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Sick of the fuss.

(124 Posts)
morethanpotatoprints Sat 16-Nov-13 15:23:10

Having a bit of a rant here but just feel like it.

I can't understand why there is such a fuss over what school people use for their dc.
Until recently people just took their lot as the way it was, but now we all want more and not only this but what we can't have.
If there are only a few thousand that can afford certain schools so be it.
If your dc can't go to grammar so what?
If your state school is rubbish it will get better as it will be in special measure.
If your dc aren't bright so what? If the school you would like is full so what?
There have always been situations in education that weren't perfect, or others could have and you couldn't.
Why does it matter?
Thank you.

TheRobberBride Sat 16-Nov-13 18:14:18

X posted.

catkind Sat 16-Nov-13 18:18:19

Because the nearest school we could get a place in is FOUR miles away. Our local school isn't brilliant but we'd have taken it like a shot if we could get a place.

catkind Sat 16-Nov-13 18:19:00

ETA and that's four miles across busy towns and past several schools with their own morning rushes.

wordfactory Sat 16-Nov-13 18:20:39

The thing is OP, are you willing to just suck up the local state schools for your DD?

My undersatnding was you are home educating with a view to obtaining a place at an independent boarding school.

Which is cool. But doesn't exactly put you in a place to lecture others on their fussiness.

Golddigger Sat 16-Nov-13 18:23:31

I understand that you are not jealous of others. Great.

Do you personally think there is a difference in grammar school education compared to secondary education, or do you think that the standard is the same?

Do you personally think there may be better, as in brighter, more able etc teachers at private schools than at other schools?

kitsmummy Sat 16-Nov-13 18:26:55

So would you have been happy with your DCs going to your local school if it was totally shit, with problems with bullying and low achievement and bad leadership and bad pastoral care?

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 16-Nov-13 18:39:12

If your state school is rubbish it will get better as it will be in special measure.

Utter cobblers!

My DCs' school has gone in and out of special measures like it has got caught on the door handle. It is currently in the bottom 20 schools in England.

And do you know how many alternatives we have? Absolutely none. There is one school in the town and it is beyond crap.

Why does it matter? Because my kids are going to have to compete for university places and jobs with the lucky, lucky people who actually get access to a half decent education. That is why it matters.

fwew1 Sat 16-Nov-13 18:42:25

I think lots of us wish our parents had made a fuss. I went to a seriously cr*p school (state) and wish my parents had thought more about it - they didn't, back then you went to a first school, then a middle, then a comp or a Catholic school and that was it. I'm glad for my son that I spend hours trying to figure out what will suit him best. He probably won't appreciate it until he has children of his own....

morethanpotatoprints Sat 16-Nov-13 19:19:08

As I have said before we didn't have much choice in schools they were all pretty dire.
The point I am making is that we didn't tend to make a fuss in years gone by and just accepted our lot, whatever that was.
I am not saying that people shouldn't use the choices that are available to them to gain the most suitable education for their dc.
I am talking about people who make a fuss because they don't have the same choices as others for eg state/private/grammar, no outstanding school in their area. I have heard people complain that certain types of school should be banned because their dc can't go, or pass a particular test.
My rant was about people not accepting sometimes there isn't anything you can do. It wasn't about people who had no school place or sn provision as I said before.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 16-Nov-13 19:25:07


This is what I am trying to understand.
I am not being nasty to anybody, but trying to understand why?
Several have said they wished their parents had made a fuss, I suppose I am trying to establish the difference between now and then.
Why is it important for your dc to compete with the lucky ones who got a better education, why will they need to attend the same uni's.
I am not criticising, but trying to understand the changes over the years.

SatinSandals Sat 16-Nov-13 19:27:34

I can't see that there have been changes- people have always wanted the best for their children.

Golddigger Sat 16-Nov-13 19:33:41

I think people have woken up now. Before they accepted because they just did.
Perhaps now with the internet people's eyes have been opened.
There always was a problem as far as I am concerned. Now most people realise that and are trying to do something about it, instead of just sitting back. Good for them I say.

"Why is it important for your dc to compete with the lucky ones who got a better education".

That is an ok thing to say if your dc are say self employed carpenters.
Not an ok thing to say if you have dc who may want to be a doctor, or want to work for a multi international.

And lets be honest. The education system is there for everyone in the country, not just your dc.

Pistillate Sat 16-Nov-13 19:43:00

I think that thre is more emphasis on achievement these days, it was accepted 20 years ago that some people were not going to do well at school, but that they would be able to get an unskilled job on leaving school, and that was ok. Now it is much more difficult for young people to get a job when they leave school, so they are encouraged by the state, by their families, to continue in education. Unskilled work is not valued as it was. Therefore young people have to compete... Not just if they want a job at an elite level, but if they want any job which they will not be laid off from after a few shifts.

I know teenagers who have no qualifications and very few choices. It doesn't not surprise me that the most viable option for some of them seems to be become a dope dealer and then at least they have enough weed to distract themselves from the reality of being a young person with no prospects.

MrsCakesPremonition Sat 16-Nov-13 19:49:43

Not everyone can have the best for their dc - may be so OP, but who gets to decide which people can have the best for their DC? Because I don't trust anyone else to do their best for my DC, so that means that they are relying on me.
I could just shrug and leave them to it, or I can make a bit of an effort to support them so that they get the maximum benefit from their education.

Pistillate Sat 16-Nov-13 19:53:52

Doesn't surprise me.....

MrsCakesPremonition Sat 16-Nov-13 19:59:19

Pistillate - I think you are right about the availability of jobs for school leavers. After O-levels the majority of my year group left school (16 yo) and got jobs with banks, insurance companies, offices, stockbrokers etc. etc. None of these industries recruit school leavers any more, they don't even recruit people with A-levels, they want degrees.

Pistillate Sat 16-Nov-13 20:22:46

And parents are rightly very worried that their children not get left behind.... Even nice middle class children can completely fail to achieve steady employment, and their families can go through gruelling times trying to get them to be independent. And that is without the mental health problems which are often acpssociated with unemployment. So the culture of fear of not achieving pervades throughout our culture.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 16-Nov-13 20:23:44


I agree that people have always wanted the best fro their dc, but think that attitudes to the best may have changed.
My parents wanted the best for me but had few options, so worked with what they had and supported me at home.
Never once did I hear them or any other parents I knew fussing about dc who had better opportunities such as grammar or private, not that I think these always offer a better education.
However, during my childhood it was assumed that they did, but parents were prepared to make do with what they had.
Now it seems different.
Maybe it is because a greater emphasis has been put on education, or social mobility is more sought after.
I don't think in settling for what is available to you means that you aren't supporting your dc or they won't meet their full potential, be happy in life or be successful in what they choose.

I think your point is a major contributing factor and hadn't thought of it in this way.

Pistillate Sat 16-Nov-13 20:29:08

Then there is much more understanding about bullying, which always went on, but was dealt with by saying'just ignore them' before. If my children were being bullied (and bullying goes on even in the perfectly good schools that ought to be just fine for most of us) and they hated school... I would see moving schools as one solution to the problem, and when choosing schools I was definately sizing them up in terms of will my dc have a hard time here? Do I trust these teachers to create an ethos of respect, kindness and understanding which will give the children a feeling of acceptance, and allow them to grow into secure people who will cope well with having the occasional hard time off someone? Or are they all so utterly caught up in ofsted targets that the happiness and self esteem of the children has dropped too far down the list of priorities?

Talkinpeace Sat 16-Nov-13 20:30:09

I am nearly 50
I am the first generation in my family where I have no optimism that my children will have a better life than their parents.
- housing
- schools
- finances
- environment
a damning indictment on our parents and us
we and our parents should hang our heads in shame, not hark back to a "golden age" that predated globalisation (yeah Gove, that includes you)

morethanpotatoprints Sat 16-Nov-13 20:38:58


You mention globalisation, do you think that now we are better educated ourselves we believe our dc should compete globally? Why do so many parents want this for their dc, do they see so few opportunities in other areas.
This may seem a daft question but I hadn't considered this until another poster mentioned it up thread.
For the record I don't think the education was so terrific in years gone by, it totally failed me and many of my generation. In fact anybody with a spld was failed as far as I can remember.

Talkinpeace Sat 16-Nov-13 20:49:25

The world is no longer run by Governments, it is now run by multinationsl businesses.

The original, and most powerful of these was the British East India Company.
It ran India and all the ports on the way. The whole British schooling and army system fitted around its then needs : kids who could cope with separation from family and then learn languages became the elite.

Back then there was a steady stream of upward mobility (more people needed than in place created a vacuum and sucked people upwards) so the middle class formed.

After WW2, the grammar school system created incredible (unprecedented and unrepeated) social mobility for about 20 years, helped by Mums who had been widowed and liberated by ruling the roost during the war.

Now the UK is reverting to its normal stagnation, surrounded by former developing countries who are chaning in the way England did in the 19th Century.

International competition is largely a red herring : maybe 0.5% will be international, but plumbers and hairdressers do not tend to travel.

I'm an accountant and DH a lecturer: my niche is local. DH is so unique that his Britishness is his selling point. PISA is as weak a data sample as an Ofsted report wink

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 16-Nov-13 21:01:24

Why is it important for your dc to compete with the lucky ones who got a better education, why will they need to attend the same uni's.

2 of my DCs wish to pursue careers in the sciences. If they dont go to good universities, get good degrees then they will find it far harder to pursue their career aspirations.

Should I be telling them 'sorry, interesting and fulfilling careers arent for the likes of us'?

The poor education they receive at their secondary school does not prepare them for the rigours of A level (we are seeing this now with eldest). The school barely prepares students for the GCSEs it enters them for. Some examples of the unutterable crapness my eldest had to endure:

- Maths teacher who was incapable of controlling the class. A handful of students achieved an A grade, the majority failed (keep in mind this was top set). Teacher eventually went postal at the resit class and was asked to leave.

- History teacher failed to cover any part of the syllabus satisfactorily. This teacher was asked to leave at the end of DD's year 10 meaning that the class had to cover the whole 2 year syllabus in year 11.

- German teacher left DD to teach the class as she would rather mark her PSHE homework.

- English teacher left suddenly having taken examinable coursework away with her. The school failed to enter students into a GCSE English course which would meet the requirements of EBacc.

- Biology teacher went off long term sick and was replaced with a string of non-subject supply teachers.

I am not asking for Grammar school places I would just like my DCs to be able to attend a school which was mediocre.

This is why it matters.

LinseyBluthFunke Sat 16-Nov-13 21:07:36

I think it is such an English thing to just accept things and not make fuss. I am foreign and soon after DS1 started school in UK I started to question the local education system and after a year or so had transferred him to a private prep. He is at a grammar school now and my younger kids are at a prep. All of my friends who are also immigrants had chosen private preps and planning to send their kids to our local grammar. I think at least a third of DS 1 classmates are kids of immigrants. There are so many options and ways to get your child into a better school, people come here from all over the world and manage to give amazing education to their children, yet so many local parents that should know the system and how things work in UK moan about their kids' awful school but don't lift a finger to do something about their situation.

Talkinpeace Sat 16-Nov-13 21:09:49

All of my friends who are also immigrants had chosen private preps and planning to send their kids to our local grammar.
I'm an immigrant.
there are no grammar schools near here
nor in fact in much of the country
so those who use the word "all" are clearly not looking widely ...

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