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To wonder if there are supporters of grammar schools who didn't go to grammar schools themselves

(850 Posts)
WildebeestH Wed 24-May-17 14:57:40

Just that really. The only friends I have who support grammar schools went to grammar schools themselves. I'm intrigued to know if there are many people who support them having not been to a grammar (or other selective) school and if so why?

Headofthehive55 Wed 24-May-17 15:59:48

I'm not a particular supporter of selective education, but I don't dislike it. It has merit. We suffered with a small comp that had most things mixed ability and I don't think it catered for either end if the spectrum of ability.
Interestingly it was my very academically weak child that seemed to feel it most- she hated being with other who were so much better than she was. It dented her confidence a lot.
Actually she would have been happier in a secondary modern as academic achievement wouldn't have been pushed in her face quite so much.

GreenGinger2 Wed 24-May-17 16:19:46

We didn't go(both went to comprehensives that were beyond crap). On father's side grandparents left school at 13/ 14. On mother's side one went to a secondary modern,one from the poorest family out of all the grandparents went to a top grammar a year early. All 3 of our DC attend grammars.

TeenAndTween Wed 24-May-17 16:21:27

head I think your problem was small and had most things mixed ability both of which are easily solvable without resorting to separating children age 10 by a test where being able to afford tutoring can make a big difference to your chance of passing.

eelbecomingforyou Wed 24-May-17 16:24:02

I support grammar schools without having gone to one... It's not that unusual.

One of my dc is at grammar - she didn't have tutoring to pass the 11+; the other dc will not take the 11+.

DD at grammar is loving it; ds is also loving his school. Horses for courses.

GreenGinger2 Wed 24-May-17 16:25:47

We support them because we had a crap education and loathed the comprehensive system. We were bored bright kids who were never pushed and just coasted. We both felt like fish out of water and were bullied. We couldn't afford to live in the catchment of an area that offered entrance to a top comprehensive. Grammars gave us choice and our DC the chance to have an education we would have loved to have had. We like the ethos in our grammars and non of the comps we visited offered the same.

treaclesoda Wed 24-May-17 16:26:34

In my child's primary school there are a lot of parents who intend to send their children to grammar schools despite not having gone to one themselves. Academic selection is totally the norm in my area and I have never really known anyone except policiticians to be opposed to it. The people I know who went to non grammars are glad they went to non grammars because they felt that those suited them. The people I know who went to grammars are mostly glad they went to grammars because that suited them as well. I don't know anyone who went to a non grammar who wishes they had gone to grammar school, although I do know people who went to grammar school who didn't enjoy it and wish their parents had sent them to a non grammar.

Eolian Wed 24-May-17 16:27:38

I'm the opposite! Went to one (and did very well as a result) but don't support them!

vitaminC Wed 24-May-17 16:31:56

I would have loved to have the opportunity to go to a school where working hard and succeeding were seen as positive things!
As it was, I went to a grotty comprehensive school, where I was bullied mercilessly for being bright. I still feel sick just thinking about that time in my life sad

PlayOnWurtz Wed 24-May-17 16:33:48

I went to one. I hated it, it was the worst place imaginable for me to be educated. I support grammars as for one of my dc it is the only place I would want them educated and we can't afford private education.

Ginorchoc Wed 24-May-17 16:35:51

I went to a terrible comprehensive school in special measures, I was bright but have dyslexia so left school with no GCSEs , no school or parent support. Dyslexic meant "thick" to my parents, eventually went to Uni via professional access qualifications. My bright daughter is at Grammar school, the only other two options are badly performing comprehensive schools, with very little aspirations from students or teachers. She won't go through what I went through and I appreciate the opportunity she has that I never had.

IonaNE Wed 24-May-17 16:36:03

Yes. I didn't go to school in the UK at all. But I was a teacher in the UK for years. In comprehensives in LAs in high deprivation areas. Kids who want to learn deserve better.

CruCru Wed 24-May-17 16:37:24

I we t to a comprehensive and support the idea of Grammars. However, it's unlikely that there will be any new Grammars set up in areas with a Labour council so there won't be any in my area.

@WildebeestH - you have forgotten another group - those who didn't go to grammar schools themselves, but know someone who did - parent, child, friend.

Two of my dses went to grammar schools before we moved, and I was impressed by the quality of the education they got - but following our move, they went to a very good comprehensive school, as did the youngest ds, and they all did very well there.

I am sure ds1 and ds2 would have done fine wherever they'd gone, but ds3 benefited from being at a comprehensive school - he had not passed the 11+ high enough to get into one of the grammar schools, and would have ended up in a not-particularly-good comprehensive, had we not moved, and got him into the good school with his brothers.

I went to a comprehensive school - it had previously been a secondary modern, and my year was the first fully comprehensive year. Had I been a year older, I would have done the 11+, and I am pretty sure I would have gone to the local grammar school. As I was bullied (partly for being academically smart and a hard worker) at the comprehensive, I am sure I would have been happier at the grammar school. But that chance was denied to me.

RoseGreen Wed 24-May-17 16:48:09

I went to a variety of secondary schools. 1 grammar ( 2 years), a catholic comprehensive (1 year), non-selective comprehensive (2 years). I didn't have tutoring for my 11+.

The main difference that I noticed was that at the grammar school being clever was seen as a positive thing. At the comprehensives u had to hide it to avoid being bullied. At the small comprehensive bright pupils were challenged and brought forwards as we're the ones that were struggling. At the huge catholic comprehensive there were so many kids that the teachers never really got to know them and everything felt very impersonal, like a conveyer belt (this class finished next class in) ...little thought for individuals and a lot less likely to notice when a child needed extra support whether academic or emotional etc

So personally I'd prefer a grammar for a bright child. And I prefer small or medium schools in all cases so that children don't get lost. I think it's about having a choice and finding what's right for your child rather than liking grammars per-se

PinkSquash Wed 24-May-17 16:48:12

STBXH and I are both comp kids. Our DC go to a grammar school so we support them. Although would have been happy with whatever school they chose really.

Believeitornot Wed 24-May-17 16:49:23

My dh went to grammar and was adamant that our dcs wouldn't.

I didn't go to grammar and I'm against academic selection at 11, because so much can change in a child's abilities - why make an arbitrary cut off at that point?

I sort of coasted along then at about 12, all of a sudden became top of the class etc. I might have done better at a grammar school, but because I would have failed any entrance exam at 11, it was ruled out as an option.

There is no evidence to support academic selection at 11. Not that I'm aware. Yes it's fine if you're academic and at the age of 11, you can pass and get in. But no good if you peak later.

Parents who like grammars probably do for the same reason as private schooling. It's that sense of privilege and being "better" than others and not wanting their children to mix with "rough kids". That's my sense.

whatithink Wed 24-May-17 16:52:45

I support grammar schools and didn't go to one. My son is about to start at grammar in September. I went to a crap comprehensive hence supporting grammar schools so much.

TFPsa Wed 24-May-17 16:52:56

A not uncommon type of GS apologist round where I live is the privately educated parent who can't [as a result of some combination of house price inflation/fees inflation/their own limitations] afford to buy the same for their kids [e.g. £15k of post tax income kid for years, ouch] but who unlike most can afford a one-off few grand per child to tutor the heck out of their kids towards the end of primary school and hence get a GS place. Social immobility at its best, with GSs putting a brake on the natural order of things.

NotCitrus Wed 24-May-17 17:01:07

Seems to be people who blame all their lack of success or aspiration on having been to a crap comp or getting bullied at school (which they assume wouldn't have happened in a grammar).
Thing is, comps now are hugely different to 30 years ago - back then loads of kids left at 16 with no qualifications and no-one really cared, whereas now the school wants kids to get passes for their Ofsted.

MrNC and younger siblings went to a comp which he (severely dyslexic) did really well in, then switched to a grammar - he and two siblings hated it because all the practical subjects were downvalued or non-existent.

Locally there are huge comps which act like schools within schools, which seems to be a good option - my experience is that large schools can work very well for kids who may not fit in among smaller groups.

GreenGinger2 Wed 24-May-17 17:07:52

Um who says we weren't successful or have aspirations.hmm

3 degrees between us( no thanks in any way to either comp) and 2 successful careers.

The op asked a question,posters answered. Were we supposed to lie?

Headofthehive55 Wed 24-May-17 17:12:23

tween yes it is an issue with small comps - they really don't have enough to make ability based groups.

We also have found that there still is an issue with positivity towards academically inclined children both from teachers and other children.

BroomstickOfLove Wed 24-May-17 17:18:47

Most of the people I know who went to grammars support comprehensive education. I live in an area where the vast majority of comprehensive schools are very good. My grammar school was lovely, but I'm very glad that my children are growing up in an area that doesn't have one.

Headofthehive55 Wed 24-May-17 17:19:57

Unfortunately I don't think mixing children at that age is good. They are possibly at their most vulnerable and to run the gauntlet of verbal abuse due to being bright is no different today, than what it was when I went to the comp.

Filler44 Wed 24-May-17 17:22:16

I went to a comp ,was bullied, no help from teachers and as a result was out of school with just a couple of passes.
Both my sons showed promise at primary school. We live in a 3 bed semi box but chose to give them the option of tutoring as we want the best for our children like all parents do.
Tutoring isn't cheap but I make no apologies for spending our money how we wish.
Both passed and are at grammar and doing very well.
Having said that we know lots of local kids who went to the local comp and have done brilliantly , better than some of their peers in the grammar.
I believe in grammars where the brightest can learn at the same pace and be pushed harder.Comps stream kids in subjects so is that not selective in itself ?
All children should get the opportunity to have an education that suits their needs and abilities.
This might be controversial, but seems that the problems with some schools are the kids themselves. If they don't want to learn ,the teachers have not got a chance.
Some of my classes back in the early 80s were just a waste of time attending and I doubt teenagers are much different to when I was one.

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