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to wonder why grammer school entrance exam marks are required to be higher for children sitting exam educated in private schools?

(54 Posts)
1dilemma Sat 25-Jul-09 08:35:45

Have thought this before and started thinking about it again after reading some of the 'are private schools better thread?'

so what do you wise mumsnetters think?

Surely if the marks required were lower for state edcated pupils it would remove some of the advantage parents (grandparents) are buying and even things up a bit?

I've thought 2 potential problems are that the state would not want to admit that state education might not be equal (in some cases) and there is tutoring to consider but.....

we do it for university, we do it for medical school etc etc

so what do you think?

(will be going out later today so will def. reply but might not be until later)

1dilemma Sat 25-Jul-09 08:37:11

duh massive typo can I change that to are not please?!!

KembleTwins Sat 25-Jul-09 08:53:45

Maybe change the spelling of grammar too... wink

SomeGuy Sat 25-Jul-09 11:25:02

I had a big online argument with somebody who insisted that she went to grammer school. It was very amusing, she insisted it was actually 'grammer' on the school gate. I couldn't resist pointing out that it rather suggested that her particular 'grammer school' probably wasn't very good.

sabire Sat 25-Jul-09 11:36:28

I think they should adjust marks for age as well as previous schooling.

Ponders Sat 25-Jul-09 11:47:21

They do adjust for age, don't they?

roomforthree Sat 25-Jul-09 11:58:25

What is your source re: adjustments for medical school? I've just been through selection for the 2nd time (with 5 years of scrutinising admissions policies!) and have NEVER come across this.

Sorry, to digress, but I find this statement intriguing.

margotfonteyn Sat 25-Jul-09 12:08:46

They do adjust for age.

Most private school parents in my area deny their school 'coaches' for grammar school entrance (even though the prospecti list entrance to grammar schools as one of their 'selling' points)! These schools do, however, pratice verbal reasoning tests as a matter of course, whereas the state schools generally do not.

I think it would be very, very difficult to enforce.

Private school parents would be up in arms, even though they are sending their children to the private school for a myriad of reasons, none of which seems to be entrance to the local grammar school (eg avoiding SATS, extra curricular stuff, more music, sport and so on and so forth).

It's strange that about two thirds or so of the intake at our super selective grammar school is from the private sector though and it goes up every year. DS2 is in a distinct minority, having been to a state primary school.

BadgersArse Sat 25-Jul-09 12:10:10

they dont

CybilLiberty Sat 25-Jul-09 12:14:18

I agree, they don't. Only age adjusted.

BadgersArse Sat 25-Jul-09 12:15:40

I dont think the marking is done manually anyway

tis a machine

raffyandted Sat 25-Jul-09 13:18:09

Do they lower the marks required for university for those from lower-class backgrounds? I didn't know that. I'm from bog-standard working-class background & state school. I sat & passed the Oxbridge entrance exam but was still expected to get top marks at A level to take up the place if offered.

(I didn't get offered a place at Oxford cos I didn't impress at interview stage, but never mind...)

shiftynamechange Sat 25-Jul-09 13:24:23

Well, something along those lines has been introduced in ... erm ... is it the Bournemouth area?

So i thonk we're going to see the experiment played out in real time ... .

shiftynamechange Sat 25-Jul-09 13:25:03

And "thonk" is obviously an act of subversive-spelling solidarity, OP.

BodenGroupie Sat 25-Jul-09 13:29:53

Shifty - DD at grammar in Bomo and I wasn't aware of that!

On the spelling front, I did my TESOL training alongside a woman who carried around a large file with "GRAMMER" written on it. No one had the guts to point it out until the assessor arrived.

margotfonteyn Sat 25-Jul-09 13:55:49

I think 1dilemma means when some universities and possibly medical schools sometimes make a slightly lower offer if the candidate is from a particularly bad state school, thus evening out the intake from private or top state schools who may have had extra tutoring etc thus securing top grades.

GrinnyPig Sat 25-Jul-09 14:01:26

Many of the state educated applicants for Grammar schools have been coached by private tutors, so this would be impossible to introduce.

Not all schools adjust the marks for age either. Bournemouth schools don't - or rather didn't used to, it may have changed. Bournemouth schools used to have a higher pass mark for those applying out of catchment, but they no longer have a catchment area and have applications from about a 20 mile radius now.

OurLadyOfPerpetualSupper Sat 25-Jul-09 14:10:42

It's my understanding that if a private school goes up to secondary level they don't coach for 11+ entry - why would they, when they want the pupils to stay there?

That's certainly been our experience; about a week after DD had sat the 11+ they were given VR practise papers to prepare for their own secondary entrance exam (galling).

I've heard the same thing happens at the other private schools local to us; the only one which uses 11+ coaching as a selling point is a small prep.

KembleTwins Sat 25-Jul-09 15:08:54

Where would you draw the line though? You only have to look on the private v state threads to see that there are huge differences in the performances of individual schools. It would only be fair, therefore, to have lower pass rates for poorer performing schools, and higher ones for better schools, be they private or state. It would get ridiculous. Surely the point of having a standard exam for grammar school entry is that all the kids start on a level(ish) field, no matter where they were before? Plenty of parents hire tutors for exam entry, as has already been mentioned, no matter what sort of primary their DC attends.

debs40 Sat 25-Jul-09 15:18:13

Don't mess about with entrance exams just get rid of these horrendous, ou-dated, selective schools (whether 'faith' or grammar. They act only as free private schools for the middle class minority who are bused/trained in to the local area to take up their places. They reinforce class distinctions and undermine social mobility have no place in a modern society. They also cause the local state schools to seem 'second class' reputation in comparison and turn normal adults into potty parents as they worry about how their 5 year old is going to grow up to pass the 11+!

I speak as someone who went to Oxford, got a first and all from a 'bog standard' comprehensive. I now live in a snobby little town with a grammar where all the tossy haired private schoolies switch from private school to the grammar at 11. The state is subisidising these people. It's a disgrace.

donnie Sat 25-Jul-09 15:23:21

they don't.

dilemma - what is your source?

shiftynamechange Sat 25-Jul-09 15:23:42

debs40 - I think you should stop pulling punches and say what you really think ... . grin

SomeGuy Sat 25-Jul-09 17:17:59

subsidising them how? To get the education they've paid for through their taxes instead of having to pay twice by going private?

Disgraceful, only Labour MPs should be allowed a decent education, the plebs should go to Shittown Comp.

monkeyfeathers Sat 25-Jul-09 17:35:42

Re: university admissions. I don't think it's the offer that changes in most cases, it's the threshold of predicted grades at which they will give you an offer that varies.

I used to work at a university in a department with quite high entry requirements (and many disappointed applicants every year). They gave the same offer (AAB or ABB, I can't remember exactly) to everyone who got one, regardless what school they went to. However, the system was designed so that applicants from high-performing private schools would only get an offer if they were predicted AAA by the school (and otherwise met the criteria). Applicants from poorly performing comprehensives would be able to get an offer with much lower predicted grades (but they'd still need to do well to actually meet the terms of that offer). I think the policy applied across the whole uni. The whole department (and uni) was absolutely full of privately educated students regardless.

The uni I work at now has no entry requirements so it's a whole other kettle of fish.

katiestar Sat 25-Jul-09 17:51:35

They don't
We are in North Yorkshire where the Grammar school selection test is only verbal reasoning and non verbal reasoning.This measures potential rather than attainment
so I think coaching is less beneficial than if they tested maths and English
I think grammar schools are a great idea for bright working class kids.Both my boys passed the 11+ after practising a couple of 11+ papers bought from WHsmiths for a tenner.
It gets one of the best results in the country.It took my siblings and I ,from a working class background to university (including one to Cambridge)

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