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Changes to 11-plus to stop middle-class parents 'buying' access to grammars by hiring tutors

(1000 Posts)
breadandbutterfly Sat 01-Dec-12 21:48:28

Similar article in the Times apparently but paywall.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 09:18:02

Bamboostalks - that is probably part of it, but I think its a bit more than that too. Its as much about what DS is taught as how he is taught it and what environment he is in.

rabbitstew Sun 02-Dec-12 09:18:17

Is it achievement and success you want for your child, Ronaldo? Or just a certain way of life?

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 09:19:27

Sorry about the typo's! Its just fat arthritic fingers and a CBA morning today.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 09:19:53

Both rabbitstew.

wigglybeezer Sun 02-Dec-12 09:26:48

Ronaldo, it may surprise you to know that state schools are not mono- cultural, children generally do a good job of finding friends who come from families with similar values and streaming and subject choice result in them being taught with children with similar educational ambitions ( choose physics and you tend to have other bright kds in your class).
My older two sons are very different, Ds1 is very sporty rather than intellectual, DS2 is more of a boffin, their comprehensive manages to accommodate both their needs.

wigglybeezer Sun 02-Dec-12 09:30:07

Oh and my local independent school is not mono cultural either.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 09:39:53

I am not surprised that state schools are not a mono culture.

My DS is young and I would rather he had a sense of who he is and where he is from and be able to feel that he fits in before being subjected to multi cultural systems (I am not being racist here - many independent schools are culturally far more diverse but socially far more cohesive).

I do want my DS to be in an environment which shares a wrok ethic, which develops good manners, good speech habits, politeness etc. I alsowant him to to develop in a culture where his abilities and skills are not scoffed at. Where as I said, he will be the possessor of the wrong culture because we do not watch BGT or I'm a Celebrity - Get me Out of Here.
( we may not even watch TV in our house sometimes).

Whilst there may be a few DC in a bog standard comp who may share his "culture" they will be far fewer ( in fact, in my own case, possibly none)

Its about simple things and more complex ones.

I have worked in challenging schools and in "bog standard" ones. I have also worked in some of the elitist of places. The differences are in the small things often. Its the small things that matter though.

I am not telling others to educate their own DC as I would mine, but I do not see why I should be criticised for my views and lifestyle either

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 09:44:50

In short I am looking for a type of school which supports the cultural capital we have given him. Thats about more than "achievement" or " aiming high" and its quite, quite different.

PolkadotCircus Sun 02-Dec-12 09:50:25

So what are those of us with kids at crap schools supposed to do then?

Personally I can't afford £30 an hour X 3 anyway but surely the rich kids in private primaries(who teach consistently to the 11+)and those with dc in Outstanding primaries are going to get advantages however they change the exam.

I think kids at private primaries should be banned completely from going to state grammar schools(top notch education in classes of less than 15 is an equal unfair advantage imvho)and kids in Satisfactory or under primary schools should get bonus points.

Kids in primary schools with poor progress and results are at a huge disadvantage to kids in schools with Outstanding teaching,progress and results.I can already see it.My dc have cousins and friends in Outstanding primaries(they are in a Satisfactory)year on year you see the impact this has.

Xenia Sun 02-Dec-12 10:16:22

It's a good plan. However most of the country has no grammar schools at all so it's pretty irrelevant to most people.

Startail Sun 02-Dec-12 10:22:21

Our grammars select MC parents because there is no free transport.

Mintyy Sun 02-Dec-12 10:25:35

Sorry but pmsl at Ronaldo.

Why are they trying to stick plasters on this stupid system that is only available to a small minority of children anyway. The grammar "system" is nowhere near a level playing field because most of the country simply doesn't have them. Its a joke.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 10:25:58

Indeed, Xenia makes agood point. Probably the majority of places do not have a grammar school system. Some others have a system where the grammar school intake is far wider (in terms of distance/catchment) than it would have been in my day. But even more will ( like I do) find themselves with one choice of catchment comprehensive - a large school usually which takes all sorts. Often such schools are dominated by a lower cultural presence which is reinforced buy the school staff and management as a
"norm". The only alternative then becomes a private school ( or HE ).

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 10:31:49

I am sorry to hear of your bladder issues mintyy .

But I admit I find a large number of posts on MN such that I find it difficult to contain my incredulity at their their inability to understand simple self evident things sometimes. Things like why it is a smll number of individuals educated in a particular way run this country ( largely without real opposition as they are of all political/ economic/educational colours but only one cultural grouping).

APMF Sun 02-Dec-12 10:32:56

I spent 6 months tutoring mine. At 4 months he was scoring 85% regularly in his mocks. At 6 months it was 89-91% and that's where it plateau-ed.

a) YOU can tutor your kids. The test is aimed at 11 year old kids so it's not rocket science.
b) A parent can tutor the DC from year 2 if that is their choice but the law of diminishing returns applies. So stop going on about your kid being at a disadvantage when that kid will probably be over cooked after so many years of tutoring.

Bottom line: stop complaining about how unfair the system is. If you can't be bothered to tutor your child then that is your choice. Just don't interfere with mine. If your child doesn't take to the tutoring then don't complain that your DC was denied a place because the system is unfair. If he can't handle some home tutoring then he is obviously not as bright as you think.

seeker Sun 02-Dec-12 10:35:31

It is important for people on here to realise that Ronaldo's child is, I think, 6. Also, he teaches in an independent school and has had no significant contact with the state system since his own unhappy school days which were, I think more than 30 years ago.

So large pinches of salt required.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 10:40:11

Its also worth remembering that life is unfair. Learning this is a good basis for future success IMO. Its something I often tell my students ( A level) when they cry my marking ( because I give them less than they think they deserved) or my lesson plan decisions (usually to run a test).

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 10:43:28

Please do not ply lies seeker. I have had considerable contact with state schools ( teaching) in my life. I have only worked in an independent school for 4 years or so - and its been an eye opener. I have spent much of my life working with pupils from challenging schools or in "bog standard" schools.

QODRestYeMerryGentlemen Sun 02-Dec-12 10:51:17

My dd had the crappest year 3. Her school burnt down (whilst they were trapped on the field) infront of them, she had emotional problems after this (naturally!) and had a teacher who she was just scared witless of. In the end, in yr 4 she got put in remedial maths. I paid for a tutor to build her maths back up, as did several other parents. Dd is at grammar school, hasn't had a tutor since and is in the middle group (3 of 5) and working at level 7.
So it's not as clear cut as you may think.
Of the other children, 2 others are at her school, 2 at the local high school. All given the same "advantage" but only 3 got in.
There has to be a certain level of ability to be taught, to learn and retain.

Arisbottle Sun 02-Dec-12 10:54:16

My children all attend a state school, one of them attends a grammar solely because of his SEN and tbh I think we made a mistake but that is another thread .

We are a family that discuss over the dinner table, we value achievement, have manners, speak well etc and although I may watch the odd episode of X factor all my children think it is terribly vulgar and low brow and would never watch it.

Is it just the fact that I may watch a bit of X factor in a Saturday night that means my children can thrive at state schools and your children can't Ronaldo? Maybe you should start watching, you could save yourself 30k a year.

JugglingWithPossibilities Sun 02-Dec-12 10:59:18

Whatever the system is well educated "middle class" parents who know how important education is for their children will always crack it - it's like cracking the Enigma code smile An interesting challenge !
Like someone said you could try to ban tutors but some parents already have tutor skills they use all the time with their own children.
How to really improve things for less privileged children is a huge challenge.
Greater equality will be hard to achieve, and I don't think it's fair to ask more middle class parents to sacrifice their aspirations for their children or their own children's education in order to achieve it. Don't see that happening anyway.

Spockster Sun 02-Dec-12 11:06:56

Bog standard was fine for me, and would be fine for my kids. But the options are grammar or "academy" (essentially secondary modern). If there were no private schools, free school, grammar schools etc etc and all public finances and went into the state comp system, we could all have good, local schools for our kids. I realise this wouldn't suit those who want "cultural fit"; ie the snobs and social climbers.

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 11:07:45

No its not just X factor Arisbottle ( as well you probably know). Its that and other factors ( like those that make mintyy have bladder issues perhaps?).

Its difficult to explain because whatever I say its by example or I simplify it and it ends up being misinterpreted. Maybe I should not bother. Suffice to say maybe that we a lifestle which would make my DS stand out so much in a state school that he would more than likely find himself culturally at odds there.

I do not believe it is good for a DC to have to feel they do not belong in that way. It makes them lack confidence and esteem at an early and important stage and they may not recover. One of the biggest single characteristics of a good independent school education which separates it from state schools
( grammar or comprehensive, old and modern) is that pupils of independent schools are able to mix and work effortlessly in any situation. Its that apparent effortlessness that is key to their success and their achievement often.

Whilst this next point is specific , it is also aconsideration: I am also very aware that my DS is very gifted and very intelligent ( not PC to discuss on MN) . We have to select carefully and nurture that.

So I will not send him to a state school.

Spockster Sun 02-Dec-12 11:11:21

Snort... Mintyy's stress incontinence is catching!!

Ronaldo Sun 02-Dec-12 11:11:27

btw, if a grammar school were available where I live I would not send my DS ( assuming of course he passed the 11+). It does not give the edge in education that I am looking for.

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