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AIBU to think that state schools should be achieving this?

(201 Posts)
KatyPutTheCuttleOn Sat 31-Aug-13 07:41:45

private schools GCSE results

Should state schools be able to achieve results closer to this?

I don't want this to be a private school bashing thread, but really, should state schools be able to achieve closer to this?

SilverApples Sat 31-Aug-13 12:34:01

I used to teach in a very rough area, in a borough where the staying on rate in either education or training was under 30%, my school was at the bottom of the heap.
Two teachers left to teach at the independent Hulme Grammar, and did a splendid job.
Same teachers, different schools.

lljkk Sat 31-Aug-13 12:39:17

Easily done. Make sure that state schools have entrance exams and interviews and minimum income thresholds for parents or if parents don't meet income threshold, the children only qualify to stay on the basis of talent or aptitude. Kick out any kids who are disruptive (who cares where they go?) Also may be able to exclude kids who don't do the homework (do ensure you impose a heavy homework load).

See? Easy.

(Oh, wait...)

maddy68 Sat 31-Aug-13 12:53:05

Most private schools have a selection process.
They ave to sit entrance exams prior to admission. Only the very brightest can go
State schools have to include everyone, all abilities and sen students
You need to look at the value added to get a true picture. Ie. taking everything into consideration their expected grades v their actual grades. Very few private schools have good VA

nennypops Sat 31-Aug-13 12:55:49

Wellington Academy, the free school sponsored by Wellington College, has just seen a slump from 47% achieving A* to C grades including English and Maths to 37%. I think that possibly tells us all we need to know about how private schools fare working in state school conditions.

RoastedCouchPotatoes Sat 31-Aug-13 12:56:51

Yes, SilverApples - currently, my DC are probably going to end up going to is a 33% pass rate. The teachers are utterly brilliant there, but something has gone wrong, down the line. It's not about homework, it's the opportunities and the fact that the school is in an area with high turn over, there is n reason to stay in education as there are no jobs for them, with families from the same position and not being able to educate themselves outside of school from a young age. As well as this, high gang rates and child crime rates means that it's not the school which is the problem, it's the poverty in the community.

NoComet Sat 31-Aug-13 13:00:16

Education isn't a level playing field, DCs are handed many of their cards at conception.

Intelligence has a large genetic component. DD2 is totally her paternal grandparents decendent (both very old school formal English teachers, who died before she was born). DD1 mops up science like DH and me, sings like our DSisters can and is dyslexic like me.

Regardless of how good or bad their schools DD1 will get reasonable science and maths marks as she is both natrually good at them and can pick our brains. DD2 would have got L3 English SAT anywhere.

By definition most private school pupils are the offspring of inteligent well educated parents. You need parents with good jobs to cover the fees.

Yes some cheat and use grandparents, but the fee paying Grandparents I know are very inteligent high up civeral sevents and computer scientists, not dim rich aristocracy.

lastnightiwenttomanderleyagain Sat 31-Aug-13 13:08:59

StarBallBunny I was about to say the same - yes there are numerous exceptions and examples of people doing hard and vital jobs who earn a pittance given the value of what they do BUT across the board there is a general correlation between earnings and intelligence/work ethic. Therefore it seems reasonable that one of the many factors at play here is that children whose parents earn enough to pay for private school might also have had a helping hand from the nature vs nurture pool.

Rowlers Sat 31-Aug-13 13:20:06

It's not just differences in ability but also attitude and ambition. Some children sadly have no-one at home to encourage them and they have no role-model to follow.

NoComet Sat 31-Aug-13 14:03:06

Yes and many of those DCs of hard working, but not so well paid parents (or parents like us where the Mum doesnt work and they have a big morgage) are the state schools top set A and A*s, in subjects they have the aptitude/perental support in.

Where state schools struggle and private schools are at a huge advantage is having the time and resorces to help DCs get good grades in things like MFL and English if they have technical parents or science when their parents are bright administrators.

At the DDs school Maths does pretty well, it's a well run dept. and they dole out loads of computer based practice. Science and particularly English have Ofsted breathing down their necks for lower ability pupils getting Cs. There is bugger all time and energy left to push an A to an A* or a safe B to a borderline A.

MFL get massively squeezed, short state school days and the timetable requirments of Maths, English and science to get ofsted acceptable marks leave them the very poor relation.

They always have been, outside the private sector. Even my grammar school, best uni in the country educated DH knows only a bit of French and a few wirds of German.

foslady Sat 31-Aug-13 14:11:59

Was going to add/agree with this then realised OP hasn't come back.....

frogspoon Sat 31-Aug-13 14:14:00

Actually, most state secondary schools offer this ( apart from the weekends) but what makes the difference is that private school pupils will turn up, state pupils wont!

Yes, this is definitely true, although at least in my own experience, state school teachers will spend less time supporting struggling students.

Maybe because they are demotivated. I know I was demotivated when I had prepared an hour of interactive revision resources for year 11 who were not my class but none of their teachers wanted to do the revision session and only one kid out of 20 showed up!

daftdame Sat 31-Aug-13 14:20:23

Raising the bar may only serve to label children not reaching that (high) standard as underachievers with nothing to offer.

Sometimes people's talents lie elsewhere but they would be forced to concentrate on the academic subjects.

So I have mixed feelings about this type of thing. Equal opportunity is one thing but trying to make everyone achieve a certain standard is completely different.

Runningchick123 Sat 31-Aug-13 14:21:25

The private school where my child attends has many parents who are in manual jobs and lots who are only average earners. There are parents who are labourers, nurses, teachers, social workers etc.
the idea that only parents in well paid elite professions can afford private school fees is not strictly true. Lots of parents afford the fees by foregoing foreign holidays, driving older cars, finding free activities to do at weekends and school holidays, not extending themselves on their mortgages etc.
this school also isn't academically selective but the children still leave having reached a much higher level of education than the children from neighbouring state schools.
As for costs and funding- state schools here get an average of £5200 per pupil per year and an additional £900 for each pupil in receipt of free school meals. The private school charges £6500 per pupil per year and has class sizes which are half that of the local state schools.
These are primary schools so not related to the OP's article as such, but nonetheless it makes me wonder how the state schools here can't provide more than they do given that they get a lot more income per class than the private schools.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 31-Aug-13 14:25:16

"I am astounded that many have around 50% pass rate though as that means almost half are failing."

If you are counting grade C as the lowest pass mark, I have pupils whose estimated grade is an F or a G (the two grades that gove wants to pull, so they will get a U).

Whathaveiforgottentoday Sat 31-Aug-13 14:30:14

It is normal for teaching staff to spend break times, lunch times, and even weekends (boarding school) supporting pupils who are struggling, especially just before exams. This would be unheard of in most state schools
Rubbish, just before exams is by far my busiest times running extra lessons, before and after schools and if timetable allows sometimes in my PPA time for A level students.
Actually, most state secondary schools offer this ( apart from the weekends) but what makes the difference is that private school pupils will turn up, state pupils wont!
Again, not in my experience, there will always be some that don't turn up but we have good attendance at revision schools and I work at a normal comprehensive.

When I worked in an international private school, we charged for revision sessions which I found an alien concept seeing as I consider it a normal part of my job.

mummytime Sat 31-Aug-13 14:42:26

"I am astounded that many have around 50% pass rate though as that means almost half are failing."

State schools if they are not Grammar schools have to take all pupils. Not everyone is able to get all A* at GCSE, not all are able to even get 5 C grades.
Also we have a government who has interfered to raise the bar, last year and this year. So it is harder to get C grades and above for GCSEs. (I have a child who would have got a C in English if he had been Welsh).

The government hasn't really interfered with iGCSE, although it is causing new syllabuses to be written so State schools can sit them.

On the other hand I know State schools (like my DC's) where the numbers getting 5 A-C GCSEs are 85%, and 29% are A/A*, and this is a true comprehensive.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 31-Aug-13 14:58:26

I get reports from my old stomping ground, a school there has recently gone "independent" (I've put the quotes as it is actually an academy). Since being an academy its results have risen in leaps and bounds, they have done this by removing pretty much all SEN pupils from the school (Its their dirty little secret).

Imagine no ASD, ADHD, dyslexia, Dyspraxia, behavioural issues.
All removed to the state school down the road.

lastnightiwenttomanderleyagain Sat 31-Aug-13 14:59:42

Runningchick I think that's a similar point though, those parents have made sacrifices as they value education, which will obviously come across in their attitude to their child's work ethic.

WHere we are, 'normal' private schools are around £5k a term, so the disparity is quite large. They're not 'elite' schools either (DH teaches at one) as there are a number of grammars that skim the cream

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sat 31-Aug-13 15:07:43

YABU and you really haven't thought it through at all.

CailinDana Sat 31-Aug-13 15:16:39

It's the students that achieve the results not the school. No matter how fantastic the teachers or how well resourced the school, some students simply will not do well academically due to lack of motivation, ability, role models etc. Schools in the uk seem to be viewed as a sort of factory that can and should churn out standard citizens with standard results. It's a bizarre attitude.

BoundandRebound Sat 31-Aug-13 15:18:03

I wish private schools were forced to take a representative sample of children of all abilities and backgrounds, then we'd see how much better they are at teaching than those who work their asses off in inner city state schools so that every child can achieve their potential

You do realise that for some children getting an E or a D grade in a GCSE is a huge achievement

neunundneunzigluftballons Sat 31-Aug-13 15:26:35

We probably have less private schools in Ireland but consistently the highest results are obtained in the state system so yanbu. I am speculating I would have to check but I would imagine that the average results are higher in the private system since they tend not to have their cohort of weaker students. Also private schools are disproportionally represented in university and probably among the higher wage earners so there are other benefits to having money.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sat 31-Aug-13 15:28:26

So, neunund, you suggest that average results are higher in private schools because they don't have weaker students.... but think the OP is not unreasonable to think state schools should be achieveing the same results confused?

frogspoon Sat 31-Aug-13 15:32:47

Imagine no ASD, ADHD, dyslexia, Dyspraxia, behavioural issues.
All removed to the state school down the road.

The school I will be teaching in is certainly not like this!

Out of a class of 24 I taught at interview 1 in 3 had an additional need.

These included Dyspraxia, Dyslexia and ADD and a specific learning difficulty.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 31-Aug-13 15:41:06


It was not my intention to imply that all independents/academies do this, it was used to show what some schools do.

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