed - grammar schools favoured the middle classes then, but created little mobility for the working classes. The schools themselves weren't effective in engaging the whole school and those outside the system had no opportunity. There are still a few people who hark back to what they think was a golden age, the type who write in green ink and phone Any Answers. For contemporary arguments (Kent and Lincolnshire are anachronisims) look at link to Chris Cook's blog.
If you live in Kent though, you're sucked into that system.
It wasn't the grammar schools that prevented social mobility in the 1950's. Exams were not as he was needed to bring money into the household. Granmar did however, give him an academic education & had his family not been quite so poor would have given him the option of university.
To say that they weren't creating opportunity in the 50's is daft - that wasn't their role at the time, and they didn't hinder it - there were few options for social mobility outside school at the time I'm not sure they even favoured middle classes (other than the affording the uniform business) - my dad started at grammar in the east end on London - very few middle classes there at the time. The middle classes may have got better results but that's because they were taking exams, the working classes were leaving to earn money. That was expected. Despite my grandmother moaning for the rest of her life about being made to leave school at 14 to go into service my dad was still in the navy giving most of his earnings to her at 16. That was normal for the working classes. School (of any sort) wasn't seen as a great opportunity because it couldn't be. M
Sure, complain about the unfairness of the 11 plus but don't assume grammar schools were trying (and failing) to offer social mobility in the 50's. I don't think the concept even existed.
I've long suspected that the grammar school as a engine of social change was a myth. But it is a very tenacious myth- and one which people use with absolutely no sense of irony nowadays as they congratulate themselves on "saving on school fees"!
This article sums up the report that muminlondon was referring to earlier. Sjj, most grammar school pupils at the time did stay on to take O levels, although not necessarily doing very well in them. Most did not stay on to take A levels and go to university. I would agree that grammar schools did not especially see their purpose as providing social mobility; 'social mobility' seems to be a more recent mantra, the one that replaced 'parental choice'.
Well they might have allowed the new middle class some social mobility (thinking someone like Margaret Thatcher daughter of a shopkeeper iyswim) but I don't think the numbers of people in that sort of class was particularly high, so they could not have effected great social mobility. I suppose you could say it allowed some upward mobility of some individuals. But not the working classes - because they still had to leave school to earn money. My dad greatly values his academic education btw - even though it was cut short by a need to work.
I suppose my point is at that time your prospects were limited far more by your family than by your education.
I do think Kent sounds particularly bad. Ds2 is going to the grammar school in sept - but it takes kids from 3 LEA's and from such a wide area that the non-grammar schools do still have a mix of abilities. We would have been quite happy with our second choice (local comp) and we didn't hire a tutor (yes we practiced past papers because you have to - a lot of the primary schools here run 11 plus prep classes for the ones that are having a go though). I can't find too much to get incensed about in such a system - other than the pressure on the kids, although a lot of that is
whacky parent generated. I'm more bothered about what they're doing to special schools & SN education tbh.
That's true about the new middle classes.
Margaret Thatcher is an interesting case. The establishment figures who let her rise through the party could never have expected her to become leader- being female and a grammar school girl would have ruled her out in their minds. The shock they felt when she got to be leader must have been extraordinary. Notice they haven't made the same mistake again!
Cecily - I'm not sure o levels were seen as that important if you were leaving straight away to get a job for which you did not need any qualifications - which may well reflect poor results I just think you cannot compare results then with results now - education then didn't have the same goals and expectations as it does now. You're arguments against the grammar school system has to come from the results now, not then.
FWIW - it's always interesting to look at GCSE versus A level results. Our grammar school results are fab at A level (after another round of selection to get into 6th form) but our local comp (out 2nd choice which many aren't keen on due to the catchment) gets A level results just below the grammars - which is pretty impressive. GCSE results at the grammar are okay (well excellent for the country but I think okay given it's a selective school) - much higher than the local comp - but if you look at points per pupil taking GCSE's the local comp is doing really well - on some measures it is outperforming the grammar. And this is with an unpopular catchment.
I do like what the schools here do at a level which is get together in consortiums (comps & grammars) to offer a wider range of subjects. Ds3 will be next for the 11 plus - I'd be quite happy for him to go to the comp & bypass the whole bloody thing except that he is
obsessed with interested in Latin - and the only school offering Latin is the grammar. It would be a logistical nightmare but would be good if there was some open access for that sort of subject between schools - that does seen to happen more with vocational subjects.
Yes she was a bit of a one off seeker. Not sure whether to say that's a good or bad thing
Gah phone typos still - I am educated honest
And of course the structure of the 11 plus means that ds3 has no chance to demonstrate his Latin prowess - he has to be good at maths & English to get to study Latin (especially maths)
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