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only 1% of oxbridge students got free school meals

(204 Posts)
itsawonderfuldarleneconnorlife Wed 22-Dec-10 06:17:56

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Is there any solution to this other than bringing back grammars for every county?

senua Wed 22-Dec-10 08:10:50

"Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, which represents lecturers, said the Coalition was sending ‘a clear message that university is only for those able to afford it’ and that ‘social mobility remains a pipe dream for far too many people’."

Erm, aren't these the statistics for those who grew up under the Labour government?

I'm not sure that Grammars are the solution, they seem to be the beginning of the problem ATM as they are only available to those that can afford tutoring (wild generalisation). Grammars might be the solution if Primary teachers did proper preparation for their more able students.

kris123 Wed 22-Dec-10 09:19:00

This is why grammars should start at the age of 13, so that the students themselves can actually determine they own path. Exams when you are aged 10 are clearly too early, as kids have no ability to understand the importance of these decisions, so teachers are not able to assist.

I cannot believe that people can actually be against grammars. Its so short sighted.

Other measures to help the poorer kids on this link:

http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/education/1108457-Big- Picture-Your-Say-on-OPTIMAL-EDUCATION-SYSTEM

pls put down your views. THINGS CAN CHANGE!

sarah293 Wed 22-Dec-10 09:21:38

Message withdrawn

ChocolateMoose Wed 22-Dec-10 09:21:41

I believe that in counties like Kent which still have grammar schools, the other schools are much worse performing - that's why people are against the grammar system, for the sake of the kids that don't get in.

I agree that the stat you highlight demonstrate major problems in our education system - just not convinced grammars are the answer.

BeenBeta Wed 22-Dec-10 09:37:32

I know someone who is a lecturer at Oxford and she is an admissions tutor and very keen to get state school children from ordinary state schools and less well off backgrounds into her college.

However, she admits with a sense of exasperation that the product of private schools and highly selective grammar schools she sees are so polished and 'lecture hall ready' that state school children from non selective comprehensive schools dont just struggle when they arrive for intervew, they also struggle when they arrive at Oxford even if they do get in.

In essence she says she has to put in a huge amount of work to identify good state school candidates from less privelleged backgrounds but with potential and yet still finds that they often just havent had enough schooling to be able to complete the course despite their personal talents. She has to turn them down if she thinks they wont be able to complete the course because they have to make up too much ground from what they learned at school - even if they have potential.

CecilyP Wed 22-Dec-10 13:14:11

Why do you think it is a problem that only 1% of Oxbridge students come from workless households? Why would you like more of their parents to have lost their jobs?

scottishmummy Wed 22-Dec-10 13:30:42

grammar schools reinforce privilege and favour mc. parents buy in catchment and get tutors for 11+

BeenBeta Wed 22-Dec-10 14:39:07

I would like to see a grammar school in every small/medium sized town.

My DW went to a grammar school, not a very selective one, from a pretty poor background, and then she went to Oxford. The grammar school she went to did go comprehensive when she did her O Levels and now sends no one to Oxbridge at all. The children from her area that get to Oxbridge now all go to the private school and only from rich backgrounds.

In the space of 30 years children in her area from poor backgrounds have gone from having a good fair chance at Oxbridge or a top university to pretty much nil because their parents cant afford private and the compreensive just does not meet the standard of the grammar. She says al the good teachers left as soon as it went comprehensive either retiring early or going to private schools.

Milliways Wed 22-Dec-10 14:39:57

My DH was unemployed when DD applied to Oxbridge - I am glad he now has a job again, but she could have have been part of that 1% if we pushed for all benefits?

Also - I agree re Private education. DD herslef has said that her friends from Private & top Grammar schools had a FAR better grounding than she got at her Outstanding Comprehensive - so heaven help those at "normal" comps.

emy72 Wed 22-Dec-10 14:41:50

Beenbeta, this has been exactly the same experience for my DH and his brother.

I am sure there will be stats on this sort of thing somewhere.

I would like to see Grammars back too.

Litchick Wed 22-Dec-10 17:11:48

I would also like to see many more comps pushing all their pupils whatever their background.

Soft GCSE and A level options (which will ultimately hinder a student's application to a good university) should not be an option for able students.

I would also like to see a big push from schools and Oxbridge to break down all the myths about who will and who won't fit in.

My good friend who is a prof there, says the basic problem lies with not enough applicants from these backgrounds in the first place.

sieglinde Wed 22-Dec-10 17:18:54

Litchick, some of them are so far from pushing according to my students from comps that they are positively discouraging. 'Oh, you'll never get in, dear'. 'You wouldn't be happy there, it's not for us, really.'

And Beenbeta is 100% right, but god help her for saying so and me for agreeing. This thread will ravel in a few screams of how unfair grammars are and how elitist and how wicked the 11-plus... grin

scottishmummy Wed 22-Dec-10 17:54:57

improve overall teaching rather than return to elitist self serving state schools.what's point of creating two tier school system when its already riddled with flaws.

MIFLAW Wed 22-Dec-10 17:58:54

Grammars are a rubbish idea.

I speak as an ex-grammar school boy and Oxford graduate.

Bonsoir Wed 22-Dec-10 17:59:52

And where are you going to get the teachers from, scottishmummy? One good argument for selective state schools is that they encourage good teachers to stay in the state system.

Here in France, where comprehensive rules OK, I know plenty of excellent teachers who have abandoned the profession entirely, so dismal did they find mixed ability teaching to age 15.

scottishmummy Wed 22-Dec-10 18:01:50

all well and good for children chosen for grammar,what of the others not successful in obtaining a place?

Bonsoir Wed 22-Dec-10 18:05:57

Maybe they get the education they need, rather than the current situation of teaching ridiculously academic curricula in a dumbed down format to everyone?

I live in a comprehensive system and it doesn't do either the clever or the much less able any favours, IMO.

BeenBeta Wed 22-Dec-10 18:09:13

scottishmummy - that is a very important question and it would have to be answered at the same time as how we woudld go about reinstating grammar schools.

For academicly able children we need schools that serve ther needs (ie grammar schools). For less academically able children we need schools that serve their needs (eg technical colleges) and definitely not a return to secondary modern sink schools.

hatesponge Wed 22-Dec-10 18:13:31

I'm a Cambridge graduate and as a young child received free school meals when my dad went through a period of unemployment - even when he returned to work he was a low earner and I received a full grant when I went to uni (back in the good old days when there were grants)

I went to a distinctly average comp, followed by a very good 6th form - my wonderful Headteacher at that school, plus my amazing parents (and being born with a brain which retains info easily) are the reasons I got in.

I wanted to go to Cambridge from when I was 13 or so, most of my teachers told me not to bother hmm. At my comp, going to uni was rare, Oxbridge unheard of. Most schools locally were similar.

On the grammar school point, I've always been a fan. I thought grammar schools were the answer. I now live in a grammar area (Bexley) and can see first hand how crap the system is. My eldest DS was top of his class all through primary (his is an 'outstanding' primary so of good standard you would think). He had no tuition for the 11plus and failed. Every child in his school who passed was extensively tutored. As were the children from his football team, who attend the local private prep school. State schools in our area say they are unable to coach for the 11plus as it is outside the national curriculum. so much for a level playing field.

The 11 plus nowadays doesnt pick out the brightest children. The ones who get the best marks are those who are coached. I doubt I would have passed. the alternative comp which my son attends is frankly crap, with 30something percent of A-C grades at GCSE (compared to 100% at the grammar). The students in the top sets are unmotivated and ignored - the focus of the school goes on the 60% not achieving A-C passes...I think this is pretty typical of average comps nowadays, its all about the bottom line, and improving your lowest results. As things stand, I expect the percentages of state school non grammar Oxbridge graduates will continue to fall.

BeenBeta Wed 22-Dec-10 18:25:23

hatesponge - what happened to your DS is wrong and is exactly why we need a grammar school in every town and a school system that teaches children to a level that means if they are able (like your son) they will get in witout tutoring.

The present 'gramamr system' is not the grammar system I want to see where it is about buying houses in catchment areas and paying for tutoring.

My FIL got into a grammar in Consett. His Dad loaded the furnace at Consett Ironworks. My FIL's daughter (my DW) went to another local gramar in the centre of Newcastle.

What the grammar school system has become is not what it used to be or should be.

Horton Wed 22-Dec-10 19:46:42

What percentage of households in the UK are workless?

Horton Wed 22-Dec-10 19:47:46

Or, more properly, what percentage of children in the UK live in workless households?

Without that information, it's hard to know what that statistic means.

Horton Wed 22-Dec-10 19:49:27

Oh bollocks, it's free school meals, not workless. Sorry, what percentage of kids get free school meals? I genuinely have no idea.

TheFowlAndThePussycat Wed 22-Dec-10 20:01:28

My mum grew up in (what in those days was called) a children's home. She was the only child from that home EVER to pass the 11+ and go to a grammar school. In fact they tried to persuade her not to go because she 'wouldn't fit in'. She subsequently went to Cambridge as a mature student. Now, whilst I think she is an amazing woman, I don't think it's likely that she was the only kid from that home who was ever bright enough for the grammar. I don't think grammar school entrance was ever purely based on merit. In fact, I'm pretty sure the pass mark for some grammars was higher if you were female.

It's a tough one. If she hadn't been to the grammar then her life would have been very different, but I went to a 'bog-standard' comp & went to Cambridge too. My heart bleeds for those other kids she grew up with who were probably persuaded that they wouldn't fit in. sad

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