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Grammar school in special measures

(59 Posts)
muminlondon Wed 11-Sep-13 07:22:05

The new Ofsted regime is tough indeed. Will the school need a sponsor if it is a converter academy?

buss Thu 12-Sep-13 18:46:59

I agree that 95% pass rate for a grammar school is not something to boast about when considering the intake.
That's 5% of children who entered the school judged as above average not reaching the average grade.

talkingnonsense Thu 12-Sep-13 20:05:08

Isn't Chatham grammar Medway Unitary Authority rather than Kent? Different entry test to Kent schools. Also undeniably lot of problems in Chatham area and a bright kid can screw up through illness/ divorce/ change in family employment/ drugs, just like an average one. Generally speaking it has been said that the Medway test is easier to pass the the Kent test, just as the Dover test (allegedly) is.

ReallyTired Thu 12-Sep-13 20:48:26

OK I have found the right school

The number of children eligible for fsm is greater than most grammars but still well below the national average. My son's comp has more children on fsm and some low ablity children. The results of high ablity children at ds' school are better than Chatham Grammar for boys.

There are no low ablity children at Chatham grammar for boys and roughly 5% of boys have fsm. 85% of the boys are high ablity children. It may not be the richest of schools but its certainly not the poorerst either.

I think the 5 GCSE bar is not appriopiate for a grammar. Many of these boys probably have level 6 in maths and english and need more stretching.

spanieleyes Thu 12-Sep-13 20:50:23

Not necessarily. We had a boy go onto grammar school with level 3's! Intensive coaching for the 11+ can skew entries.

muminlondon Thu 12-Sep-13 22:58:19

But could families eligible for FSM afford the coaching for 11 plus to get those results?

The grammars in that LA had 4-8% disadvantaged pupils in KS4 according to the performance tables. The other schools had 16-37%.

BlackMogul Thu 12-Sep-13 23:30:39

Many,many children getting a level 5 are going to get A* and A at GCSE. This is added value. A good school will be able to do this, especially as children will flourish when they are introduced to new topics in a secondary school. SATs is a narrow gauge of intelligence. Schools have not been judged on results alone: it is important that children make good progress, from whatever level they start from.

muminlondon Fri 13-Sep-13 07:57:31

That seems to e the issue - progress in English was low, even taking account of the 15% starting from Level 4.

HmmAnOxfordComma Fri 13-Sep-13 11:35:14

It is very harsh to judge a selective school for not getting 100% A-Cs.

Even if there are not academic issues (low level 4 kids massively coached for 11+ who continue to underperform despite good teaching and monitoring), there will always be pastoral, medical and social issues like there are in every school.

As a pp said, divorce, bereavement, abandonment, neglect, illness, self-harm, eating disorders, bullying, illness of a sibling/parent etc all happen to grammar school pupils as well, and can all impact on exam results.

They should be getting close to that magic 100%, yes, but you never know what might have gone on for those 2/3/10 kids who don't get their targeted grades.

Talkinpeace Fri 13-Sep-13 13:12:14

It looks like Ofsteds problems were a lot more to do with bored kids and lazy teaching than actual results.
Parents who have managed to get their v v bright kids into a selective school are probably pretty pissed off if they get A and B grades when the top set at the Sec Mod are getting some A* .....

muminlondon Fri 13-Sep-13 16:03:42

Wow, that is true - I can see a comprehensive in that authority (still has a smaller top set than average) that got more A/A* in English last year.

soul2000 Fri 13-Sep-13 17:16:05

Talkinpeace. I know your comments about v v bright kids is ironic and
a bit of a mickey take. But if your Dc are in the lower band of a grammar schools intake, that most grammar school take say in the 18- 25% of middle abilty. They are unlikely to be A* kids but they probably get As and Bs.

Presumably the pupils from the non selective schools in grammar school areas who achieve A*, will end up at the grammar schools in the 6th form.
I do think ofsted have wasted time and resources in declaring this school as failing. They are obviously schools that require more urgent help. This school probably just needs a boot up its backside not a
expensive relaunching.

Talkinpeace Fri 13-Sep-13 17:22:25

I'm not being in the least bit ironic.
This school has been handed the brightest kids on a plate and is not doing the best by them.
For that it deserves to get hammered.

As should the sec mod if it does NOT get good grades with the bright kids who
- were not tutored
- did not take the 11+
- arrived mid year and could not get to the grammar

If a Grammar is getting the top 20%
and as per this
21% of GCSEs were A* or A then they really should be getting phenomenal amounts of A*
as kids are not distracted by thick kids (the standard argument parents use in favour of grammars)

muminlondon Fri 13-Sep-13 17:41:44

'Presumably the pupils from the non selective schools in grammar school areas who achieve A*, will end up at the grammar schools in the 6th form. '

The do have odds stacked against them though - in secondary moderns teachers would have to have tiny classes if they were to provide setting in all Ebacc subjects and at the same time prepare for many different exams in the same subject (GCSEs, BTECs, double science and individual sciences) to cater for the whole ability range. For which they wouldn't usually have the resources. At the grammar they would only need to concentrate on GCSE preparation for one board and would have well qualified teachers in the shortage subjects, e.g. languages and sciences.

In the example I found they had 14% high attainers but 22% of the school got A/A*s in English. That's a higher percentage than in the whole grammar school.

soul2000 Fri 13-Sep-13 17:47:30

There are obviously schools that require more help.

Talkinpeace. schools that are achieving say 40% A* to C in deprived areas, surely need more time and effort spent on them. Most of these pupils from Chatham Boys will still end up accessing higher education.
The damage to the boys may be superficial, whereas the damage in the school achieving 40% may be permanment to their pupils.

Coconutty Fri 13-Sep-13 17:49:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Talkinpeace Fri 13-Sep-13 17:53:39

whereas the damage in the school achieving 40% may be permanent to their pupils
why is it "damaging" for some pupils not to get A grades at GCSE?

soul2000 Fri 13-Sep-13 18:01:20

The reason i say it is superficial damage is because with a grade B you can still access A levels or other academic courses. The pupils who end up with Es and Ds at the school achieving 40% A* to C really are stuck
in their choices.

soul2000 Fri 13-Sep-13 18:16:17

Talkinpeace. Sorry i read you question wrong. It is superfical damage because the pupil should have got an A but got B instead. The pupil can
still access academic courses.

Talkinpeace Fri 13-Sep-13 18:33:21

I thought that was what you meant.

You clearly have an incredibly narrow view of the world if you think that many of those pupils would want to or benefit from "accessing academic courses"

It is a great failing of education policy in the last 20 years to have utterly failed to recognise that A levels and University are irrelevant to more than half of the population.

Apprenticeships and on the job training is what will bring jobs back to the young people - so immigrants are not needed to fill the jobs that UK born kids are incapable of doing.

Delivery drivers
Shelf stackers

what would those people need from "academic courses"
and how would you live your life without those people?

ReallyTired Fri 13-Sep-13 18:45:23

"It is superfical damage because the pupil should have got an A but got B instead. The pupil can
still access academic courses."

Maybe the child can still access the A-level course they want to do, but they will find A-level harder because they have a poor foundation. Many subjects like Maths, Physics, modern languages need a good GCSE foundation to do well at A-level. Good writing skills are necessary to do well in subjects like history, English, geography to name a few. GCSEs are about providing a foundation rather than grades.

"It is a great failing of education policy in the last 20 years to have utterly failed to recognise that A levels and University are irrelevant to more than half of the population."

That half of the population usually don't attend grammar schools.

Talkinpeace Fri 13-Sep-13 18:52:36

That half of the population usually don't attend grammar schools.
But soul2000 had referred to the school achieving 40% A* to C .... which will include that 50%

It goes back to the old stats about private school kids at top Unis
1/3 of all pupils will stop academic education at 16
1/3 will stop academic education at 18
the remaining third will go to higher education
the first two groups will predominantly have come from non selective state schools ....

soul2000 Fri 13-Sep-13 18:54:38

Talkinpeace. I agree with what you saying about vocational courses.
I am 42 when i left school i went on to vocational courses at college.
Over the years i have ran Bars Pubs/Nightclubs and have worked in Travel. At the age of 42 i am Unemployable now . So as a last resort i have signed up for an open access Module in Social Sciences with the Ou.
I agree with you but would you push your Dcs down the vocational route
less chance of a carrear washed up at 40 or so.
I am just greatful that my niece and newphew have both benefited from a grammar school education niece is at a RG uni newphew 6th form.
hopefully they will not be Unemployable at 40.

ReallyTired Fri 13-Sep-13 19:38:43

I feel pretty unemployable at almost inspite of attending a top private school, having excellent A-levels, a physics degree and a masters! What has damaged my employment prospects is taking time out to bring up children. I have dreams on how I plan to make myself employable again, but I won't be using my academic qualifications.

I don't think that going down a vocational route makes someone unemployable at 40 at all. I know lots of people who are builders, nursery nurses, plumbers, gas engineers, dental nurses etc who have done well for themselves.

Being employable at 40 is a matter of nouse rather than fancy qualifications. In fact many graduates end up in jobs that have absolutely no relation to their degrees.

Talkinpeace Fri 13-Sep-13 20:26:57

My kids happen to be highly academic.
DD is looking towards Natural sciences at Cambridge
DS towards engineering at Stanford
I do accounts for all of the building trades I listed above, and more.

Danny the digger : he digs holes for a living. He can barely read or write. He started bunking school at 13. BUT - you want a hole dug under an old service pipe - you pay him upwards of £300 a day ....

Employability and qualifications are only inextricably linked for the unimaginative (Lords Branson and Sugar for example of the contrary view)

I am constantly learning _ I'm miles away from where I was ten years ago but have my finger in so many pies its unreal ...

soul2000 Sat 14-Sep-13 00:06:19

Vocational is good for other peoples Dc but not your own that is the sad fact.

13 years ago i didn"t run pubs and clubs i owned them i lived in a 400k
3 bed apartment in a city centre owned 5 bars/clubs owend a 80k porsche 911.

Today 42 living with Mum and Dad borrowing their cars and needing to borrow £625 to enrol on a open university course. I was in my own small
way entrenpreneur and made money from vocational knowledge and learning on the job. Guess what it went wrong and now look unemployable,maybe
i could work on a bar or in a resturant. I bet my cellar management skills
are worth £30 a week extra to me.

The best chance for any young person today is academic qualifications.
Sure people have made loads of money who have not got any qualifications and worked hard i know quite a few. But 90% of kids who have no higher educational degrees will be lucky to earn 20k pa in their working lives. What good is 20k pa in the U.k you cant get a mortgage or can barely afford a car. You can just about rent somewhere on that amount and pay your council tax/electricty bill.

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