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To Think this is a new low in "social Mobility".

(101 Posts)
smokepole Thu 29-Jan-15 22:55:37

Just browsing the updated DOE performance tables, "Weald of Kent" Grammar in Tonbridge has officially 0.0% FSM in its 1134 pupils. I am not picking on them in particular , because I would not be surprised to see
Borlasse's in Marlow the same or others, but I just think this is "quite a startling statistic"

This is surely a new low in "Social Mobility" I thought grammar schools were typically about 2% FSM but 0.0% sends out a terrible message.

scarlettsmummy2 Thu 29-Jan-15 23:02:57

It's not great, however, that's not to say they don't have lots of children from low income families. Not sure about kent, but where I am, the house has to be completely workless in order to be eligible.

SnowWhiteAteTheApple Fri 30-Jan-15 08:24:24

Why does it send out a terrible message just because they all pay for school lunches?

Lots of people use those stats from Ofsted reports to get an idea of the type of school, ones with a low FSM rate means that the parents have a good work ethic and that is likely being passed onto the children. In return results will be better. That's good surely. Those on FSM, in the main, are targeted as the results show there is a big gap between those on pupil premium compared to those not.

Caronaim Fri 30-Jan-15 08:27:59

It is in Tonbridge!

RJnomore Fri 30-Jan-15 08:29:23

"Ones with a low fsm rate means the parents have a good work ethic"

It's always amusing how people buy into that sort of crap.

skylark2 Fri 30-Jan-15 08:30:06

I think that statistic is pretty meaningless unless you know what, for instance, the unemployment rate is round there.

What's the FSM rate in the schools in that area that the kids who don't get into the grammar school go to?

There are state primaries round here where the FSM rate will be pretty darn close to zero. That's because they are small, select based on proximity, and are in wealthy areas, not because they won't take kids whose parents are poor.

smokepole Fri 30-Jan-15 08:58:27

Its Tonbridge ( not Monaco) !

Seriously though are you telling me that, there are no FSM children who should be there. The other statistic that makes it look like Mobility is going backwards is the fact that over the six years 4% have at one time or another been eligible . This means that previously 4 or 5 girls eligible for FSM joined yet nobody has joined with FSM eligibilty in the last 6 years. Terrible since grammar schools need to be making at least an attempt to get bright disadvantaged pupils in.

TheNewStatesman Fri 30-Jan-15 08:58:32

It is a shame, but it's hard to know what to do about it.

smokepole Fri 30-Jan-15 09:00:33

This means that on average 4-5 pupils eligible for FSM joined each year, but not one girl in the last 6 years !

I just had a quick look at some of the other schools in Tonbridge e.g. the Secondary Moderns and unsurprisingly all of them had more than 0% free school meals.

I think its fair to say that the Grammar doesn't fully reflect the local area

William Borlase - 1.1% in the last 6 years
Great Marlow - 15.8% in the last 6 years

taxi4ballet Fri 30-Jan-15 09:25:47

Perhaps this could be looked at from another angle - and maybe the lack of success in bright children from disadvantaged backgrounds in gaining a place should be laid at the door of the local feeder primary schools?

TooHasty Fri 30-Jan-15 09:33:11

I think that looking at one year cohort in one school, is not statistically significant
Also you need to look at the claims generally in the area for the same time.
A third thing is that people do not always declare their eligibility

smokepole Fri 30-Jan-15 09:43:46

FSM for Tonbridge Schools: Hilview 8.8% Tonbridge Grammar 1.2% Judd 0.9% Hugh Christie 17.9% Hayesbrook 12.8%.

You can see that 0.0% is not representative of the area.

Toohasty. I agree some people are reluctant to declare their eligibility . The 0.0% figure is for the whole school so 7 years.. It means the school has not had any FSM eligible pupils join in the last 6 years (whether any of them were eligible but parents declined, we don't know, but it would 1 or 2 pupils at most.)

Frikadellen Fri 30-Jan-15 09:55:21

Livong in the area where weald of kent is a possibility for mine and friends children to go I know that one of the girls who currently attends this school would be eligble for fsm however her mother will not apply feeling it will stigmatise them as a family. I gave had several conversation s with her about this.
2 of thw children who were in my now y8 sons school would also be eligble but they got scholarships to private schools. Another child who will go this sep has already been given a scolaeship.
so whilst you can say this is not goos. There are many other things at play that needs considering. I know some people prefer bennet memorial in tunbridge wells over grammar schools so would be interesting to see what their fsm is.

Bennett Memorial - FSM 7.7% in the last 6 years

KnittedJimmyChoos Fri 30-Jan-15 10:12:59

This is surely a new low in "Social Mobility" I thought grammar schools were typically about 2% FSM but 0.0% sends out a terrible message

To me it begs the question are the local state primaries doing all they can to help their potential grammar candidates get ready for the exam? Like their counterparts in private primaries?

tiggytape Fri 30-Jan-15 10:18:28

It is a shame, but it's hard to know what to do about it.
Many grammar schools are now changing their admissions criteria so that a pupil on FSM who passes the 11+ gets priority for a place over other candidates who also pass but who aren't on FSM.

In most areas, more children pass the 11+ than there are places so there is some kind of sifting process to decide who gets in.
Some areas do it by 'highest score wins'
Some areas do it by who lives closer to the school.
And now more are doing it by taking some FSM children first (but only out of those who actually pass the test - not just anyone on FSM who applies).

In practical terms it will mean a few extra children on FSM in some grammar schools where previously there have been none or very few
Some FSM children do pass these tests and have parents who encourage them but they don't always make the final cut if for example their score was 1 point less (perhaps where they have not had formal tutoring this in fact means they are even brighter than those on 1 point more who had 2 years of preparation) or they live 0.5 of a mile too far away especially in areas where high prices surround better schools.

In the sharp-elbowed world of 11+ hysteria, these changes caused some outrage (a child on a slightly lower mark - but still a pass - could possible get in over a child on a score 1 point higher) but in reality it won't change things that much. Unfortunately grammar school entry is so competitive now that some degree of financial investment is almost always used ranging from just buying the books to do at home to formal tutoring with 1 or 2 tutors a week for sometimes 2 years or more.

tiggytape Fri 30-Jan-15 10:22:55

To me it begs the question are the local state primaries doing all they can to help their potential grammar candidates get ready for the exam?

Primary schools do not prepare children for the 11+
In fully selective areas, the primary schools may have 1 or 2 practice papers at school in the weeks before but that is all.
In areas with a mix of comps and grammars, the schools are not involved at all. The 11+ exams are often held on a Saturday, parents have to choose to enter their child (or not) and the primary school wouldn't be helping with that at all. Some 11+ exams include work not even covered at primary school for example Non Verbal Reasoning questions.

KnittedJimmyChoos Fri 30-Jan-15 10:39:57

* tiggytape Fri 30-Jan-15 10:22:55

Well this alone is massively disadvantaging state primary pupils in all sorts of ways. just think of all those pupils who could have a shot at it, whose parents are not interested are not being encouraged by their own school....

even timing help in an exam situation can help massively.

KnittedJimmyChoos Fri 30-Jan-15 10:41:59

I do not understand why possible candidates are not given a few work shops to help them have a go at the exam!

AalyaSecura Fri 30-Jan-15 11:02:23

I have never understood why primary schools in fully selective areas don't help prepare for the 11+. Would love it to be explained.

TheNewStatesman Fri 30-Jan-15 11:29:36

The grammar school system is not too popular among teachers in regular primary schools, and I suspect this leads to some resistance to the idea of prepping kids. (I don't like the GS either, but if it exists, it seems a shame not to help poor kids who might be able to get in...)

tiggytape Fri 30-Jan-15 12:21:26

Most grammar areas do nothing at all. Many primary schools do not approve of or encourage the selection at 11. They also have the Year 6 SATS in May to work towards and are working at that pace not at the pace dictated by the 11+ (which generally requires being fully prepared in the first 8 weeks of Year 6).

Fully selective areas like Bucks do a few practice questions and some "familarisation" work in school which basically means children will have some idea about the format and question types.

But this has to be compared against what parents who are serious about the 11+ will do. On MN people post time and time again "if they need tuition they will sink when they get to grammar school" or "children just used to take the test, nobody had a tutor and the clever ones were fine" but times have changed and competition for places is fierce. People will travel 1-2 hours form out of area to go to a grammar and thousands of children take the exam for some schools. Even the top child in each primary class tends to have a tutor or at least a mum or dad doing work books and timed tests with them at home. The 11+ exams are held in the first part of Year 6, very little a school does will compare to the intensive coaching most children get.

KnittedJimmyChoos Fri 30-Jan-15 12:29:55

The grammar school system is not too popular among teachers in regular primary schools

Is it down to teachers though and do they have a right to curtail a childs chances that will affect whole life?

KnittedJimmyChoos Fri 30-Jan-15 12:31:12

Many primary schools do not approve of or encourage the selection at 11

But is it their place to do this - decide this or let this view be known?

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