Is an A Grade Gcse from a State School a better than an A* from a private School

(128 Posts)
soul2000 Sat 31-Aug-13 10:58:18

In the wake of the reported fact that 32% of pupils from Independent Schools achieved at least 1 A* at Gcse and only 8% from State Schools and now doubt, a large amount of the A* Grade"s from State schools were from Grammar Schools. If someone from a bog standard Comprehensive achieved 2As at Gcse, is that a better achievement than 4A* from a highly selective Independent School

I know these types of discussions are bound to come back to Grammar schools rights/wrongs, or about family finances or parents previous Educational background. I just want to see if people agree that an A from a normal Comprehensive requires a far greater effort than an A* from an a highly selective Independent School.

soul2000 Sun 01-Sep-13 18:54:07

I agree with Worry that if the teaching gets brought down to the lowest common denominator within the classroom,the bright kids who if pushed might be A/B kids will suffer and likely end up with C/B grade"s.

Schools that are struggling with Ofsted reports will see a magic C grade as more important to them the helping a bright "not very bright" pupil achieve an A/B grades. It has been previously stated that a very bright pupil will in most circumstances achieve A* grades. This is true even if the pupil is educated, in a ordinary Comprehensive School.

Talkinpeace Sun 01-Sep-13 19:20:33

I love the fact that private / selective school parents seem to assume that all SEN is variants of dyslexia and ADHD.

There are kids in comps who have significant neurological / genetic damage - many will be sifted out to special schools by year 7 but some will remain in main stream.
The whole concept of GCSEs is irrelevant for them - and schools should never, ever be penalised for finding other routes for them (even if that means that the %age with 5 GCSEs drops)

Too many kids in selective and private schools are helped and pushed and tutored through exams and then have doors open to them that they are not really capable of passing through.

Look at the fragrant bunch of politicians as a fine example of people who have risen WAY above the level of their own competence.
But posh schools told them they were entitled.

teacherwith2kids Sun 01-Sep-13 19:24:39

Tbh, I think many people, wherever they send their own children, have NO IDEA of the range and variety of SEN that may present itself in mainstream schools - nor the range of home lives from which pupils may come.

That is why it is progress from starting point, progress FOR THAT CHILD, that matters, not some overall score for 'the school'.

Abra1d Sun 01-Sep-13 19:43:25

'horse you are naive if you think indies don't allow resits, they are just done 'quietly', as an examiner for the past 20 years I can assure you of that!'

Not at my son's school. Unimpressed with one of his grades, an A, he wanted to resit. We would have to do it privately, taking time out of AS level work at school. Of course we won't do it, but the school would have made it very hard for us to do so.

Lilka Sun 01-Sep-13 20:01:01

Talk and teacher couldn't agree more

Unless you have a really profound disability it's HARD to get a statement of SEN and therefore get into a special school if needed. Some children who would seriously be so much better off in a special school can't get the statements

When my DD2 was 8/first months of being 9 and in mainstream school, her maths skills did not go past counting 1,2,3,4,5 (she forgot the numbers after that) and she refused to hold pencils let alone knowing any of the alphabet or being able to write. Forget other subjects. She was highly anxious, panicky, dissociated frequently and could get very aggressive and confused, all due to PTSD. Very few social skills, no boundaries and some other serious emotional and behavioural issues. I had to FIGHT to get a statement based on emotional/behavioural needs (forget anything based on academic problems).

Dyslexia etc pale in comparison to the issues she had

And that was in 2004/2005. Everything I've heard suggests that since then getting statements has only become harder and harder

And that's only covering disabilities, MS schools have plenty of students who suffer a terrible home life, or have to do a lot of caring for family etc. Things that seriously do impact on how well people do at school

soul2000 Sun 01-Sep-13 20:54:04

Lilka. I am very upset and disapointed to hear of your problems that you suffered in getting the Statement, that your DD needed to help her with her learning. However it is great to know that even though i have said in a previous post, that pupils should not leave school with E Grades in English/Maths that your Daughter has achieved success with her results.

I am sure that with the time and guidence that your DDs teachers gave, enabled your DD to feel that she is capable of achieveing to her potential. I cant understand why the "POWERS" that be, are making attaining statements a more complicated and drawn out procedure, this is not in the best intrests of the pupil. If Micheal Gove really wants to improve the Education of all and not just the most academically capable, he must acknowledge that these statements should be acqiured in the quickest and most efficient way so that the pupil gets the help needed as quickly as possible.

boschy Sun 01-Sep-13 22:09:05

some fantastic posts on here from lilka, talkin and teacher wth 2 specificalluy.

I read on MN recently that "any child can reach at least a C in GCSE maths and english if they are just taught properly"

bollocks! what matters is the progress each individual child makes.

busymummy3 Mon 02-Sep-13 00:13:51

My DD has just achieved 9 A*'s and 3 A's in her GCSE's and goes to our local comp I don't quite get what OP is saying , she also wasn't only one to achieve highly there were quite a few in her year some actually gaining all A*'s

JammieMummy Mon 02-Sep-13 00:41:59

I agree with all the comments about SEN - I have interactions (in a very round about way) with a lot of families whose children have SEN, of varying degrees and they are rarely catered for in any setting, we are only a few steps ahead of where we were in victorian times.

To those who say that we should look at the value added of the individual states schools, this is not infalible. I left primary school with a reading age of 16 years over the 6 week summer break I apparent "lost" 5 years and was catergorised as having an average reading age of 11. Yet (lo and behold) a mere 6 months later my school claimed to have increased my reading age to that of a 16 year old!! My mother was furious with this at the time, but there was nothing she could do. I don't know how value added is worked out but I would be wary of it given our experiences of state schools wanting to look better than they are! This may very well happen in indie schools but just highlighting my experiences. I agree witht he poster above who said about a refugee child in a state school, unfortunately there are too many students to look into each ones individual circumstances sad

handcream Mon 02-Sep-13 14:18:36

There are a lot of people claiming that their children go to standard comps and get A*/A. If that really was the norm then we would have no market for private schools and the education system wouldnt be in the mess its in! These marks are not the norm.

My DS has just had his GCSE results. He is a late Aug birthday and not particularly academically minded. However we thought by putting him in a fairly academic school it would raise his game. He managed to scrap a pass into the school and we are really really pleased with his results. Do I think £30k boarding fees are worth it. Looking back - YES! I really dont think he would have got what he got at a standard comp. His school aimed all their pupils for A and A*'s. They had small tutor groups for boys struggling and teachers were always available should we need them. That is what I am paying for. That and the small class sizes.

I went to a terrible sec modern with no expectations for their pupils. I wouldnt wish that sort of education on anyone.

I 100% agree with others that we should offer other options to kids that arent academically minded. Although some scoff at plumbing and hairdressing they are great skills. I go into London to get my hair cut and pay nearly £100 for a cut and blow dry. Hairdressing is a fantastic skill to have. Ditto for a plumber.

I have a friend who has a son who has dyslexia, she doesnt want him labelled so is trying to get him into my DS's school who not in a million years would claim to be good with SEN. Apparently all the teachers are trained in SEN and they have no special help. I would run a mile from a school like this.

Talkinpeace Mon 02-Sep-13 14:58:31

handcream
There are a lot of people claiming that their children go to standard comps and get A*/A. If that really was the norm then we would have no market for private schools and the education system wouldnt be in the mess its in! These marks are not the norm

Sorry but you are utterly wrong - rows of A and A* grades are perfectly normal for top sets of comps.
Look up the results of any of the Hampshire comps to see what I mean. Or the results of the 6th form colleges like Peter Symonds.

handcream Mon 02-Sep-13 16:17:34

Not around here they are not.... If the comps in the state education system are so wonderful why the demand for grammar schools and for people that can afford it the privates. Of course they are fab state schools, they are also the bog standard schools which often people cannot choose to opt out of. Why do 50% of places at top uni's get taken by the privates who are what 6-7% of the school population.

Talkinpeace Mon 02-Sep-13 16:21:19

No grammars round here.
And any school near a grammar school is NOT A COMP (see threads passim ad nauseam)
50% of uni places to private school kids ? Basis statistics - do the maths yourself. I've posted it before (ad nauseam)

titchy Mon 02-Sep-13 16:26:49

Hand cream even Oxbridge have more than half their entrants from state schools! Proportionally more private kids go to uni of course but private schools select out middle and lower ability, comps don't. Look at uni entrants from private vs top stream of comp - bet there'd be no difference.

FoundAChopinLizt Mon 02-Sep-13 16:33:40

Comps when they exist in a town with no grammar, no private schools, academies or other selective options are true comps.

They have all children, regardless of their ability or background.

Our comp is like this, it takes children whose parents are dual income Drs, high grade civil servants, scientists, children of farmers, hairdressers, unemployed, disabled people, children in care, children with severe ASD, learning difficulties.

It sends many children each year to Oxbridge and Russell group universities on competitive courses and has been looked at by government as it has such a high rate of such entries. I am convinced this is because it is a true comp and it works because the waters are not muddied by other types of schools.

Talkinpeace Mon 02-Sep-13 16:37:22

DCs school this year got 56% of all GCSE grades were A*, A or B
They got 40% EBACC
I think thats pretty cool : especially when some of the kids only did btec and college courses

Marmitelover55 Mon 02-Sep-13 19:25:08

My DD's new school is truly comprehensive as they use a fair banding lottery system for admissions that is city wide, and they achieved an amazing 91% A*-C including maths and English. And 78% achieved the EB. This proves comprehensive education can really work, and this is in a city with loads of independent schools too.

wordfactory Mon 02-Sep-13 19:27:45

Unless the state school had serious problems, then no, an A is not equivalent to an A* from private.

At least not as far as universities are concerned. Nor employers as far as I'm aware.

DC in private schools generally work hard for their A*s the same as everyone else.

There is a slight bias towards terminal exams, though it's accepted that this is not in a pupil's choice. And a slight bias towards iGCSEs because they usually have stiffer grade boundaries. But these are not huge issues and some universities wouldn't care a kipper!

beatback Mon 02-Sep-13 19:34:03

Marmite. Is your area Brighton in which case if it is that is a fantastic achievement from a Comprehensive from a city even though it might be in a leafy part of the city.

beatback Mon 02-Sep-13 19:37:28

Talkinpeace. The results from Marmite"s Comprehensive that although very good have still not won me over to comprehensive Schools just yet!

Marmitelover55 Mon 02-Sep-13 19:39:53

Beatback - it is Bristol not Brighton. Yes these were amazing results - the school used to be private, but these were the results of the first fully comprehensive intake who started 5 years ago.

beatback Mon 02-Sep-13 19:48:30

That most be "Colston"s Girls School Then Marmite.

Marmitelover55 Mon 02-Sep-13 19:57:51

Yes (but not sure if I'm supposed to say)

Talkinpeace Mon 02-Sep-13 20:06:12

marmite
Nothing to stop you naming a school.
The only reason I tend not to name my DCs school - even though several people know which one it is - is that then they are identifiable.

beatback
If you have really bright kids and funds, private and selective will naturally beckon
(if family circumstances had been different I'd have taken up my scholarship to St Pauls after all and I have looked into moving one of my DCs to selective fee paying ... but I prefer holidays)
but
for the rest of us, comps have got to be the best way to get the most out of the most children.

WorrySighWorrySigh Mon 02-Sep-13 20:31:23

I wish my DCs' school produced results to be proud of. I wish my DCs were proud of their school.

Sad to say, they arent.

The school is a disgrace. In and out of special measures like it is caught on the door handle. Last year's debacle has been brushed off with feeble excuses from the Head.

There isnt an excuse, this isnt an inner city comp surrounded by grammars and bursary offering indies. It is a town school. There is no competition. And this is some of its problem I believe. As parents we have no alternative. 'A bit crap' was already an acceptable standard within the school. Then it got worse.

Those of you who have access to even reasonable schools, be grateful.

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