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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??


Ronaldo Mon 04-Feb-13 10:15:42

I know what I am talking about better than most. 20 odd years working in schools and colleges of all types gives me experience. Bieng older than most I also gain from knowing exactly what things were like back in the "golden era".

What I get fed up with is people coming and trying to re write the history I lived through and tell me I do not know what I am talking about.

In Scotland I am led to believe things are different. They certainly have a different examination system and rules. But this is about England.

I have said elsewhere that Nick Clegg seems to know the score, and whilst his limp wristed liberal politics dictates what he thinks is OK for the plebs and philistine population of the country generally, where diversity, multiculturalism, minority cultures and inclusion are all to be equally valued, his take when it comes to his own DC is to make sure he does his best forthem and does not sacrifice them on the altar of "principle". For him his own DC's education will be characterised by exclusivity, high quality, good standards, and socially/culturally a mono culture with a single shared value system not one where all cultures are seen as equal. Good for him.

However, what he does for his own DC (in common with most politicians) speaks volumes about what they really know about the ailing state education system.

projectsrus Mon 04-Feb-13 10:45:45

It always surprises me when people say that 93% of children go to state schools, as if this is level playing field. As we all know, many many state schools are selective: we have grammars, we have small expensive catchments (selective by postcode), we have faith schools.

Truly comprehensive schools are probably less than 50% and many of these do have low standards and low outcomes for the majority of children. Yes a small minority will do well but it is the exception. I have one such school on my doorstep and being also old I have seen many parents take the risk and intelligent, motivated children being pulled out or come out with a very poor outcomes in relation to their starting point.

As far as the comment about multiculturalism is concerned, I have noticed that selective private schools tend to be more multicultural as many immigrant families value education very highly indeed and would sacrifice everything for their children to do well.

Ronaldo Mon 04-Feb-13 10:56:47

As far as the comment about multiculturalism is concerned, I have noticed that selective private schools tend to be more multicultural as many immigrant families value education very highly indeed and would sacrifice everything for their children to do well.

I would be inclined to say multi-ethnic not multicultural. The culture ( as is the socio economic base) tends to be a shared one.

ubik Mon 04-Feb-13 10:57:22

I think as soon as you starting talking about 'chavs' you have lost the argument.

I know plenty of working class people who have gone through the state system and are now lorry drivers, paramedics, nurses, hairdressers, builders, carers - are you referring to the working classes? What do you mean by chav?

Are these people the 85 per cent of 'chavs' who attended state school?

Lancelottie Mon 04-Feb-13 11:12:54

Well, I can probably give most here a run on the 'old and therefore experienced' bit.

I've had children in four different state schools. Does that count? Of those, I'd say we have come across maybe two to four children per classful who match the chavvy stereotype, and a vast majority who try, who have parents who care, who want to make something of their lives (even if they don't see that the One True Path is to be a privately educated lawyer and go on to raise other privately educated lawyers, a la Xenia).

Presumably we accidentally landed in the only region of the UK where this is true?

Ronaldo Mon 04-Feb-13 11:17:31

I didnt talk about "chavs". I said therewas a "chav culture" prevelent in society ( reflected in the media, on TV and follows into school)

I think it is very sad that some posters cannot overcome their instinclive political correctness and prejudices so that they have to make comments saying an argument is lost.

There is no "argument" ( or dispute) to loose. Unfortunately by refusing to look at the elephant herds in the room we cannot even have the discussion.

If you want/ need to address the issues of paucity in the state sector of education, you first have to address the paucity of mind amongst the pupils who form the majority of the intake. That means addressing the culture.

Since you cannot bring yourself to do so then Nick Clegg and freinds will continue to put their children in independent schools and the rest ( 93% ish??) of the population will continue to be poorly served.

ubik Mon 04-Feb-13 11:38:09

I'm not being being politically correct - you are talking about me and about my friends!

I have friends who did not enjoy their time in education for whatever reason and now have jobs which are not well paid but which do contribute to society in all sorts of ways.

And when I think of other friends who did A Levels with me at my comp in SE London, many have very good jobs now.

Xenia Mon 04-Feb-13 11:47:27

I don't think the one true path is to produce children clones of ourselves, but most parents who have done well including the grammar school Oxbridge ones on the thread usually want their children to have similar opportunities.

I doubt state school pupils are damaged by the absence of my children from their classrooms and those who pay do save the state a lot of money - indeed you can argue that if you earn nothing so don't pay fees when you might work and pay fees you are in the morally poor position as you impose the cost of your child's education on the state sector and indeed through your life choice of idleness ensure your children are worse educated. There is no moral high ground on the part of state school parents. Indeed their machinations to ensure through house price, a house move or religion to gain a place by the back door is much more morally corrupt than any choice to work very hard so you can pay fees.

I thought the comp near my house got 34% A - C in GCSE (my daughter's school got 79% A* and 96% A* or A albeit it is selective) but I see it is much worse only 8% got 5 GCSEs in a proper range of subjects.

Ronaldo Mon 04-Feb-13 11:55:01

I am not talking about any particular group of individuals. I am identifying thinking patterns. behaviour patterns and thus attitudinal/cultural factors which prevail in our society ( and sub groups) which lead to the current educational situation in state schools.

These patterns are prevelent amongst many but refelct a particular set of strata who dominate the British society at the moment and make up the majority of pupils in school

If you do not belong to that group, despiteyour protestations, if your DC attend anything other than a selective grammar, highly selective catchment comprehensive or an independent school, then they will be educated alongside those who value this culture and be affected by this culture. It is that ethos which leads to under achievement.

Burying your head in the sand and saying " I cannot see it" and " You have lost the argument" is not going to stop the elephants stamping on you ( or most likely your offspring).

Lancelottie Mon 04-Feb-13 12:34:51

But I can only speak from what we've seen, and that is, without moving house or trying to get into a tiny catchment, we have children currently in three different state schools, all containing a decent mix of hardworking, thoughtful, funny, ambitious kids, and a few eyerollingly awful ones. On balance, and presumably by sheer luck, there don't seem to be many pachyderms to ignore.

The DCs certainly don't seem to feel they'll be sneered at for working.

ubik Mon 04-Feb-13 12:54:46

I just don't understand the dire fate that awaits my children once the elephants have stamped on them...Might they attend a JLS concert? That is certainly something to worry about.

I agree there are many things wrong with society; our widening gap between rich and poor, the strain on working families trying to pay bills while the cost of living rises, the materialistic, hedonistic lifestyle constantly peddled to teens (at state and private school)

But I don't think working class people are the cause of that.

Ronaldo Mon 04-Feb-13 13:47:15

who mentioned working class here? I think you are being deliberately obtuse and wanting to make an argument where there is none

But best of luck to you. Especially if you cannot see how the culture affects your own DC. I suppose not knowing is good , then you dont have to live with self doubt and regret.

Ronaldo Mon 04-Feb-13 13:55:17

Lancelottie, I too thought my DS was likely to be OK in a good environment , after all I live in a "naice" middle class village in a rural part of England with a small village school. How wrong could I be?

In complete naivity and, with hindsight stupidity, I sent my DS off to the school. In twomonths he went from being an outgoing small boy, chattering, healthy and one who enjoyed learning to a withdrawn child who often came home with signs of having been scratched or kicked or similar. Of course it was just "school boy" playing and kids get scrapes and scratches. Then my DW had an odd conversation with his teacher. RED ALERT!

Turned out the school was the current depository for every bongo and nutcase who no other school would accommodate - and to thibk I put my kid there? I still angst over it

You may not know what the real case is - patchyderms? I like it but not sure I know exactly what that means.

Xenia Mon 04-Feb-13 14:01:21

Schools in both sectors vary but the bottom line is there is little a mother can do which benefits her children as much as pick a career which enables her to pay school fees. Clegg's wife the higher earner by far in that family is probably unlikely to want her children in a sink school or even in a state Catholic one in London as even those are dire compared with London private schools.

ubik Mon 04-Feb-13 14:01:48

So when you talk about chavs, to whom are you referring? What culture is this? What fate awaits my children while I bury my head in the sand to avoid doubt and regret?

What will happen? Are you saying that they won't go to university? They will if they work hard enough.

Are you implying that this 'chav' culture is one which means my children will be infected with a desire not to learn? Perhaps, but I hope DP and I set a good example, we are both hardworking, our home is filled with books, we supervise homework, we encourage them.

Are you saying they won't get a good job? In that respect you may have a point as children at private school benefit from the contacts/internships running pal's gastropub or photocopying at the law firm rather than working in a call centre or stacking shelves.

I am not being deliberately obtuse - I just want to know to whom you are referring to when you talk chavs - if you are saying they make up 85 % of the state school population then that is a sizeable proportion, I took that to mean people of a lower socio-economic status than yourself, working class people.

Ronaldo Mon 04-Feb-13 14:05:00

I did not speak of chavs. I spoke of a "chav culture". When you get that straight we might be gettting somewhere.

Ronaldo Mon 04-Feb-13 14:10:07

What will happen? Are you saying that they won't go to university? They will if they work hard enough

I am not saying anything. However, statistically the cards are stacked against your DC making good progress or achieving their potential in state schools.

The problem is you cannot know what they might have achieved if you had sent them private.
Saying "oh but look what I/they have achieved from a state school" does not change that fact.

I went to a state school. I have educated myself very well and most would say achived a great deal but I am sure that I hadmore in me and I should have done better and my education, despite what I have achieved has been considerably lacking.

I wouldnt be writing here now if I had been given the schooling opportunities Xenia is giving her DC I am fairly sure.

OhDearConfused Mon 04-Feb-13 14:18:01

@ubik, 10:00:00 Ronaldo, with respect you don't know what you are talking about. Either that or you are Nick Clegg.

Not sure why these two things are mutually exclusive.

ubik Mon 04-Feb-13 14:20:43

"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."

So the 85% are not 'chavs', they are just infected with 'chav culture?'

So you are saying that this is a culture which pervades state schools but not private schools.

So when mum gets out of her white BMW 4X4, flicks her highlights, checks her fake tan in the mirror and wiggles down the road in her sunglasses and juicy couture tracksuit, to drop little Chardonnay at private school, she is not imbued with 'chav culture'? grin

Ronaldo Mon 04-Feb-13 14:26:43

The culture pervades many things and extends well beyond any single sub group or culture. Hence 85%. Its a mass culture - a pop culture.

Ronaldo Mon 04-Feb-13 14:27:33

"pop" as in polular culture. Its the dominanat culture of Britain today ( to make that clear for you)

JoanByers Mon 04-Feb-13 14:36:42

Xenia, I shouldn't worry about those who say you are being a dreadful person by not sending your child to state school.

These are the people who insist nobody has personal responsibility, they are all victims of circumstance. All that is except for middle class people, who are to blame for everything, even the bad behaviour and lack of interest in learning of other people's children.

ubik Mon 04-Feb-13 15:02:21

Well that was a lovely comment Joan thanks for your input there ( and I think you'll find Xenia more than comfortable with her choices)

CecilyP Mon 04-Feb-13 15:08:38

Yes, I love the idea that Xenia is worried and needs reassurance that her choices were the correct ones!

JoanByers Mon 04-Feb-13 15:09:44

Have not seen any juicy couture tracksuits at my children's private school, FWIW.

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