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To think that grammar schools for the "poor" is a stupid idea?

(73 Posts)
AwfulAuntie Sun 05-Mar-17 11:04:12

I know it's Daily Mail, but...
"New grammar schools should be created that only admit children from the very poorest families, an academy chief has said.

Dame Rachel de Souza believes selective schools could boost social mobility by barring wealthier children not eligible for the pupil premium – the official indicator of poverty."
Surely it's a very stupid idea - to segregate kids by wealth. And who would like to wear a school uniform that signals you are "poor"? Or how the standards of a grammar school will be attained if the selection will be done on the grounds of a family's income and not the merit?

Ps a English is not my first language so sorry for spelling mistakes. ..

Mrsglitterfairy Sun 05-Mar-17 11:08:03

Hmmmm I haven't read the article but from what you've posted here, I sort of get it.
I was academically gifted and went to quite a prestige grammar school based on my abilities. However, I struggled to fit in and over 90% of the pupils there were from very well off families, had big houses etc. My mum was a single parent, didn't see my dad much and we lived in a council house. She worked full time to earn enough to get by but we very rarely had much left over for treats. All of our sports equipment had to be bought by us (for 5 different sports) as well as the uniform which was very expensive. My mum did her best and I'll always be greatful to her for it but I did feel like an outsider for most of my time there.

KarmaNoMore Sun 05-Mar-17 11:08:05

It amounts to segregation by class/income, pretty much as private schools.

Having said that, I also think is a stupid idea. Insular and not conductive to allow kids to integrate at some point in the future, within the student body/workforce the school would like their students to join.

Bensyster Sun 05-Mar-17 11:11:49

Yep, stupid idea!

knackeredinyorkshire Sun 05-Mar-17 11:15:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KarmaNoMore Sun 05-Mar-17 11:17:11

PS. I was the poor kid in a private school.
The best I got of it is the ability to act as a social chameleon and to have a more open mind when it comes to how issues are perceived by people of different economic backgrounds.

I attended university with graduates of a private girls schools. They were so exposed to the world that they thought poor people were poor because they were lazy or didn't have toilets because they didn't care much about getting one built.

On the other hand, I attended secondary at a good school whose only failure was that as almost all students came from disadvantaged backgrounds, students found it impossible to believe they could do anything else than graduating, do some engineering studies and go and work for a factory. You couldn't even talk about dreams or aspirations without being laughed at.

QueenOfTheCatBastards Sun 05-Mar-17 11:17:22

Grammar schools in general are a shocking idea. Until there are grammar schools everywhere they should be mothballed.

hesterton Sun 05-Mar-17 11:18:02

Grammar schools segregate by wealth hugely. This is against what they should be doing if they have to exist.

But we should be working on ensuring those from poorer backgrounds are not disadvantaged by the system. (They are no less likely to be cognitively able than those from monied backgrounds)

The system rewards those who can afford tutoring.

The system rewards those who can pay for transport. (£100 a month for a pupil premium student in one case I personally know of - what single parent on benefits can find that without some sort of help?)

The system rewards those who have spent their life surrounded by books, museums, travel, parents who can and know how to develop language skills through modelling.

The system rewards those who have parents who are confident at negotiating the way through admissions procedures.

Without discrimination against the wealthy, adequate places will never be found for the bright children with disadvantaged backgrounds. They will always be under-represented.

I don't think the answer even lies in grammar schools and can't see how further segregation will help...

BarbarianMum Sun 05-Mar-17 11:18:08

I don't support grammar schools but if we have to have them then restricting entry to bright children from disadvantaged groups seems a much better idea than using them as a way for the middle classes to swerve private school fees.

ExplodedCloud Sun 05-Mar-17 11:18:13

Sort of a ghetto then?

YouTheCat Sun 05-Mar-17 11:18:45

So, what would happen if a pupil's family had a change of financial circumstances which meant they were no longer eligible? Would they get turfed out to the local academy?

Silly idea really.

AwfulAuntie Sun 05-Mar-17 11:18:49

Knackered, I agree! I think all kids should be tutored by state schools to minimise the advantage that wealthy parents can "buy" for their children.

hesterton Sun 05-Mar-17 11:20:41

Who pays for this tutoring? State schools are about to have yet another round of vicious funding cuts.

AwfulAuntie Sun 05-Mar-17 11:22:20

Hesterton, but surely it will be possible to introduce a few VR/NVR lessons in school curriculum? Maybe the teacher could teach some NVR during maths lessons and VR during English?

AwaywiththePixies27 Sun 05-Mar-17 11:25:28

^not eligible for the pupil premium – the official indicator of poverty."

Is it really? Someone needs to tell half the pupils that at my DCs naice school then.

Surely it's a very stupid idea - to segregate kids by wealth. And who would like to wear a school uniform that signals you are "poor"?

Well yes in a sense, but I had a very lovely college friend who had shit because her private school uniform indicated her and her sister was rich.

You could argue that kids are already segregated by wealth in some areas, those in council estates having to go to the nearest crap comp, whilst others who have the means to, can afford to move to an area with a nice GS/ or to pay for their DCs to go to a private school.

ErrolTheDragon Sun 05-Mar-17 11:36:18

Terrible idea, as PP have said.

Could something like a 'contextual offer' help, ie the 11+ pass mark could be lower for children eligible for the pupil premium?

ExplodedCloud Sun 05-Mar-17 11:36:58

Presumably it would be relatively easy to engineer poverty for the purposes of getting into a 'poor' school. People do all sorts to get into outstanding schools.

AwfulAuntie Sun 05-Mar-17 11:42:13

I don't think it would be fair to lower a pass mark for pupils eligible for a pupil premium. They are no more deserving than children whose parents are struggling and working in low paid jobs.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Sun 05-Mar-17 11:44:46

Unfortunately a few VR and NVR lessons in an already packed curriculum are not going to set aside the years of privilege afforded by 7+ years in a private school, in addition to tutoring often for years. It would be a start but would probably only bump a few up. Not sure what the solution is though.

BretonRose Sun 05-Mar-17 11:48:40

Is that based on those really intensive schools in the US? The ones that start early and finish late, plus set mountains of homework? They've had good results academically and socially. But I think they are pitched a bit differently than Grammar School, more like places that help kids catch up from the generations of neglect of the urban (I.e. black) public school system there.

AwfulAuntie Sun 05-Mar-17 11:51:49

I still can't see how these "schools for poor" will "boost social mobility". I think it might do the opposite and hinder further integration and aspirations.

WorraLiberty Sun 05-Mar-17 11:53:44

Is it really? Someone needs to tell half the pupils that at my DCs naice school then

Why? confused

PP is still the official indicator of poverty and is used frequently by SLT, OFSTED, local authorities, governing bodies etc.

I'm not sure what 'telling the pupils' would achieve?

GreenGinger2 Sun 05-Mar-17 11:57:21

I doubt very much that there would only be grammar schools for the poor. You'd end up getting stigmatised schools( the poor and the school for the better off ). Those just over the cut off would be resentful as they'd be excluded.

Hesterton your description of grammars pretty much sums up the comp system in many areas.

GreenGinger2 Sun 05-Mar-17 12:01:18

www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-39076204

And a few VR lessons don't count for much.

Solid maths skills and a good vocabulary from reading and language use do though in the same way they give advantages to some in Sats and GCSEs( which many also tutor for).

GetAHaircutCarl Sun 05-Mar-17 12:01:57

I don't see any reason why selective schools cannot introduce contextualised offers, as many universities do.

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