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To find people say X public School is OK because

(389 Posts)
NoComet Tue 03-Sep-13 13:08:14

It gets DCs into Oxbridge and RG universities, a daft justification for choosing a school that costs £15,000 plus a year.

We have a local secondary (not even a true comp as there is some creaming off of bright DC by Grammar schools) that is in Special Measures that has just got two pupils in to Oxbridge.

And this is hardly news, bog standard state secondaries and sixform collages all over the country send DCs to Oxbridge and RG Universities every year.

My very ordinary Welsh Comp sent someone in the year above me to study medicine at Oxford, there were others at prestigious med schools and, now, RG uni's me included.

Yes, private schools are very nice, yes DC avoid some DCs with a bad attitude to education, Yes DC get good sports facilities and yes DC may study a wider range of subjects, esp. MFL.

But in the end your DC will, quite likely end up at exactly the same uni, doing the same course, just with poorer parents!

NoComet Tue 03-Sep-13 14:18:57

Sixform is as another poster said a mess.
Some state schools are just as selective as the local private schools (no A at GCSE, get lost), some take a far wider range of pupils, do 'soft' subjects or have loopy option groups that force DCs to go else where.

Comparing sixform results is a nightmare.

Also, I think at sixform, private schools may have an advantage. The sort of teachers who love their subjects and are good at teaching A level, may not be the ones with the skills to cope with a comps Y9 set 5

One of our local collages also as lovely, older science teachers, who I suspect may be there to actually teach

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 03-Sep-13 14:20:21

beast I agree that it's a massive and rarely discussed anomaly that comprehensive schools can suddenly get picky at A level - I was really surprised by that when looking around last year.

To be fair, though, they don't say you can't do anything if you don't have the grades' (where we are), just that you must have the right grades for the subjects you want to do at AS and A2.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 03-Sep-13 14:21:53

The sort of teachers who love their subjects and are good at teaching A level, may not be the ones with the skills to cope with a comps Y9 set 5

I think good teachers do both - and also of course within departments there are usually some staff who tend to teach lower sets, and some who teach mostly A Level. At dd's school the HT only teaches 6th form, for example.

mignonette Tue 03-Sep-13 14:23:37

I think it is pretty funny and brilliant that all three of our local comprehensives got better GCSE results at age 16 and 18 than all the local private schools in a twenty mile radius.

How pissed off must those parents be? grin

meditrina Tue 03-Sep-13 14:39:51

I've never really heard parents with DCa t private school say they do it because of grades and university offers.

Usually, they don't seem to feel the need to justify it (and why shoul they?), but if they do it's along the lines of "we thought it was the best school's for them" (nfd). and I really isn't about the exam results - it's about whole educational journey.

They're probably not pissed off either when others do well either. They will know just as well as all other local parents the qualities of their local state schools. And still choose a different style of education. It's not necessarily a utilitarian grades-are-everything choice.

Beastofburden Tue 03-Sep-13 14:42:05

our comp has both- requires certain grades to do the subject, plus a baseline level of acheievement to be allowed to progress at all. It is definitely a very very different school at sixth form.

Mignonette- sounds as if your local private schools are not very academic/good! I dont have a huge sympathy for that kind of private school, TBH. I have a lot more time for the old grammar schools who went direct grant- they were the Academies of their day, and only ended up private because of politics.

Beastofburden Tue 03-Sep-13 14:44:28

meditrina- I did! or rather, the teachers at DS1's old state school quietly took me aside and said that they didnt have the science teachers to cope with him and if we could possibly afford it, we should jump ship to the ex-grammar school, now fee paying, in the same town.

Where we lived was moving from three-tier to two tier and staff were leaving because of the uncertainty. We definitely moved DS1 for the quality of science teaching he would get.

woozlebear Tue 03-Sep-13 14:48:35

My very ordinary Welsh Comp sent someone in the year above me to study medicine at Oxford

But the thing is, OP, that in a lot of independent schools, there will be several such people every year.

Beastofburden Tue 03-Sep-13 14:51:44

Come to that, woozle, I went to Oxford from my very ordinary state comp. But that didnt make me remotely normal for that school.

Lets take two schools where I am. local comp- very selective at sixth form- sent 18 people to Oxbridge last year. Lovely. except that is 3% of their (highly selective) sixth form. DS1s old school sent 30% of their year group. Local comp needed to send 180 kids to Oxbridge to be in the same range as that.

elastamum Tue 03-Sep-13 14:52:10

Well said, I have absolutely no problem with anyone elses educational choices. But I do think that it is a sad thing that in parts of the country, education is not all that good.

Most of my DC's friends and my DP's children are state educated. However, they all live in good catchment areas, where there are good state options. We dont.

Its my money and my choice, which I am happy with. And its not just about grades. As I am a single parent woking full time, who gets home late and travels a lot, my choice of school school offers my DC a lot of options that they wouldnt get if they got home at 4pm every night to an empty house.

The cost BTW is equivalent to a second mortgage. If it makes you feel smug that you dont do what I do and pay out that much for a good education for your DC, then at least I've brightened your day smile

BeattieBow Tue 03-Sep-13 14:53:55

chickydoo, my dd's state school got 14 children into Oxbridge too.

It makes me cross people who say "I had no choice but to send ds/dd to private school, the only other choice was a dire state school.". Because those people did have a choice clearly - most people do not.

but agree, standards of state schools do vary considerably, and I think you have to get quite a few A grades at GCSE to get into the sixth form of my dd's state school.

Crowler Tue 03-Sep-13 14:57:08

In neighborhoods having sink estates, many parents will send their children to private schools to avoid the kind of influence brought to bear.

Abra1d Tue 03-Sep-13 14:57:14

'I think it is pretty funny and brilliant that all three of our local comprehensives got better GCSE results at age 16 and 18 than all the local private schools in a twenty mile radius'

To know whether that was really brilliant or not I'd need to know which GCSEs each school offered. Because if the better results were in Sociology and Business Studies, rather than Latin and Physics I might disagree.

Talkinpeace Tue 03-Sep-13 15:11:01

Oxbridge take around 10,000 students a year
The rest of the Russell Group take another 75,000
600,000 students a year take GCSEs
(and in comps and sec mods around 1/3 take mostly non GCSE courses)

Private schools select.
Public schools more so.
It is therefore utterly unsurprising that selective schools get more of their pupils into selective places of higher education.

Just hope those folks can find a plumber, a mechanic, a hairdresser and somebody to drive the Ocado van - as that is where the non A level students at the "dire" state schools end up.

whois Tue 03-Sep-13 15:11:06

It's not normally just about results, it's about choosing the right school for your child to enable them to thrive. Be that academically, in sport, socially or at some other activity.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 03-Sep-13 15:12:05

I agree that most often, parents who choose to send their children to private schools don't say 'it's for the results, and Oxbridge'. I guess that would be a bit of a hostage to fortune anyway!

What you do hear, though, is that state schools need to up their game and get the same results, or that 'the results speak for themselves' and so on. (see the first post on this thread, in fact).

In fact of course the results do anything but speak for themselves - they are themselves, and they are wilfully misunderstood.

Beastofburden Tue 03-Sep-13 15:14:01

Talk- actually, its only 7,000 admitted to Oxbridge (6,937 this last year).

Beastofburden Tue 03-Sep-13 15:16:54

Steamingnit- agree. All subjects are not equal and straight As in soft subjects are not the same as straight As in RG subjects. They just dont give the same opportunities to the kids. I actually think some kids are being badly, unkindly misled by their schools on that one.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 03-Sep-13 15:18:24

Then again, at least those children wouldn't have been turned away at year 7, which they would at the private school...

mignonette Tue 03-Sep-13 15:18:58

Sorry to disappoint you Abra but they are gold standard RG approved subjects. They also offer Socio/Psych/Theology and RE/Music Theory & Practice.

The Math/English/Science/Language/Hist/Geog were all better than all three local Private schools.

That is why it is so brilliant and testimony to very dedicated, hard working teachers, ancillary staff and pupils. You know you are super bright, committed and hard working when you get these results without the advantages of private education.

Well done to all those. They'll know who they are.

Beastofburden Tue 03-Sep-13 15:21:54

true, steamingnit, but state schools could have it both ways. They could take the full range of kids but just teach the RG subjects at A level. And if they did, they would at a stroke remove the single biggest barrier to wider participation in RG Universities.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 03-Sep-13 15:27:33

Hmm, yes but not everyone who wants to do A levels, or indeed go to university, wants to do a traditional subject at an RG university. What about those ones?

Talkinpeace Tue 03-Sep-13 15:34:14

One of our local 6th form colleges gets no children at all into Russell Group Univerities

In fact only a tiny minority of its students take any A levels at all

and yet its courses are so successful and in demand that students travel from miles and counties around to get there
400 of them live on site so they can do the courses

many of the courses are massively over subscribed
and employment prospects afterwards are excellent

there is life outside the narrow blinkers of many private school parents (and politicians)

burberryqueen Tue 03-Sep-13 15:40:03

that is a good post talinpeace - there does seem to be this assumption on mumsnet and elsewhere that the only way forward at 18 is a clutch of 'hard' A levels and a place at a RG uni, everyone is consigned to the bin of life.

burberryqueen Tue 03-Sep-13 15:40:14

*everyone else

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