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Tim Hands' article in the Telegraph (Clegg again!)

(65 Posts)
testbunny Sat 02-Feb-13 20:56:26

At the same time as deriding Clegg's hypocrisy, he seems to back him up...

Is Mr Hands biased towards privately educated children??


basildonbond Sat 02-Feb-13 21:15:47

well I assume that as he's head of a very successful private school he would be ...

testbunny Sat 02-Feb-13 21:25:50

Oops. I got the wrong end of the stick - I thought he was from Magdalen College, Oxford Uni! Still, it's sad he has that view of state education, especially as his father taught at state schools.....

difficultpickle Sat 02-Feb-13 21:36:42

Well I got a very different impression of the article. It seemed to me that Mr Hands was looking back to the days where there were more opportunities for bright children that didn't involve parents paying large fees for their dcs education.

These days you have grammar schools where everyone seems to be tutored to pass the exam, comprehensives which are mostly secondary moderns in disguise catering, on the whole, for the academically average and independent schools. A lot of people I know with dcs at independent schools had their own education in the state sector and want to replicate that but can only find it in the independent sector.

I live in a comprehensive area. The GCSE and A level results are poor. I don't want ds going to a school where, if he does well, he will be in the minority.

testbunny Sat 02-Feb-13 21:48:46

Well, if he is in the minority, does that matter as long as he does well himself, and you would make sure of that...or, maybe, I am misguided, or, at best, hopeful??

sicutlilium Sat 02-Feb-13 21:58:56

bisjo that's pretty much how I read it. I share his views: I'm an ex-direct grant, academic scholarship girl, who went on to Oxford, now paying through the nose (or per anum, as the old joke has it) to provide the same type of academic education for my children.
PS: Tim Hands looks like Uncle Bulgaria.

testbunny Sat 02-Feb-13 22:06:34

I went to a state school. It gave me a well-rounded view of life and people, that has made me the person I am today. My parents weren't particularly 'interested'- there was a lot going on- but I did well enough to have a great career, one which most people would love to have. I must admit, personality had a lot to do with it - I was pretty determined. I feel sorry for some of my friends who didn't have the same 'opportunity' as I had - their views are blinkered, and experience of life isn't as rounded as mine. I want the same for my children, but it doesn't stop me worrying that they may get into the wrong crowd and not have the strength of character to ignore the 'cool' kids who think the 'square' kids uncool (I agreed with them publically, but privately I knew I was destined to do better). Still, I worry......I

difficultpickle Sun 03-Feb-13 13:52:06

testbunny I wouldn't send ds to a school that is failing if there is anything I can do to avoid it. It takes a very well motivated child to go against the majority. I would rather he went somewhere that valued and encouraged effort and achievement. At the moment the only option seems to be private but we have a few years for things to change as ds is only in year 4 and won't change schools until year 9.

projectsrus Sun 03-Feb-13 14:46:52

DH and I both went to state grammars from very poor backgrounds (we were both very bright and uncoached) and did very very well. Both went to uni, DH even got a first. I have a postgraduate qualification and both in senior management jobs.

I look around for my children and despite living in a non-grammar area the situation is depressing. The local comprehensive only sent a handful of children last year to university and that was a good year. It has never sent anyone to Oxbridge. Results are very low. Buildings are depressing. There are very bad antisocial issues, the list of problems is endless.

Do I want my children to go to a school like that? Not if I can avoid it. I don't think they'd do well. There aren't enough children doing well for me to think that mine would be any different, as I know plenty of children from our primary who entered at L5 and exited with no qualifications.

testbunny Sun 03-Feb-13 18:34:33

bisjo and projectsrus, if you don't mind me asking, which area do you live in? I can't believe 'failing' schools are allowed to carry on..?? I am in London. The local state schools are 'improving' (they were 'failing') which gives me some me hope, but we may move if they don't continue to improve. There are some grammar schools nearby, but grammars have obviously changed from 10-20 years ago - i.e. coaching children from a very young age, the stress, competition etc.

projectsrus Sun 03-Feb-13 19:21:16

Not in London testbunny so can't really help.
The local school is also "improving", but not fast enough to be a decent school where I want to send my children. There are indeed some very good comprehensives where I would consider sending my children, but catchments are small and expensive or they are faith. So difficult isn't it.

difficultpickle Sun 03-Feb-13 21:09:46

Bucks/Berks borders. Whilst our local primary was Ofsted special measures our local comps aren't in that bad. However I don't think less than 50% A-C GCSEs including Maths and English is good enough when ds could go somewhere where it would be 100%.

The local primary is now doing a lot better but was in special measures at the time I was choosing schools for ds so that plus complicated childcare arrangements meant I made an alternative choice.

testbunny Sun 03-Feb-13 22:16:20

Yes, it is difficult. Our comp is 65% A-C - it's best yet. It has a new head, and I like what I am hearing, so will keep an eye on it........good luck to you both! TB x

Tasmania Mon 04-Feb-13 01:16:29

It is NOT hypocrisy on Clegg's part. There is no way I would want my dc to suffer just because I chose a certain job, and don't kid yourself... it takes years and years to overhaul an education system. Of course, if he had been "in power" for over a decade, I'd say that maybe there is a point about him being a hypocrite. But that isn't the case.

In a way, expecting new leaders of a government to send their kids to a state school means that the previous government must have done their job well - at least in the education sector. Not sure that's the case either.

Ronaldo Mon 04-Feb-13 06:47:24

At the end of the day a school is only as " good" as the DC who are on roll there. This has always been the case. There were always failing schools and the old grammar school system only served to hide what was really happening.

The real problem has always been ( and remains) attitudes. This largely comes from culture and socio economic backgrounds. In the past there was a place in work for those who had the " lark about" attitude for school ( it was called a factory floor) . Now the place is the dole queue. Previously aspiration would have been to have a job and earn money ( and there was some work ethic for that). Now they just stand on street corrners and wait to be
"discovered" and become " famous" ( "Cos I gotso much talent its obvious innit?"

The big difference is that previously ( forty years ago) most DC were compliant and well behaved in school ( even those from poor homes) and so it was possible to get an education if you wanted. Now, it isnt possible because DC are noisey and arrogant and disdainful and rude to the point of obscene and ill mannered and plain ignorant - and they want to make sure everyone else joins them but ensuring that it is not possible for anyone else to learn either ( "well , if I aint gettin' an education and goin' nowhere, why should you?")

I could lay the blame for all of this ( or at least identify the changes that seem to have led to the dead end attitude and disruption) but to do so would be MN suicide as it would open a can of worms no one wants to see is there.

Unless you address the cultural and socio economic issues first, education will continue to " fail" for most in state schools - although to be truthful I suspect it is " fit for purpose" for the majority who will end up on the dole in these times.

Meanwhile if you value education it has to be a private education because the reality is that for the majority the choice is simple - private education or no education. Mr Clegg knows this.

LadyWidmerpool Mon 04-Feb-13 07:16:10

In Scotland most children go to their catchment comprehensive and plenty of them get into top universities.

Ronaldo Mon 04-Feb-13 07:21:14

The Scottish education system is very different to the English one - and at the risk of speaking plainly here, coming and saying "In Scotland" is as irrelevent as my saying "In Canada" comparing the Canadian system with the problem being discussed.

projectsrus Mon 04-Feb-13 09:08:21

I don't think this is true. My brother is a teacher in Scotland and plenty of children go to private schools there too.

Ronaldo Mon 04-Feb-13 09:36:10

Like Fettes

Ronaldo Mon 04-Feb-13 09:40:14

Or the Scottish education system as characterised by the standards of "Rab C Nesbitt" and family?

Lancelottie Mon 04-Feb-13 09:44:41

'Meanwhile if you value education it has to be a private education because the reality is that for the majority the choice is simple - private education or no education.'


Let's cheerily say to the 93% of the population who cannot afford -- and maybe don't agree with -- private education that, hey, they clearly don't 'value' it.

Ronaldo Mon 04-Feb-13 09:57:37

Let's cheerily say to the 93% of the population who cannot afford -- and maybe don't agree with -- private education that, hey, they clearly don't 'value' it

I dont know if they value it or not. But if they do, then it has to be up to them to make a difference doesnt it? I would guesstimate overall probably around only 20% of those using the state system place any value on education. The rest couldnt care less.

To that end maybe you need to identify the problem and source a solution?

I do not think that abolishing private schjools is the anwer ( most people like me would just go to another country where we could get away from the rpblem.

" Backward" thinking systems like grammar schools just moves or hides the real issue.

What you have to get to grips with is the culture " chav" that represents some 85% ofthose who access the state system. You need to address that.

ubik Mon 04-Feb-13 09:58:23

lots of children are privately educated in Scotland, the Old boys/girls network is alive and well.

But I am really impressed with the standard of state education up here. People huff and puff about it, but from what I can see it is of a higher standard than the education i received in the state system in London. That said, I have come through the state system, attended an RG university have a post grad second degree so I guess I did learn something at my state school.

NotGoodNotBad Mon 04-Feb-13 09:58:35

"In Scotland most children go to their catchment comprehensive and plenty of them get into top universities. "

Where I live in Scotland 25% of secondary aged children go to private school.

ubik Mon 04-Feb-13 10:00:00

Ronaldo, with respect you don't know what you are talking about. Either that or you are Nick Clegg.

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