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Selective independants

(580 Posts)
poppydoppy Sun 14-Apr-13 20:33:17

Do they look better on League tables because the standard of teaching is better or just because they select the children most likely to do well?

slipshodsibyl Wed 17-Apr-13 16:26:40

Word I agree that is sometimes true lower down the tables but I do not believe it really applies higher up

Russians there are many ways to skin a cat.....

slipshodsibyl Wed 17-Apr-13 16:30:13

Toni yes there is with the most selective getting the most places. Which is not to suggest the schools don't add value but ultimately that is what it is.

SanityClause Wed 17-Apr-13 16:34:30

Do state schools not withdraw students who are unlikely to do well in an exam, then, seeker?

A few years ago, my friend's DD was doing her GCSEs, and got really behind in Art. The (independent) school suggested she drop the subject, so she could concentrate on her other subjects. Would this not happen at a state school?

Xenia Wed 17-Apr-13 16:47:56

I can remember only one girl in one class of my daughters at Habs or NLCS over 15 years who left because of difficulties with work, left aged 10 I think. Another left whose parents moved. they are certainly schools which seem to be very experienced in selecting who will do well at the school so seem not to make too many mistakes. There is no massive weeding out. I think one girl left after GCSE for Westminster sixth form but that was not because of inability to keep up with work. It was probably because of boys....

happygardening Wed 17-Apr-13 17:57:52

"That's not the preserve of indies, why should it be? The indies might like to claim it is, but it isn't. At the end of the day the stuff the students in both sectors are examined on is exactly the same"
Yellow I can only report on what teachers at my DS's school have said to me; they in thier experience feel that they have significantly more frredon to teach what they like. I believe my DS's school is virtually unique in that it doesn't do either Eng Lit or History (I) GSCE only offering it as a formal examined subject at Pre U level but the boys do usualy daily lesson in the subjects for the first three years.

seeker Wed 17-Apr-13 19:01:56

"i Well a lot of private school parents work very hard in stressful jobs that have required a lot of work to get into in the first place" I don't quite know where to start with this one- so I think I'll leave it!!

Happy- I do really think you son's school is such an outlier that what happens there is not really relevant to any general discussion about education!

seeker Wed 17-Apr-13 19:03:21

"Do state schools not withdraw students who are unlikely to do well in an exam, then, seeker?"

Not in my experience, no.

BooksandaCuppa Wed 17-Apr-13 19:32:08

OUr highest achieving comp is notorious for doing exactly that, seeker.

happygardening Wed 17-Apr-13 19:46:16

seeker how nice and refreshing to be an outlier maybe that’s why we choose it!
Both our comp and local 6th form college chuck out children who fail to achieve the required grades at AS level. Many of the comps in my county will only let you do the A levels in the subjects you achieve at least B's in. Children are also withdrawn form subjects that they are going to fail dismally so it’s not just the independent sector doing this. Many, on paper, fairly non selective independent schools will only let you do A levels in subjects you achieve at least an A in as my friend’s DD found out.

Talkinpeace Wed 17-Apr-13 20:12:24

I went to a selective independent.
As did all the other people at my very expensive retake crammer.

seeker Wed 17-Apr-13 20:22:34

Sorry- obviously it's routine not to be allowed to join the 6th form or continue beyond AS without the grades. I was thinking about GCSE.

happygardening Wed 17-Apr-13 20:31:43

talkin and as the league tables clearly demonstrate many leave super selective independents with outstanding results.

Talkinpeace Wed 17-Apr-13 20:43:25

Interestingly, your DSs school one one of the very few famous schools that I do not remember meeting failed alumni from during my rather entertaining year in South Ken.

The trouble with comparing independent and state schools is that one is really comparing Waitrose and Asda.
The economic constraints that limit intakes to fee paying schools (regardless of the number of bursaries - because the number of bursaries will never reflect the number of poor bright children)
mean that many such schools receive the children of highly motivated parents.
Which is of course the greatest factor in a child's academic success.

Grammars are an oddity because there are so few of them and so much of the country does not get involved with them.

There may be less parental 'drive' in Comp counties like mine, but at least children of unmotivated parents get a chance to get to the top.

wordfactory Wed 17-Apr-13 20:59:07

Thing is though, many top perfroming schools are termly boarding schools, where parents don't have much input on a day to day basis.

DS is a day boy, but quite a few of his mates are boarders who only see their parents during holidays (parents abroad)...

Talkinpeace Wed 17-Apr-13 21:04:22

the overseas students at famous Boarding Schools should not really be part of the UK statistics. They arrive at 13 and leave at 18.

The vast, vast bulk of independent schools are day schools.
Many boarding schools have multiple exceat weekends per term and parents arrive at the weekend to cheer on sports teams.
With the long holidays from boarding schools, the parental impact in those weeks is significant.

seeker Wed 17-Apr-13 21:04:30

"talkin and as the league tables clearly demonstrate many leave super selective independents with outstanding results."

Many leave comprehensives with outstanding results too!

happygardening Wed 17-Apr-13 21:44:23

seeker if you take the time to read back through this thread you will see I have in fact stated this. As full boarding parents we obviously don't have input on a day to day basis but as the children get 21+ weeks holiday a year most parents remain exceedingly influential for better or worst. I suspect most children at top boarding schools are under no illusions about their parents expectations.

Xenia Wed 17-Apr-13 21:49:04

I cannot remember a single one of my chldlren's friends who had to stop a subject once started - eg be told they could not take a GCSE once the course was started. I am genuinely surprised that happens at some schools. Now it may be they are such academic schools many of the children feel anything less than an A is a fail anyway because everyone is clever.

I see nothing wrong with when they move to sixth form their doing A levels in subjects in which they got an A. Again though that is because most of the GCSE grades will be As in every subject anyway so it is no big deal to get As in most subjects so the school saying if they do say so you need an A to do your A level is absolutely fine as 100% of the child will easily meet that in loads of subjects.

BooksandaCuppa Wed 17-Apr-13 22:02:07

No, I meant state schools not allowing dc to finish (or even start) a GCSE without an almost guaranteed grade C. Or charging their parents for the entry if they insisted on their dc sitting them, with the offer of refund if a C gained (which of course would mean the parents would do
everything they could to aid the grade being achieved).

MintyyAeroEgg Wed 17-Apr-13 22:05:03

Genuinely don't understand question.

Talkinpeace Wed 17-Apr-13 22:09:24

The case I'm aware of, the child was enouraged not to start certain subjects rather than stopped from taking them once commenced.
And at my own school a girl was allowed to leave a few weeks before the A level exams she would have failed.

Yellowtip Wed 17-Apr-13 22:12:30

I'm not convinced that the school her DS attends is quite as much of an outlier as happy would like to think. I think that someone on this thread may well have a DS at an independent school more meriting of outlier status. Harder to get into, but more outlying. And a tad cheaper (I think). Still, it's pretty marginal at this extreme.

happy, you do seem to buy too unthinkingly into what your school claims, or perhaps what you understand it to claim. Yours is a fabulous school, no question (lots of university and work peers went there including two godfathers who are both very nice blokes), but it really, really does not have a monopoly of going beyond the curriculum, even if that's what you want to infer from what the teachers at the school say. Are they saying that though? Or is that what you want to hear, to justify your £30k+ pa investment?

happygardening Wed 17-Apr-13 22:45:46

talkin the description "outlier" was not my description but *seekers". I also didn't say it has a monopoly on going beyond the curriculum I was reporting on comments made by teachers who have moved there from other schools and maybe they are wrong but on the other hand maybe their experience is valid.
I am labouring maybe erroneously under the impression that it is one of the few schools to not offer either history or eng lit at (I)GCSE but still do almost daily lessons in both subject. I know lots of children at lots of different schools admittedly mainly independent and I know of no others that do this. This is not a points scoring exercise and some may think this is not a good approach many parents are surprised when I tell them and would not be happy with arrangement. I have no problem with this.
I am not in the slightest bit insecure about my choice of school so have no need to justify my choice. For my DS his school is the best fit it's not perfect but it works very well for him and for me that is all that matters. There are many other boys who are happy and thriving there but I'm not under any illusions that for other equally bright boys there it is not the right place.

happygardening Wed 17-Apr-13 22:46:55

Sorry that last post was aimed at yellow.

YoniMaroney Wed 17-Apr-13 23:35:36

The top grammar school in London kicks out 1/4 of its intake prior to A Levels.

I'm not aware of anything similar happening at any private school.

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