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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?

HelpOneAnother Thu 31-Jan-13 23:08:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 31-Jan-13 23:09:44

Help, I don't imagine the football clubs take the top 23% of children in an lea, do they? I don't see it as the same thing.

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 31-Jan-13 23:11:05

Seeker that's not necessarily true.

HelpOneAnother Thu 31-Jan-13 23:12:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

seeker Thu 31-Jan-13 23:14:45

Help- children from poor backgrounds have never got into grammar school in any numbers- if we could find a way of making grammar schools the preserve of bright disadvantaged children I would be first in the queue to vote for them.

seeker Thu 31-Jan-13 23:18:10

"Actually seeker I think I've just understood why we are not understanding each other
I don't think of being working class or from a council house as being disadvantaged. Perhaps I need to learn my place!"

Neither do I. That's why I always use the word "disadvantaged" - never working class or from a council house.

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 31-Jan-13 23:20:03

There is a difference between not getting in in huge numbers and having no chance of getting in. My mum got in. Her brother got in. My DH got in. All from poor working class backgrounds affected by serious parental illness (which each time led to early death) and other issues which were Not Good. It doesn't help your argument when you make statements like 'the poor disadvantaged kid wouldn't get in' because it's clearly just hyperbole.

wordfactory Thu 31-Jan-13 23:21:03

Though to be fair, talented but disadvanatged DC can't get into lots of things.

Music conservatoirs, theatre groups, football name it. Without highly motivated parents, DC can't get their chance.

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 31-Jan-13 23:21:55

Seeker, you flip flop between using the word poor (which could mean anything and isn't restricted to any particular class) and the word disadvantaged. I think you have a very flexible definition of disadvantaged too.

seeker Thu 31-Jan-13 23:23:54

Russian- I have said before- things have changed. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds don't get into grammar school now - whatever happened then. It may be unpalatable, but it's true.

wordfactory Thu 31-Jan-13 23:26:52

Do you think though seeker that it might just be a reflection of how hard it is to do anyhting now wihtout highly motivated parents?

In days of yore, boxing and footie used to be the preserve of the disenfranchised, but now a DC with any interest in pursuing either would need a very supportive parent behind them.

seeker Thu 31-Jan-13 23:27:16

I don't mean to flip flop. I mean to say poor/disadvantaged. Because being poor is still the single biggest indicator for academic underachievement-for all sorts of reasons.

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 31-Jan-13 23:28:17

But it's not true. I know 4 different children from what I consider to be disadvantaged backgrounds who are at 2 different grammar schools. I know 4 is a drop in the ocean but I don't actually know that many people, so.....

My point is you make these sweeping statements which are manifestly not true and when challenged on the absolute mess of them instead of admitting that you exaggerated for effect you repeat them. But repeating them doesn't make them true.

seeker Thu 31-Jan-13 23:33:30

Well I'm glad to hear that. But you can't argue with the 2% ish children on FSM at grammar school. It's disingenuous to pretend that the socio-economic balance is the same in selective and non selective schools

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 31-Jan-13 23:34:24

AbsoluteNESS not absolute mess. Sorry. Dance 10 typing 3 tonight.

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 31-Jan-13 23:41:43

Seeker if you were saying not enough bright kids from poor or disadvantaged backgrounds are getting into grammar schools in the areas in which there still are grammar schools, and we should be doing everything we can to try and change this, including trying to make the tests untutorable, outreach schemes, mentoring schemes, allowing primary schools to push kids (and their parents) towards thinking grammar school is a possibility ...... Then I would completely agree with you. Just saying 'they never get in' and writing off those kids like that, metaphorically sacrificing them on the altar of your political agenda, is not a good enough answer. Grammar schools are not going to be abolished this year or next year. So for now, the important thing is to work to encourage people to give it a go. And work to make the likelihood of the go being a fair go higher.

LaVolcan Thu 31-Jan-13 23:47:40

Grammar schools are not going to be abolished this year or next year.

Except of course, in most cases they have been long gone.

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 31-Jan-13 23:49:36

But those that remain will continue to do so.

Yellowtip Thu 31-Jan-13 23:52:10

Russians is absolutely on the money and everyone else might as well go home smile

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 01-Feb-13 00:02:21

You mean aout being a bit dance 10 typing 3, right? ;)

BegoniaBampot Fri 01-Feb-13 00:25:55

TotallyBS - you have stood out as you posts have come across as sneery, entitled, condescending and elitiste. I should really just know my place and be thankful for whatever school I can get as you seem to think I don't pay enough tax to deserve better. If you are typical of the kind of parent I might find in a grammar school maybe it's just as well my child won't be going to one.

TotallyBS Fri 01-Feb-13 07:26:47

Begonia - one person's involved and ambitious for her DCs parenting style is another's pushy and controling parent. One person's sneery, elitist parent is another's blah blah blah.

All that I am saying that I got my DCs 'in' by spending the Easter break familiarizing them with the format of the 11+ and then the next few months practicing on speed.

You don't need years of tuition with an expensive tutor to pass so people should stop using that as an excuse. If saying that makes me patronising then it's a cross I'm prepared to bear.

Xenia Fri 01-Feb-13 07:33:06

Only 3% of children in England are at state grammars and most areas have no grammar schools. IT is a bit of a non issue unless people are debating whether to let the whole of the UK have them.

TotallyBS Fri 01-Feb-13 07:46:39

....also IMO elistism, within certain parameters, isn't necessarily a bad thing.

True, I want my DCs to study along side ambitious and academically able chidren whose parents don't roll their eyes when i talk about Oxbridge but I don't particularly care what their socio economic background is.

seeker Fri 01-Feb-13 09:19:49

Absolutely, Xenia. It would be interesting to know whether there are more A*s and As in Kent and Bucks than any other LEA.......

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