Advanced search

To think that grammar schools should either be scrapped altogether or available in every county?

(1000 Posts)
Perriwinkle Sun 27-Jan-13 21:22:02

How can it possibly be fair or reasonable to have them only in certain counties?

I know that many people will say "how can a system that supposedly favours the brightest ten percent of children, ever be fair?" but personally, I've actually got no beef with that provided that the opportunity to attend these schools is available to the brightest children in all counties.

How can it be equitable that the brightest children who live in counties which do not have a grammar school system are routinely failed by the comprehensive system whilst those who live in certain counties are not because they are able to attend high performing State-funded grammar schools?

I think if you're anti grammar schools altogether you should probably hide this thread. This is not meant to be a thread about the pros and cons, relative merits, inequalities or shortcomings of either the grammar school system or the comprehensive system. It is a simply a question of wishing to hear any reasonable justification that may be put forward for the continued existence of the grammar school system in its current guise.

How can it be fair to continue restricting the opportunity to enjoy a priveliged grammar school education (akin to that which many people pay handsomely for in the private sector) only to children who live in certain parts of the country?

thegreylady Sun 27-Jan-13 21:28:17

It worked very well back in the day...
Bright children,whatever their background had the same academic opportunities that were available in the independent schools.I was a child from a council house in a NE pit village and my grammar school education gave me things I didnt know existed in terms of culture-art and music.
I know all the arguments about them being divisive but the fault is in perception-the German system works very well with schools aimed at differing aptitudes being equally valued.
I wish we had had the option of grammar shools when my dc were young.

MooMooSkit Sun 27-Jan-13 21:31:34

I think they should be scrapped tbh. Where I went to school we had none and luckily all the schools in my area were very good (though the catholic schools seemed to perform better than the others)

I don't think they are really needed anymore.

fridayfreedom Sun 27-Jan-13 21:33:55

Glad they don 't have them where we are. My DB has them where he is and the tales of the scramble to tutor and practice for the 11+ sounds hideous.
I went to a grammar as did my parents but they do not perform the role they were intended for now, so no, wouldn't want them everywhere.

HollyBerryBush Sun 27-Jan-13 21:35:59

I live in grammar borough
One in grammar, one in secondary modern, one in comprehensive

I weep for what the comprehensive did to my child.

I fully believe in the grammar system

laluna Sun 27-Jan-13 21:38:48


We live in a county with 'super selective grammars' - entry is highly competitive with a very small number of places. Not all of the grammars have a catchment which means that our local one will admit the top 100 girls regardless of where they live. This results in pupils with a 2 hr one way commute to school. It peeves me slightly that our county school places are consumed by pupils from other counties and our county council end up paying because grammars are not universal.

BeanJuice Sun 27-Jan-13 21:39:14

HollyBerryBush what did it do? sad


discorabbit Sun 27-Jan-13 21:40:37

you weep?

i do think parents have got hysterical over schooling in the last 20 years or so

though i am a socialist who thinks society does best when children are schooled together, whatever their ability. My school was like that, we had really academic types who mixed with the working class and it worked.
the middle classes have ruined that as they do not want their children to go to school with the lower classes

such a shame as they all have to grow up and work together

the system i grew up in worked and it was only 20 years ago, i would be ashamed if i segretated my child on their ability

FlouncingMintyy Sun 27-Jan-13 21:42:29

They should definitely be scrapped altogether.

BeanJuice Sun 27-Jan-13 21:43:13

discorabbit what makes you think that the working class can't be those really academic types?

HollyBerryBush Sun 27-Jan-13 21:44:04

I do weep, it's a long story. I should have found this forum 7 years ago! It's all too late now.

musicmadness Sun 27-Jan-13 21:45:39

My area has a couple of "super selective" grammar schools, but doesn't run a full grammar system. I am so glad I got to go to a grammar school, and I'm grateful that I grew up in an area where that was still an option.
I was from a very working class family (coal miners etc), being academic and working class are not mutually exclusive!

The remaining grammars will not be closed unless everyone in the local area starts trying to get rid of them - which they probably won't as the majority of those that survived did so because of the public support for them in that area.

BeanJuice Sun 27-Jan-13 21:46:07

whatever happened, that's a shame sad

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 21:48:12

I believe in grammar schools, and I strongly feel they should be available to everyone, but not all grammar schools are the same.

I don't think it's right in counties where the majority of children take the 11+ and you either have grammar schools or high schools. I think that in these areas the aim is to have roughly the top 25% of academic achievers in grammar schools, and the rest go to high schools. I think that type of system is divisive, and it creates schools where it is almost expected that academic achievement will be low.

It is much better in my opinion to have super selective grammar schools, where parents are able to choose to allow their children to take the 11+ based on whether they think it is the right type of education for their child, and not because they believe the standard of education is better. These schools aim to take roughly the top 5% of academic achievers, therefore truly comprehensive schools can exist in the same area, and children that go to them can still be expected to achieve highly in academic subjects.

Grammar schools are not like top sets in comprehensives, which is what I think some people believe. The education received at a SS GS is very different to that received at a comprehensive, because much more focus is given to traditionally academic subjects, and very little time is given to creative, practical or artistic subjects. Sometimes even very academically bright children will not suit this type of school, and would not want to be at this type of school, so I don't think their parents should be fooled into sending their children to GSs believing that they will get a better education. It's not better, it's different.

But I do think that this type of education should be available to every child that would benefit from it and who is of a high enough academic standard.

discorabbit Sun 27-Jan-13 21:48:59

i didn't say i didn't think they could be academic, my son is a case in point, i trusted the local school and he is at uni now, but i think it helps if all children of all abilities mix in the local schools and aren't bussed to selective schools

discorabbit Sun 27-Jan-13 21:51:15

any sort of school where parents choose is not desirable

am always so depressed at how mn view education

Yellowtip Sun 27-Jan-13 21:52:46

Clouds creativity (in all its manifestations) is highly prized in the best superselectives, as is Art.

HollyBerryBush Sun 27-Jan-13 21:55:35

I'm in Bexley - which is very working class/pseudo middle class - the two single sex grammars always top the pile behind the inde schools.

I dont think grammar has anything to do with class - its about ethic. But the opportunities offered are so much enhanced - althoug h that is due in the main to pushy parenting (I am of the lax school of parenting, I guide not micro manage).

Here, grammar is the be-all-end-all, our primary children are automatically entered, wich I understand is unuaual? normally parents decide whether to enter in other parts of the country. the pressure here is horrible, that I dont agree with.

SanityClause Sun 27-Jan-13 21:56:24

I live fairly close to a comprehensive school which is very near the border of a grammar area. Parents choose to send their daughters to it, rather than a secondary modern in their "own" borough (which they have every right to do).

Naturally, there are also lots of parents in that borough that complain about grammar places taken by out of area children. They conveniently forget that it works both ways!

sausagesandwich34 Sun 27-Jan-13 21:56:34

the old grammar school system worked well for the children that got into the grammar school

the children that at 10 years old were told they weren't good enough didn't do too well

plus if you are a bright child through primary school then end up in the bottom of the grammar school sets -well, that's not much fun either

BelieveInPink Sun 27-Jan-13 21:56:38

My daughter is due to take the 11+ this year. Until now, I didn't even realise that the whole country didn't take the test! I assumed there were grammar schools in every county. Now I find there are only a select few.

I have to say I am hoping beyond hope that my daughter passes because the comprehensive in my town is horrendous. In all areas. I'm not a selective school snob, I was educated in a comprehensive and I got A*s and loved school throughout my time there. But if my daughter doesn't pass I really need to think hard about where she'll go.

I do think that there should be all or nothing. Either have all counties taking the test (I actually don't agree with one test judging the pupil on their ability to be at grammar school) or have all counties abolish it.

I do wonder if both ends of the spectrum have a risk of being failed if pupils of all abilities went to the same school.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 21:57:27

It doesn't seem to be in the one my son is at. Not at all compared to the way it is at the comprehensive that my other son goes to.

Which is fine for us, because my ds that goes to a SS is the least creative and artistic person I know, but the lack of creative stuff at that school is what put me off wanting my youngest ds to go there, despite the fact that he would have had a good chance at the 11+.

Theas18 Sun 27-Jan-13 21:58:00

Dunno. Kids are/were at a superselective and flying. They may have done that in a true comprehensive but they couldn't in the local catchment area schools.

Me I resent my "comprehensive" education really. Late 1970s. Low expectation. Tiny 6th form. My mate and I largely taught ourselves in order to do 3 sciences and maths at A level. She was the first ever to Cambridge, I was the 1st into my highly competitive course/career. Poor school for bright kids, but no choice. That was how catchment worked when that was all there was.Lets not go back to that..

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 21:58:04

That was in response to Yellowtip btw smile

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Sun 27-Jan-13 21:58:41

Grammar schools were a vehicle for social mobility in the past. I'm not in a grammar area now but it appears that they only now really serve sharp-elbowed middle-class parents.

Having said that, having experienced the comprehensive system myself I don't especially like that either.

This thread is not accepting new messages.