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To think we have great educational inequality, particularly at secondary school level?

(14 Posts)
Notcontent Thu 02-Mar-17 22:34:34

This is something I feel quite strongly about because I know nothing in life is equal but I think it's really depressing that children have such different opportunities available to them depending on what school they go to.

I live in North London and most of the primary schools are quite ok but it's a different story at secondary level. There are a few great schools which are selective and/or faith schools which are available to the lucky few. The rest are ok or just not very good. The government keeps banging on about choice but there isn't really much choice for most children, is there?

I was under the impression that London now had the best schools in the U.K. No?

Eolian Thu 02-Mar-17 22:38:24

Imo it's partly parental choice that creates the inequality. If everyone just had to send their child to their nearest school (and league tables were banned) then it wouldn't be so polarised and schools might cooperate with each other instead of competing for pupils.

KittyOShea Thu 02-Mar-17 22:39:02

The great schools appear great because they are selective. When you cream off the top few per cent it would be more shocking if their results were not top notch.

Look at the whole school- results/ value added/ pastoral care/ extra-curricular/ quality of leadership and word of mouth before making a judgement on any school

Tissunnyupnorth Thu 02-Mar-17 22:41:45

I live in a Noth London borough. Yes, there are selective and faith schools, however within 'the rest' category, there are many outstanding schools. What about ability to pay? Surely that is significant cause of equality in education?

Notcontent Thu 02-Mar-17 22:47:01

yes, I think it's true that many London schools have really improved but in many cases they are stil not great.

Tissunnyupnorth Thu 02-Mar-17 22:48:22

I was referring to Noth London, as that is the area the OP was describing.

PlayOnWurtz Thu 02-Mar-17 22:49:26

I agree there is very very poor provision for extremely bright and able students and also very very poor provision for children with additional needs.

If you're average then the British system is perfect for you

Tissunnyupnorth Thu 02-Mar-17 22:52:54

PlayOn Wurtz. Could you expand on this, what do you actually mean? In what way are extremely bright and able children not provided for?

PunjanaTea Thu 02-Mar-17 22:59:17

I thought state schools in England were all non-selective. How are they selecting?

PunjanaTea Thu 02-Mar-17 23:00:20

Just asking out of curiousity by the way, where I live there is still an 11+ of sorts.

ciderwithrose Thu 02-Mar-17 23:14:14

Is your worry that a school is not great because it does not have a high percentage ( e.g. 85% plus) of GCSE passes on a yearly rate, or is it based on worries about OFSTED reports, or word-of-mouth information you have picked up on?
Schools you deem to be "just ok" might be worth a visit, almost all secondaries are happy for parents to arrange visits and to tour a school so they can get a sense of what it is like during school hours.
Agree with Eolian that a truly comprehensive system would only work if schools were allocated - one of the main appeals of faith schools and selective schools is their exclusivity, and this inevitably means that other schools do not end up with as many of the more able students as they might have otherwise.
I'm a teacher by the way, I love my job at my "just ok" secondary and a lot of my students make great progress. I've attended professional observations at some of the apparently "great" private schools and been astounded by the mediocrity of the teaching (and the arrogance of the staff). You might be surprised by just how ok an ok school can be.

ciderwithrose Thu 02-Mar-17 23:20:30

PlayonWurtz, I agree there are definite problems in the UK system but would like to know if you have another country's system with which to compare the poor standard of provision for SEN and more able students?
Or if you have any suggestions yourself about how comprehensive schools (which are increasingly trying to educate 2,000 students at a time in the London area) should organise learning so that needs are better met?

PhilODox Thu 02-Mar-17 23:26:39

Punjana- schools are selective by ability (11+), ability to buy near excellent schools , by faith criteria, etc.

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