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To think that the decision of the education secretary to sanction the proposed grammar annexe will lead to a number of grammar schools applying for annexes.

(125 Posts)
sunshield Thu 15-Oct-15 14:35:16

This is a conterversial subject, particulary on mumsnet about whether grammar schools aid social mobilty. This however is surely a victory for the parents of Sevonoaks. They have campaigned for at least the same opportunity of grammar school education as other towns in a selective county.

I personally think it is fair and correct, that parents are able to ask for a type of school they believe to be in the interest of their children. That includes selective, academy or religous schools.

I am wondering though whether now that a way of getting through legal problems about expanding selective schools, there will be a flury of applications from other grammar schools.

GoblinLittleOwl Thu 15-Oct-15 14:36:51

Do hope so.

Vixxfacee Thu 15-Oct-15 14:37:07

What a wordy title. Is this a possible dissertation title.

BertrandRussell Thu 15-Oct-15 14:39:30

The problem is that the parents campaigning for a grammar school for their children are also, by default, campaigning for a secondary modern school for everyone else's. Which puts rather a different complexion on things.......".

MrsCaecilius Thu 15-Oct-15 14:43:24


Stratter5 Thu 15-Oct-15 14:44:07

I hope so, going to a really decent grammar has transformed my DDs lives.

They're clever, really clever. I'm not. I'd have benefitted from going to a school that taught me how to do something. One size fits all education doesn't work, and it's about time children were allowed to pursue careers that suit them, rather than being shoehorned into a you must go to uni mindset.

BertrandRussell Thu 15-Oct-15 14:50:04

"One size fits all education doesn't work"

So you want your child to be measured at the age of 10, told which of 2 sizes they are and kept in that size til they're 16? And to make it worse, their waist size determines their shoe size........

BoboChic Thu 15-Oct-15 14:55:08

There was no good reason why Sevenoaks, unlike neighbouring Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells, didn't have a grammar school.

pearpotter Thu 15-Oct-15 14:57:37

I don't necessarily agree with a grammar system, but whatever system there is, parents want to do the best for their kids within it.

Also calling the non-selective schools in Kent secondary moderns is disingenuous. Knole Academy in Sevenoaks is a very good and over-subscribed school in itself with its own grammar stream.

The problem in Sevenoaks is that while many children were qualifying for grammar places, they were sometimes being offered a place as far afield as Folkestone! Even when the options were a bit more local than that kids are still travelling at least ten miles in one direction to grammar school, some many more and with journeys more difficult than many adult commutes.

I agree on the social mobility side it doesn't help less well off kids because the test still requires tuition of some kind as schools are not allowed to teach verbal and non verbal reasoning. I think who it does help though, which is often overlooked, is middle income families- kids from those families where the parents have perhaps just about been able to afford some tuition, but would never be able to afford private school. Those kids who pass the test are then able to go to a school whose alumni number the "great and good" which means the middle income kids may have a lot of chances their parents didn't have.

Stratter5 Thu 15-Oct-15 15:01:55

No Bertrand, I'd simply like to see a school system that works. And fwiw, I think the middle school system works best, those few extra years before transferring to high school make a lot of difference, and by then it IS pretty obvious which children are academically inclined, and which ones would do better with a learning system that leans towards a profession.

We don't all need to go to uni, whatever the government thinks. Learning a profession/trade/however you want to term it would have saved me a lot of wasted time fannying about in unsuitable jobs.

Stratter5 Thu 15-Oct-15 15:03:45

Btw mine didn't have any extra tuition, and qualify for FSM and bursaries.

BarbarianMum Thu 15-Oct-15 15:06:15

Oh I should think so. After all, private education is so expensive these days and you can't really have John and Jemima being educated with the lower classes now, can we? Middle class privilage is very important and must be defended.

Separate but equal, that's the way hmm

FrozenAteMyDaughter Thu 15-Oct-15 15:12:10

I suspect Knole Academy is such a good school precisely because there was no grammar school in Sevenoaks. I wonder how long their grammar stream will continue sad.

I think it's a retrograde step myself, but I don't blame parents for waiting to the best for their kids. It is just a shame the grammar system is such that it has to be done as a one-off choice at 10.

Stratter5 Thu 15-Oct-15 15:13:27

WTF are you on about? Where did I mention class?

Fwiw I was a secretary. A lowly, hard working secretary. I just value an appropriate education. My kids are clever, I'm not. They've benefitted from a grammar school. I'd have benefitted from learning to type at school.

It's got fuck all to do with private education and class in my house.

BoboChic Thu 15-Oct-15 15:14:25

Schools in Sevenoaks are good because it's a very expensive commuter town with an above average intake.

Stratter5 Thu 15-Oct-15 15:15:00

Actually, it's not a one off choice. You can transfer to the grammars here at any stage, and they are geared towards extra intakes at 13 and A level.

FrozenAteMyDaughter Thu 15-Oct-15 15:15:20

I think BM's remark about class was aimed at pearpotter

FrozenAteMyDaughter Thu 15-Oct-15 15:16:54

Possibly BoboChic, but now there will be a grammar school in Sevenoaks, how long before all the 11+ passers go there rather than to non-selective schools with grammar streams? Not long I suspect.

BoboChic Thu 15-Oct-15 15:17:00

Ah, so some posters think that grammar school = state school for the MC?

BoboChic Thu 15-Oct-15 15:18:11

Sevenoaks DC have been commuting to Tonbridge by train for generations in order to attend grammars.

FrozenAteMyDaughter Thu 15-Oct-15 15:18:14

Where are you Stratter5? I am not sure it is so easy to do that in Kent (although I am not an expert, not yet at least).

Stratter5 Thu 15-Oct-15 15:19:36

They should try looking round the grammars up here. It's one of the most deprived areas of the country. Not exactly a bastion of the MC. V high percentage of FSM at the grammars here, and they are a real opportunity to get on here.

BertrandRussell Thu 15-Oct-15 15:20:03

There's only ever been one poster who was honest enough to say that she wanted her children in grammar schools because she didn't want them queuing for lunch with 'thick children" I really admired her for it.

BarbarianMum Thu 15-Oct-15 15:20:15

My post was in response to the OP. BoboChic grammar schools are pretty much the preserve of the middle classes - the days when they were a conduit to social mobility is long gone.

LunchpackOfNotreDame Thu 15-Oct-15 15:20:23

Hopefully the other grammar counties will also pick up on it. Our county has the bizarre situation of all of one end of the county can apply to a school the other end of the county as it has no catchment area but the parents from that area cannot apply the other way because the other schools have very strict catchment areas.

It makes no sense

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