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A thread to discuss state selective education.

(363 Posts)
Hakluyt Sun 11-Jan-15 15:07:53

I am conscious that this debate is clogging up other threads in ways which are not helpful and must be annoying for those threads' authors. I tried to channel the debate to a separate thread yesterday, but got it badly wrong. I hope this will work better, and will be allowed to stay.

TheFirstOfHerName Sun 11-Jan-15 15:18:35

Well it's less goady than the last one, I'll give you that.

My older two children attend a school which is trying to be both a grammar and a comprehensive (by partial selection). I am very happy with the school, but the reasons I like it (pastoral care, SEN provision etc) are unrelated to its admissions criteria.

Hakluyt Sun 11-Jan-15 15:24:11

How does that work? Is it catchment plus entrance exam? How will they allocate places?

TheFirstOfHerName Sun 11-Jan-15 15:29:35

After looked after children and those with a statement of SEN (the latter can be up to 30 children in one year):
25% of places on a test of academic aptitude.
10% of places on a test of musical aptitude.
10% of places to those living closest to the school.
The rest of the places go to siblings of those already there. If there are any spaces left over, they go to those living closest to the school.

Hakluyt Sun 11-Jan-15 15:33:34

So it can't really call itself a comprehensive, then.......

TalkinPeace Sun 11-Jan-15 15:36:37

Single sex

Parent's religion as NO child under the age of 13 has the maturity to make their own choice as to belief system

Ability to absorb what the tutor or prep school said

Whichever system there is, there will be those who miss the cut who should have passed.
Therefore selective schools have no place in the state sector.

The catchment issue is dealt with by increasing funding for schools with poorer demographics.

TheFirstOfHerName Sun 11-Jan-15 15:37:42

No, but it isn't a grammar either. The county calls it a comprehensive for political reasons (because there are no grammar schools in the county therefore it must be a comprehensive?). I would call it partially selective.

TheFirstOfHerName Sun 11-Jan-15 15:40:23

The catchment issue is dealt with by increasing funding for schools with poorer demographics.

I think that was the idea behind Pupil Premium. You still end up with 'comprehensive' schools that are geographically (and often socio-economically) selective.

Macloveswill Sun 11-Jan-15 15:54:34

You could argue that 'selection' happens in every school via streaming. If grammar schools didn't exist, the bright kids/coached kids who would normally go to grammars, would just fill up all the top subject groups instead, wouldn't they? So

Macloveswill Sun 11-Jan-15 15:55:54

Sorry, sent too soon...So aren't there always some pupils who are disadvantaged?

JustRichmal Sun 11-Jan-15 16:43:39

What about selection by parents having the money to pay for private schools?

Macloveswill Sun 11-Jan-15 16:49:26

But the state don't have an awful lot of power to change private schools. Parents with enough dosh who choose to pay, would always be able to do that.

TalkinPeace Sun 11-Jan-15 17:14:06

streaming is a stupid system that gets the best out of nobody.

Most comps use setting which is a very different animal
- the top kids in art
- the top kids in PE
- the top kids in tech
- the top kids in music
- the top kids in maths
- the top kids in languages

Academic kids will be in upper / top sets for some subjects but by no means all
so almost all kids get to be top for something

Macloveswill Sun 11-Jan-15 17:19:40

Ah yes Talking, I'm obviously confused between streaming and setting. I agree setting sounds fairer.

Toomanyexams Sun 11-Jan-15 17:22:20

I think setting rather than streaming in a comprehensive high school makes perfect sense. It accommodates the various talents within individual children and is therefore more appropriate and fair.

It's wrong to think this will lead to the glory being spread around though. Almost all kids won't get to be top sets in something, unless the grownups fiddle the system. The academic kids tend to be the sporty ones and artistic ones. Of course some kids have a particular standout talent, but schools tend to be dominated by all rounders.

JustRichmal Sun 11-Jan-15 17:23:28

But the state don't have an awful lot of power to change private schools.

Yes it does. It can say how schooling should be arranged.

smokepole Sun 11-Jan-15 18:33:30

There are also "selective" secondary modern schools, as Hakluyt commented about on the other present thread. Modern schools that only have 3% low ability pupils or 4.4% FSM. There is obviously a form of selection going on at these types schools. However, selection in schools is endemic whether though academic, wealth (catchment) or religion. I actually think people should except selection and embrace it as offering the most appropriate education for their DC whether that be by academic , locality or lifestyle beliefs .

This does not mean that the small numbers of FSM entitled pupils at the most sought after state schools, does not need altering (increasing) to reflect society. I mean that good schools should be able to operate in whichever way is working for them with only "slight"adjustments. These slight adjustments would allow deprived children who would benefit from these schools admittance.

TalkinPeace Sun 11-Jan-15 18:37:07

Your stats are letting you down.
FSM should match the area.
If the area has low FSM, then all of the schools will.

Secondary Moderns as you recognise them only exist in East Kent - the rest of the country is delighted to not have to deal with them.

Hakluyt Sun 11-Jan-15 18:53:07

Any school which only has 3% low ability children is a selective school.

TalkinPeace Sun 11-Jan-15 18:57:34

indeed, but Secondary Moderns as smokepole discusses are a uniquely East Kent phenomenon

name the sec mod school with 3% low ability
and by definition the Grammar next door must be (a) amazing (b) dire

but MOST SELECTION is by god and gonads rather than the few bits of the country in the stone age of the 11+

Hakluyt Sun 11-Jan-15 19:04:51

The 3% low ability is one of smokepole's Trafford schools which she refers to as secondary moderns- and which she uses as proof that such schools can and do send people to Oxbridge.............

Theas18 Sun 11-Jan-15 19:06:58

Secondary moderns aren't limited to East Kent really. The brum " comprehensives" are really, by default secondary moderns of a sort. Yes you can choose not to sit for the grammars but few academically able kids take this route ( especially now with the outreach and lower entry score for pupil premium etc).

At the moment, if you have an academically able child it is really not an option to suggest they are " comprehensively educated" as its not tailored to upper abilities at all.

TalkinPeace Sun 11-Jan-15 19:15:59

whereas in the parts of the country that are safe from the 11+ comprehensive schools are just that

Grammars are a distraction that only MN really gives a shit about

RELIGIOUS selective schools - that allow children to be brought up segregated from society at large, and often segregated by sex as well, are the most damaging for society and our future

do you really think that Muslim boys' schools will be condemning what went on in Paris last week?

JustRichmal Sun 11-Jan-15 19:17:34

What about this for an idea for selection? Pro-rata the number of places in the grammar school to each state primary schools in the area according to how many pupils in that feeder school. It would not be perfect, but it would be a lot fairer.

TalkinPeace Sun 11-Jan-15 19:24:17

And for the child who misses the cut?

The point of a comp is that late developers and non specialists can be in / get to the top top sets with the brightest kids

With any form of segregation, the children who miss the cut never get another chance

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