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AIBU to think that state schools should be achieving this?

(201 Posts)
KatyPutTheCuttleOn Sat 31-Aug-13 07:41:45

private schools GCSE results

Should state schools be able to achieve results closer to this?

I don't want this to be a private school bashing thread, but really, should state schools be able to achieve closer to this?

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Sat 31-Aug-13 07:42:17

AARGH, thread title fail - state schools SHOULD be achieving this.

GetStuffezd Sat 31-Aug-13 07:44:32

Have you got any suggestions of how this can be achieved?

Sleepyhead33 Sat 31-Aug-13 07:45:01

You aren't comparing like for like

TwasBrillig Sat 31-Aug-13 07:45:07

Well yes, if they were funded to have small classes, lovely grounds, lots more exercise, and usually a selective intake, oh and only took from roughly the top ten per cent of earners in the uk. . .

Bit silly to assume its equal.

Bonsoir Sat 31-Aug-13 07:45:41

DC at private schools tend to have a lot more advantages than even the significant extras that private schools provide. Don't bash state schools where neither the schools nor the families have all the resources that children in private schools have.

Spottypurse Sat 31-Aug-13 07:49:04

Those aren't gcse results. They are igcse

Also, are you seriously saying that you can't figure out why a very expensive private school can get better results than a standard comp?

whitemonkey Sat 31-Aug-13 07:55:03

Most private school have a entrance exam and only take above average pupils, so of course they will have better results. It doesn't mean that they are any better at teaching than the comprehensive schools who take a range of abilities.
It is how they improve the pupils who come to them that is important ie value added. Not everyone is or can be a genius!

whitemonkey Sat 31-Aug-13 07:55:45

'an entrance' not 'a entrance' oops

QueenofLouisiana Sat 31-Aug-13 07:56:44

Of course we should-as soon as state schools can set entrance exams, keep class sizes down to 15, guarantee the newest resources.....

I would love there to be greater equality between the possible provision between state and public schools. I would love the children I teach to have the same life enhancing opportunities and whole world knowledge these would promote. I am sure being able to provide this would increase their grades at the end of their time in school.

Given that the government allows something like £3,000 per child per year to be educated and the top public schools charge many times that I am not sure the results are comparable.

Hmmm...a bit rambling-sorry! I need more caffeine I think.

Beveridge Sat 31-Aug-13 07:57:59

Clearly it's the fault of the teachers. Us state school types just can't be bothered - too busy reading newspapers and drinking coffee in the staffroom and setting undemanding work so we have as little marking to do as possible.

QueenofLouisiana Sat 31-Aug-13 08:01:57

Just checked, my county spends £4,700 per pupil, but there will be a difference between primary and secondary (primary gets less). That average may well include children at special schools, who clearly need more funding and that will alter the average even more.

Not really an even playing field.

fairylightsinthespring Sat 31-Aug-13 08:02:54

What everyone else said. I work in a high achieving private school. We work very hard and are good at what we do, but we teach kids who passed a tough exam and no class is bigger than 24 so we get bollocked if we get more than few B grades across the year group. I have also worked in a state school where some kids had D grades as their target and worked hard to get them (as did the teachers). Its a different kind of teaching but the most obvious thing is the baseline ability of the kids you have on front of you.

sooperdooper Sat 31-Aug-13 08:05:08

What a silly question, they aren't comparable so it's not an even situation to expect the results to be the same

pudcat Sat 31-Aug-13 08:08:53

In our town children can sit an entrance exam to the fee paying grammar school to try to gain a scholarship. They can also sit an 11+ exam to gain a place in 2 grammar schools in the next county. Therefore a lot of (not all) the brighter pupils have been creamed off when they start secondary school.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sat 31-Aug-13 08:09:41

Private schools also don't play fair. My godfather's son started at his private feeder school at the age of 3. At 18, in the Easter before he was due to take his A levels he was told he wasn't welcome back and he ended up getting his two Ds and an E at the local college.

Said private school then boasted in their prospectus that every pupil had got BCC in their A levels or better. hmm

I'm not anti private schools - we will probably send dc at secondary but you have to be realistic about what they provide.

Inertia Sat 31-Aug-13 08:15:36

If the state schools started off by only admitting students who could pass a rigorous entrance exam , then taught them in small-group classes using outstanding facilities, then results probably would be comparable.

Taz1212 Sat 31-Aug-13 08:17:23

Oh, I have my own personal rant here. I don't want to talk in broad general terms because every school is different - plus I'm in Scotland and my DC are still at primary school so not directly relevant to the OP! However, for our local school, I do think there's an awful lot more that could be done to emulate the private schools.

We used to have a head who had taught at a leading private school and part of his mission was to introduce bits from his private school experience. He did and it worked fantastically well. However, when he left, the new head systematically removed all of his initiatives and the school has, quite frankly, gone downhill. For example, we used to have "active homework" every six weeks or so where the kids were given a choice of completing at least two activities from a list of six. There was a wide variety - e.g. Go on a nature walk and put together a collage, make up a recipe for dinner and make it, spend a day saying please, hello, goodbye and thank you in French, German or Spanish- that art of thing. My kids LOVED it, but the new head dropped it because apparently so many parents complained that they didn't have time to do schoolwork with their kids.

I could go on and on with examples, but suffice to say, DS is now at a private school (in a class of 27 so we're not paying for a small class!) and we've found that he's quite a bit behind his peers in maths because there are topics that he simply wasn't taught. If there's such a gap in the teaching at this age I can understand why the gap gets bigger and bigger through high school. I know private school results will always be better purely from the selective nature, but I do think our local school could do so much more- they certainly used to!

frogspoon Sat 31-Aug-13 12:19:35

Not all independent schools are selective. Many (including the ones featured in the article) are highly selective, but many are not selective but still get results that are much higher than the local comprehensives.

I am about to start working in an independent school, which is non selective (and down the road from two highly selective independent schools who cream off the most able students) but still gets well above average results at GCSE.

I have a few ideas as to why this might be.

The classes are very small. The biggest class I have is 23 pupils (top set), and the smallest is 8 (bottom set), therefore the pupils get more time with the teacher to focus on areas where they are struggling, especially the less able pupils.

The discipline is very strong, perhaps even draconian. If pupils do not meet the expectations of the school, they are asked to leave. On average 2 pupils are expelled each year (out of 700). It is near impossible to expel a pupil from a state school. This means that disruptive pupils will not be distracting well behaved hard working pupils, who will be able to focus on their work more easily.

The day is much longer in many private schools. We finish school at 5:30 most days. With a longer day there is more time for teaching so therefore pupils will understand their course better.

Expectations are extremely high, of everyone. Teachers expect the highest standards of behaviour and effort, and pupils and parents expect the highest standards of teaching from the staff. It is normal for teaching staff to spend break times, lunch times, and even weekends (boarding school) supporting pupils who are struggling, especially just before exams. This would be unheard of in most state schools.

SilverApples Sat 31-Aug-13 12:24:19

'If the state schools started off by only admitting students who could pass a rigorous entrance exam , then taught them in small-group classes using outstanding facilities, then results probably would be comparable.'

And had the right to expel any disruptive pupils.

MrsCakesPremonition Sat 31-Aug-13 12:28:12

It's not even simply about the teaching the schools themselves. Many parents with children in private schools are quick to top up with additional tutoring if they think that their child needs a boost in any particular area, most parents in the state sector don't have that choice.

spanieleyes Sat 31-Aug-13 12:29:42

*'If the state schools started off by only admitting students who could pass a rigorous entrance exam , then taught them in small-group classes using outstanding facilities, then results probably would be comparable.'

And had the right to expel any disruptive pupils.*

and could ask "poor" performing children to leave.

RoastedCouchPotatoes Sat 31-Aug-13 12:30:47

I'm we all want schools to be equally good at encouraging children to fulfil their potential. But you can't do that, sometimes, in classes of 30, with little money, stretched teachers and no ability to, often in the case of secondary schools, cherry pick students. State schools accept children of all abilities, bar a minority in the form of grammar schools, and don't have the funding and facilities usually to do it.

spanieleyes Sat 31-Aug-13 12:32:10

It is normal for teaching staff to spend break times, lunch times, and even weekends (boarding school) supporting pupils who are struggling, especially just before exams. This would be unheard of in most state schools

Actually, most state secondary schools offer this ( apart from the weekends) but what makes the difference is that private school pupils will turn up, state pupils wont!

forevergreek Sat 31-Aug-13 12:33:27

I went to a grammar, their lowest pass rate was 97% of pupils erring a*-c. It was the year I did them! And the entire school was in disgrace. Dispite the majority of those passes being a* or a. With 6 A*, 5 As and 2 Bs I had to attend a meeting to see why I had done badly!

My sister has years later just got her grades. They are exactly the same as mine and she was also spoken to as to why 2 weren't ' up to standards of the school'

It's not just private schools. I am astounded that many have around 50% pass rate though as that means almost half are failing.

I think most education is done at home though tbh. The grammar both myself and sister attended expected far more self study than surrounding schools. My sister is expected 1 hr min study a day on top on regular homework. Her friends from local comp apparently have never 'self studied' ever and rarely have homework

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