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Some primary teachers politically opposed to 'elitist' grammars

(27 Posts)
auckland63 Mon 04-Feb-13 13:20:09

Have any parents experienced hostility from teachers at state primaries to grammar schools and the 11 Plus? Hearing anecdotally from some parents who claim their kids have heard teachers saying that grammar schools are elitist and they are opposed to selective education. Seems a shame if children are being subjected to political views of teachers which maybe should be kept away from the classroom. The primary our children go to refuses to coach for the 11 plus in any way or even prepare children for the exam.

KatherineKrupnik Mon 04-Feb-13 13:21:08

I live in a grammar area & none of the schools coach for the 11plus. It's an optional exam.

Hulababy Mon 04-Feb-13 13:24:06

I agree that teachers should not subject any of their political views on primary school children.

However, it is very likely that some teachers will be opposed to grammar schools and 11+ exams, in the same way some teachers oppose other forms of selective schools - independent schools, church/religion schools, same sex schools, etc. Some teachers do believe that all chidlren should be allowed the same form of education regardless of gender, social background, religion, ability to pay to go to a school, academic ability, ability to pay for tutors, etc.

gazzalw Mon 04-Feb-13 13:30:23

We had this from DS's Head-teacher at primary school. In fact she seemed to bend over backwards to recommend all the less desirable schools and went out of her way to say how hot-housing the selective schools were. Needless to say we (along with a lot of other parents) ignored her advice and DS is now at a super-selective.

CecilyP Mon 04-Feb-13 14:23:16

Of course, there are going to be some primary teachers who opposed to selective secondary education, just as there will be others who are in favour. Normally, I don't think that they should share their views with pupils but can understand that, under the circumstances, the subject crops up.

In terms of preparation, in many LEAs, whatever their personal views, they are simply not allowed to prepare their pupils for the 11+. If the exam contains maths and English then, presumably, they will be doing this anyway. If the exam is VR/NVR then they will not, nor would they normally be allowed to.

annach Mon 04-Feb-13 15:42:25

Our school is anti-selective but our head is very fair about not damaging a pupil's chances (one private school head told me some state primaries simply never bother to send the pupil's report to them, putting those pupils at a huge disadvantage.

One brave teacher took me aside at parents' evening and whispered that we should consider selective education because my overly-eager academic DS would get picked on at the local secondary. She looked terribly nervous and told me she wasn't allowed to say this but thought I should know. I'm still grateful to her for her honesty.

auckland63 Mon 04-Feb-13 15:56:26

The biggest irony for me was that a council official in our grammar school area admitted their kids were all tutored to get into the local grammar and told me that most children "won't stand a chance" unless they are tutored as the 11 plus is so alien to their day to day lessons. I had my son tutored for one hour a week and he went from a rank outsider to passing the exam. Has massively boosted his self confidence!

CecilyP Mon 04-Feb-13 15:57:20

I am not surprised she is not allowed to say it. How does she have so much inside knowledge of the local secondary school that she can know what children are likely to be picked on by a cohort that hasn't even arrived there yet? OTOH, it would seem perfectly reasonable for her to say, 'have you thought about selective education because your DS is one of the brightest in the class?'

TotallyBS Mon 04-Feb-13 17:28:43

How does this primary school teacher know so much about this local secondary school that a lot of her children have gone to over the years? I've no idea Cecily

TotallyBS Mon 04-Feb-13 17:32:32

A few of the comp teachers here on MN have made it clear that they are anti Oxbridge. Elitist, biased in favour of the moneyed classes blah blah blah. I wonder how many of their very bright pupils will be considering Oxbridge? smile

OhDearConfused Mon 04-Feb-13 17:42:28

The primary our children go to refuses to coach for the 11 plus in any way or even prepare children for the exam.

If it's a non-selective area (OP doesn't say) then isn't that as it should be? If it were my DCs school, I'd say coaching for the 11+ is irrelevant and have no problem with it not being done (although I am doing it separately) because only one or two will even try selectives (super selectives an hour a way which our school) or the indies.

Most areas do not have grammars so the coaching is irrelevant for almost all primary schools.

On the other hand, if you are in a grammar county, then perhaps its different - unless the county takes the view that coaching is not needed since the 11+ is to test inate ability. hmm

Arisbottle Mon 04-Feb-13 21:18:09

I am a comp teacher who does not support the local comprehensives, most of the staff at the school feel similar. We send students to Oxbridge most years. a fair few if us have been to Oxbridge and therefore it would not make sense to deny that for others.

Yellowtip Mon 04-Feb-13 21:31:21

OP yes, I've come across a great deal of hostility from teachers over the years to the local superselective. Nevertheless I don't see it as the job of the local state primaries to 'coach' for the test, particularly since the HT of the local superselective says coaching is not necessary to get in. I have some sympathy with the primary teachers in the area too, who get bombarded by some parents with questions about whether their DS or DD is likely to get in. I think they get wearied, and don't want comeback.

difficultpickle Mon 04-Feb-13 21:39:18

The head of our catchment primary was anti Montessori and anti grammar. Ds was at a Montessori nursery when I was looking at primary schools and we are out of county but in catchment for grammars.

CecilyP Mon 04-Feb-13 21:50:08

How does this primary school teacher know so much about this local secondary school that a lot of her children have gone to over the years? I've no idea Cecily

Only by a representative sample reporting back to her. I am not sure that they do. Possible if the secondary schools have different holidays.

CecilyP Mon 04-Feb-13 21:54:04

On the other hand, if you are in a grammar county, then perhaps its different - unless the county takes the view that coaching is not needed since the 11+ is to test inate ability.

That is the view they take - at least that was what a spokesman for Bucks Council that I heard on the radio said.

teacherwith2kids Mon 04-Feb-13 21:54:25

Locally, it is not allowed for state primaries to coach, or even teach, for the optional 11+ (partially selective county). Parents are given factual information (e.g. CAT scores) that might indicatre suitability or unsuitability, and parents need to decide on their course of action based upon that.

Private primarues, on the other hand, teach to the grammar school test from the day of entry, as it's their raison d'etre locally.

TotallyBS Mon 04-Feb-13 22:26:14

Instead of blaming parents for tutoring their kids, maybe parents should blame their schools for not tutoring their kids.

I mean, it's naive of the policy makers to assume that the pushy/well off parents won't have their kids tutored.

rollmopses Tue 05-Feb-13 12:09:37

Teachers expressing such politically motivated, blinkered views, should be kept away from the classrooms.

Hullygully Tue 05-Feb-13 12:11:46

State primaries aren't allowed to tutor for the 11 plus, at least in the grammar areas I know of.

Hullygully Tue 05-Feb-13 12:12:21

Ah, teacher already said it^^

sydlexic Tue 05-Feb-13 12:15:26

We have super selective grammars here. My DS was tutored one hr a week by his head teacher. He was completely supported by his state primary.

thesecretmusicteacher Tue 05-Feb-13 12:41:18

Assuming you are in a grammar school area, I think you are right. The exams clearly are not tutor-proof in any way shape or form.

If they tutored all the kids in the state primaries, then the "suited-to-11+" ones would get in regardless of background and you would get the social mobility.

If they aren't allowed to tutor because someone is asserting that tutoring makes no difference that's really unfair on the kids from less "sharp-elbowed" backgrounds - worst of all possible worlds and suggests getting rid of grammar system would be better.

Yellowtip Tue 05-Feb-13 13:29:28

musicteacher it's still worth noting that some hugely intensely tutored kids still fail to get in and some kids who've had no outside tutoring do get in. So the tests are that leaky tbh.

Yellowtip Tue 05-Feb-13 13:30:17

I mean the tests aren't that leaky tbh.

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