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BBC2 documentary Grammar schools who will get in? Why wouldn't you try?

(205 Posts)
Whatatadoo Wed 30-May-18 20:16:15

Watching the documentary last night and thought the grammar school came across really well, the secondary modern not so good. Just wondering why, if you have the opportunity you wouldn't try for the grammar? I know all schools should be equal but in reality they're not. Why wouldn't you want to give your dc the best possible education if you had the chance?

flooredbored Wed 30-May-18 20:17:52

Some parents realise their child will not pass.

divadee Wed 30-May-18 20:19:07

I think try but some of the pressure the children were under last night was too much. Take Joanita (I think that was her name) her mum had put so so much pressure on her to pass it was too much for the girl. I felt for her so much.

I think tutors should be stopped (I know in reality it's not possible), and kids just do the test one day. I think if it was also taken at a random time then they would get a true reflection. Not having hours and hours of tutoring as the exam gets closer.

Sandyfeet101 Wed 30-May-18 20:19:10

I don’t like the fact that most grammars are single sex.

Fruitcorner123 Wed 30-May-18 20:23:36

It's true that no-one wants to send their kids to a poor school and faced eith the situation you would be stupid not to try. There shoulddn't be grammars though as the presence of them is likely to bring down the standards of a nearby secondary modern and that makes education unequal in that area which is fundamentally wrong.

Of course grammars are available to all in theory but it's quite clear that the rich can afford exrra tuition, a desk and revision time/space for their DCs, access to the internet and maybe even their own laptop. These things do help you pass the 11 plus and they are less likely to be available to lower income students. Not to mention the fact that if you have a higher income you are more likely to have passed the 11 plus yourself (statistics not bias) thus making it genetically more likely your child will.

So ultimately it's just another way of segregating when we should be integrating, reducing the gaps between rich and poor and trying to improve outcomes for students from deprived backgrounds. Grammar schools do the opposite.

Whatatadoo Wed 30-May-18 20:24:37

Just practicing papers at home is the same as tutdoing really. I like single sex approach. Much better for girls in particular. Yes poor Jonita. I actually shed a tear for her but I think the problem was her mum's attitude bless her.

TeenTimesTwo Wed 30-May-18 20:26:00

Luckily we live in an all comp area that seems to serve all abilities pretty well.
My DC wouldn't have had a snowball's chance in hell of passing a selective test age 10, but I don't see why they are any less deserving of 'the best possible education'.
Actually, if anything, the less bright kids deserve a better standard of education, since the brighter ones are more likely to be capable of picking things up by reading about them.

Baroquehavoc Wed 30-May-18 20:26:06

I watched the show, but didn't think that the grammar came across any better than the comp my dc go to.

If we were in a grammar area, we'd have to let our dc take the test, just to get to the better schools in the area. But I think it puts unnecessary pressure and stress on children and,with tutoring, unnecessary expense on the parents.

BroomstickOfLove Wed 30-May-18 20:26:11

If I lived in a grammar/secondary modem area, then I would probably encourage my kids to take the test unless they had no hope of passing (and most children will fail the test - that's how the system is designed to work). However, I'm lucky enough to live in a fully comprehensive area with excellent schools, so I don't have to make that choice and my children don't have to spend ages on exam prep.

I went to a grammar school, and much prefer the comprehensive system.

Fruitcorner123 Wed 30-May-18 20:27:14

Just practicing papers at home is the same as tutdoing really.

As a teacher I totally disagree. If this were true why wouldn't you just home school. If you honestly think teachers add nothing.

2gorgeousboys Wed 30-May-18 20:27:32

We chose not to send our children to the single sex grammar in the next town and instead they outstanding compehensive school in out village.

I think the pressure of the grammar school and the test would have been counterproductive and I didn't want them to go to a single sex school.

They have not been any less successful but have had a wonderful well rounded education.

DaisyArcher Wed 30-May-18 20:32:09

Haven't seen the documentary but it could have been edited to make the secondary modern look crap.

Metoodear Wed 30-May-18 20:32:50

Many primary school teachers are left leaning so dispite being middle class and some gone to grammers themselves they won’t encourage it in their students as their idol logically opposed

So it become about how they feel about grammers rather than what’s best for the child and what’s best for a bright child is almost never going to a worse school

bzzbeebzz Wed 30-May-18 20:34:32

I thought this was truly heartbreaking. The children who didn’t get in, you just knew that was their future completely skewed. What an utterly cruel system.
And it was irritating how the programme kept comparing academic outcomes beteeen grammar and secondary modern - OF COURSE the grammar does better, they are starting with a highly selected intake. That’s not comparing like with like.

It is absolute scandalous that this system still prevails in this country-for every grammar school that exists there is a tangible negative impact on comprehensive schools in the same area.
And of course parents living in those areas will do everything to get their children into the grammar, precisely because the alternative state schools are consequently going to be poor due to losing talent to the grammar.

Grammars may have been effective tools for social mobility in the past, but not now, now they are reinforcing socioeconomic divides due to the advantage gained by the wealthy who can pay for tutors, and taking the example last night of the little girl who’s baby brother wa smelling her awake, wealth also guarantees physical space in which to study, access to study materials, parents who are also likely to be academically strong, etc etc.

Metoodear Wed 30-May-18 20:34:45

It’s the same reason why high schools won’t encourage their A* students to apply for oxford why do that when you just just trot out well they wouldn’t take you any way

And it’s this low aspersion for its students that makes many want to go for grammers

Thatsalritehun Wed 30-May-18 20:35:07

*Just practicing papers at home is the same as tutoring really*: it’s SO not! An hour of uninterrupted teaching time focusing on personal strengths and weaknesses with someone usually experienced in these tests. And what about the kids whose parents can’t afford the practice materials, or who can’t provide space and peace and quiet to conplete them?

Rockingthestocking Wed 30-May-18 20:35:12

My friend has decided not to put her son in for 11plus. She went to grammar school. So did her DH. But she said the local comp is a much better fit for her son and the results very similar to the grammar. I'm surprised at her choice but also proud of her. Her DS is extraordinarily bright and lovely and if I I had a son I would pick him. And she has put him first....she has gone against the grain and picked the best fit for him, despite what society and political views might think. So she hasn't put him in for it, despite his ability to pass, and I think that's a great reason.

TeenTimesTwo Wed 30-May-18 20:40:53

But if an LA can't make its Secondary Moderns as good as its Grammars then it shouldn't have a selective system. It is not at all fair if 20-40% de facto get a better education just because they pass a test age 10. It is conceivably reasonable to say a different education - but not a better one.
And why should a child who just missed the cut be denied the opportunity to do e.g. triple science or 2 languages?

tangledzebra Wed 30-May-18 20:43:21

I live in the area where the schools are and the school they choose was definitely one of the worst non selective in the area so i dont think it was a fair comparison. I have moved from a non grammar school area (10 mins down the road) into bexley and the difference is incredible and the pressure is very obvious.

Barbie222 Wed 30-May-18 20:44:15

Fruitcorner, a lot of the skills tested aren't in the ks2 curriculum so taking papers at home will be beneficial. Also, if the doc was based in Kent which I think it was teachers aren't allowed to teach the contents of the paper.

Proseccoagain Wed 30-May-18 20:44:24

Came from a poor working class background, eldest of 5 children; passed 11+ in the 1950s. No tutoring, no prep out of school, no internet (obviously). Went to mixed sex grammar school, loved it. Very grateful to the system, and to my parents who encouraged me to do my best. Ended up a teacher.

Kolo Wed 30-May-18 20:44:43

In my experience, grammar schools don’t necessarily provide ‘the best possible education’. I grew up in an area that still has the grammar system, and I went to one. I had a great time at school, and it provided me with an experience that shaped me positively. But the old girls club fb page is full of women who had a really negative experience. I think it really depends on the individual child. It can be hard coming from a working class background to be surrounded by prep school kids, it can also be hard going from being one of the most able in a class to being average or bottom of the class. Teaching isn’t better as a rule.

IMBU Wed 30-May-18 20:46:04

Grammar schools will disadvantage poorer families who cannot afford private tutors to coach their children to pass the exam papers. They are totally unfair and determine a child’s life success at only 11 years old. What if the child was having a bad day or was ill on the day of their exam? My mum was put in for the 11 plus and she was expected to pass. She was ill on the day of the exam and failed it.

bzzbeebzz Wed 30-May-18 20:46:50

*baby brother keeping her awake!

sothisisspring Wed 30-May-18 20:48:42

I wouldn't live in a grammar area.

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