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For anyone who still thinks that access to selective state education is a level playing field.....

(904 Posts)
curlew Fri 29-Nov-13 12:18:25

I have just read the latest OfSTED for my dd's grammar school.

There are no children in Year 7 who are eligible for FSM. None. Not one.

pointyfangs Fri 29-Nov-13 13:18:28

Not surprised at all. Just sad.

lalalonglegs Fri 29-Nov-13 14:02:14

I'm not surprised either. The upper limit for FSM is so low and the money required to get a child into a selective school - tutoring, buying past papers, possibly greater travel expenses to the area in which the school is based - are so high that I'm sure a lot of parents on low incomes can't manage it (and that's without the other barriers that disadvantaged parents might have in place when considering schools).

curlew Fri 29-Nov-13 14:11:46

The surrounding schools have 17%, 22%, 11%. (CofE) and 5% (RC)

Mintyy Fri 29-Nov-13 14:14:09

Does anyone think it is? Surely not.

curlew Fri 29-Nov-13 14:21:08

Oh, I am frequently told on there that it is, Mintyy- anyone can coach the r child- all the resources are on line- and my particular favourite (not) "cream will always rise".

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 29-Nov-13 14:23:59

can I be the first to anticipate a list of posters regaling us with stories of Leafy Comps They Know where no-one is on FSM?

Hassled Fri 29-Nov-13 14:28:30

I'm really shocked by that. It's just awful.

Talkinpeace Fri 29-Nov-13 15:16:03

There is one leafy comp that used to have 0% FSM near here but it is a very well known anomaly smile
having just looked it up, now that Pupil Premium is a lot of money, that has magically jumped to 1.6% wink

DCs school (vaihy leafy comp) is 10.3%

ProphetOfDoom Fri 29-Nov-13 15:18:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Talkinpeace Fri 29-Nov-13 15:20:13

my catchment school BTW (also a comp) is 33.8% FSM

the nearest grammar (in the next - tres leafy - county) is 0.5% at the boys and 1.2 at the girls

so zero really is shocking

teacherwith2kids Fri 29-Nov-13 15:20:23


Even DS's comp - the leafiest of leafy comps, oft described as 'selective by catchment' and 'the preserve of rich MC families' - has 3.6%. I thought THAT was absurdly low, but 0 in a whole year group is AWFUL.

Talkinpeace Fri 29-Nov-13 15:27:57

If you look at a schools statson the DFE site, on the right hand side of the screen is a bit that says "downloads"
so I did
the FSM national average is 14.4%

teacherwith2kids Fri 29-Nov-13 15:31:10

Local superselective: 0.6%

Comp round the corner from said grammar: 24.2%

Schmalzing, a quick Gogle suggests that around 21% of children are eligible for FSM nationally, but only 18% claim them.

So, of 100 children in the superselective, there are over 17 FSM children who 'should be there but are not' by a simply reading of the statistics.

Of course, as well as the cost of preparing children for the 11+, there is the point that FSM children are under-represented in the highest attainers in primary - so the problem is not all about that 'point of preparation', but starts much earlier in the educational journey.

teacherwith2kids Fri 29-Nov-13 15:35:12


My data was from a DfE publication

Interesting that different parts of the same organisation give different figures!!

I realise, btw, that my '17 missing children' is very, very simplistic. At 10 / 11, those 'missing' FSM children are not all working at a level where grammar school entry is appropriate, because the gap in their educational attainment starts much, much earlier. However, the gap between 0.6 and 18 - or even 14 - seems to me to be too big to explain simply by the different 'attainment profiles' of FSM and non-FSM children at 11.

Talkinpeace Fri 29-Nov-13 15:40:30

Yours is nicer to read than mine grin

Out of interest OP, on the DFE page for a school, it shows the number getting FSM over the last 5 years : which shows the pattern of an area and smooths out anomalies in cohorts.

What does that give for the school in question?

ParsingFancy Fri 29-Nov-13 15:45:56

<snort> at "cream will rise"

Yep, managers at the private tutorial company I worked for did indeed refer to clients as "cream".

It meant "rich and thick."

teacherwith2kids Fri 29-Nov-13 15:47:19

In 2012 in England:
59% of children receiving FSM obtained Level 4+ in reading, writing and maths KS2 SATs.
78% of children nor receiving FSM achieved the same measure.

I can't at present find the data for L5+, which would be a better measure of grammar school entry potential.

However, the gap between attainment of the different groups of children in the general population does not seem to be large enough on its own to explain the very tiny % of FSM children at grammars.

Helpyourself Fri 29-Nov-13 15:48:22

Flipping heck that's depressing.

ParsingFancy Fri 29-Nov-13 15:49:07

Disclaimer: I had a slaightly more positive attitude to students than that.

But I'm not under any illusion about the impact of our work helping the sharp-elbowed get ahead. And I've never tutored for 11-plus.

CatAmongThePigeons Fri 29-Nov-13 15:58:04

That is a depressing result. The local Grammars (3) are between 2.4 and 5% fsm, the local comp academy has 37%.

The gap is shocking

BackforGood Fri 29-Nov-13 16:16:25

I'm more surprised, that anybody is actually surprised by this.
Around here (not a 'grammar school area' but with a tiny minority of grammars, which by dint of numbers makes them 'superselectives' sadly you only get in if you have both been inclined and able to afford to tutor for some years beforehand or pay for the Private schools which has the same effect but multiplied by more years.

straggle Fri 29-Nov-13 16:55:14

Full Fact researched this

- less than 3% of grammar schools entrants are entitled to free school meals, compared to 18% on average in other schools in areas where grammar schools exist

- Four times as many entrants to grammar schools came from independent schools

- children from deprived backgrounds performed worse than their counterparts in areas without selection

I think children on FSM are twice as likely to have SEN, too, particularly of the emotional and behavioural kind. Stands to reason that having a child with SEN makes it difficult to work and care for a child at the same time. Or perhaps the stress of low income and being threatened with eviction increases anxiety and behaviour problems in children. Neither is creates calm learning environment.

WooWooOwl Fri 29-Nov-13 17:42:13

I can't say I'm surprised at that, and there clearly isn't a completely level playing field when it comes to the 11+.

I don't think that's the schools fault though. Our GS has a much higher level of diversity than our comp, it's just that the diversity isn't about socio economic circumstances.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 29-Nov-13 18:59:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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