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Theresa May to end ban on grammar schools

(1001 Posts)
noblegiraffe Sat 06-Aug-16 23:49:04

Theresa May to end ban on grammar schools, reports the Telegraph.

This is not a policy announcement, rather a testing of the waters, I suspect.

noblegiraffe Sat 06-Aug-16 23:57:12

Sam Freedman, former advisor to Gove and Director of Teach First (someone I actually have a lot of time for) suggests that if the DfE gets bogged down with opening new grammar schools, they could take the eye off the ball with the GCSE reforms that are currently ongoing, and the whole thing could end up a total mess.

So that's something to look forward to.

LemonDr1zzle Sun 07-Aug-16 00:07:41

Just saw this referred to on BBC news. I wonder how they will implement it and whether it will bring about the desired social mobility.

noblegiraffe Sun 07-Aug-16 00:13:52

The evidence shows that grammar schools are terrible for social mobility.

HPFA Sun 07-Aug-16 06:56:54

If it a testing of the waters it's all the more important that we show strong opposition. Start by writing to your nearest Tory MP pointing out the evidence about grammars being terrible for social mobility. There's enormous amounts available but this is very good

Remember, if free schools are allowed to select they will be able to set up next door to your great comp, turn it into a de facto secondary modern and there will be NOTHING you can do to stop it. If you've ever posted on Mumsnet about a great comprehensive school or said how glad you were to be living in a comp area then I'm afraid you need to start fighting for it now.

EndofSummerLooming Sun 07-Aug-16 07:07:14

Yes. Fantastic. Brilliant. Hurrah for common sense. My heart leapt when I heard the news. At last a return to some standards and real opportunity for poorer children.

I was raised in and area of poverty, East Kent. The grammar schools were fabulous and provided wonderful opportunity. There were also technical schools, some excellent Secondary Moderns, and a thriving FE provision. If that could be replicated across the country life would be so much better for young people.

We need smaller schools, tailored to the needs of children and an end to homogenous qualification factories.

Where we lived state comprehensives were just not fit for purpose and were not an option. We went private. Mist people who cared and didn't have the "religion string" moved away.

Most sensible, heart lifting thing I've heard in years.

halostarTheresa May starhalo

OTheHugeManatee Sun 07-Aug-16 07:13:13

Provided there are measures to ensure intake is skewed towards poorer children this is fantastic news. The well-off have always been able to buy good education but everyone else is currently prevented from doing so. This is hugely unfair. I'm sure this thread will soon be a re-run of the standard grammar school bunfight debate but I have to say I really, really hope this happens.

BertrandRussell Sun 07-Aug-16 07:15:47

"Provided there are measures to ensure intake is skewed towards poorer children this is fantastic news"

How do you imagine this working?

VeryPunny Sun 07-Aug-16 07:18:53

I was aghast when I realised that in England, primary schools provide no help towards grammar school entrance tests. In Northern Ireland when the 11+ was used and taught to and held in every primary school, NI had one of the highest blue collaruniversity admission rates in the UK.

If selection is by tests which only middle class well off parents have the resources to provide for, of course social mobility will grind to a halt.

OrangeNoodle Sun 07-Aug-16 07:19:19

This is great news. Now we need primaries to properly prepare children for 11+ so that grammar is accessible to people of all financial backgrounds rather than those who can afford tutors. My school did it. It's not hard.

StealthPolarBear Sun 07-Aug-16 07:21:02

Just getting on this thread bur know nothing about grammar schools.

Toomanycats99 Sun 07-Aug-16 07:24:58

Living in a super selective grammar area I agree that in most instances it those who can afford to pay for tutoring that get in. Hopefully a larger number of grammar schools would lead to a much wider intake. I do think they would need to start supporting it in school though as when I did the 11+ 30 years ago to truly make them available for all. When I did it you did 11+ in school and you passed or failed and went to the relevant school. I don't remember there being much issue with it. Going through it now with my daughter it's completely different. And I am trying to make her understand it's very hard to get in as I don't want her feeling bad if she doesn't.

DoctorDonnaNoble Sun 07-Aug-16 07:25:08

It can work for social mobility. One of the issues out school has is that many people think you have to pay for grammar school or that it's 'not for them'. This seems to have got worse since I went to one in the 90s. We are, however, more diverse than stats suggest (as are many schools, not everyone entitled to FSM claims them for instance). Council policies have also not helped. When I went to secondary, if you opted for grammar or religious school you got free travel not just for your nearest school. Several of my classmates would have struggled to attend without that support. I know it's not for every one and I know lots here really object, but I also know that had I not gone to the grammar school, I would have done less work than I did (due to my character flaws).

BertrandRussell Sun 07-Aug-16 07:25:22

Unless we can all say, with total sincerity "How wonderful, Theresa May is preparing the way for more Secondary modern schools! My heart lifted when I heard that!" then there is no way anyone should be thinking of this as good news.

DoctorDonnaNoble Sun 07-Aug-16 07:35:42

It doesn't have to be that though (I understand I'm working in an ideal world theory land). In my idealised world. There would be good provision for all (and switching between types would be a lot easier).

TeamFinn Sun 07-Aug-16 07:41:41

I didn't go through the UK education system. What is a secondary modern and why are they a problem?

BertrandRussell Sun 07-Aug-16 07:53:01

A secondary modern school is where children who fail the 11+ go. They can be very good schools. But they always have in their cohort, the overwhelming % of children from poor/disadvantaged backgrounds, the overwhelming %of children with AEN and (by definition) overwhelming % of children of lower academic ability. And they have children who have taken a test and failed it at the age of 10, or who will have been told that it's not worth their while even trying to take the test, with the self esteem and confidence issues this will often induce.

So, a pretty challenging cohort!

CookieDoughKid Sun 07-Aug-16 07:54:53

Absolutely brilliant news. Hopefully we can have resources dedicated to non grammar schools and helping them stretch and achieve their potential too. If a school cannot control the behaviour and achieve without the top 30%, it's not the top 30% fault is it?? Yes it boils down largely to parental input and I would say we really need to have parents on board first in their kids education.

BertrandRussell Sun 07-Aug-16 07:55:20

"It doesn't have to be that though (I understand I'm working in an ideal world theory land). In my idealised world. There would be good provision for all (and switching between types would be a lot easier)."

So you're basically talking about an entirely different system to the one we have? I honestly don't think that's going to happen. They are just going to tack on more grammar schools as a sop to the articulate middle classes and devil take the hindmost.

Lovefromhull Sun 07-Aug-16 07:55:31

Great angry A chance to go back to judging and labelling children at a young age. Forget about the others- so long as the more academic pupils are pushed and catered for that's great. More of the message that if it's not academic its not worth pursuing. Makes me furious.

Lovefromhull Sun 07-Aug-16 07:57:22

What has happened to all children having the same opportunities in life? Not any more.

StealthPolarBear Sun 07-Aug-16 07:58:55

Well its looking like she plans to adapt and continue the life chances strategy so she'll need to describe how it fits into that.

3amEternal Sun 07-Aug-16 07:59:04

This could work, providing it's not simply a rollout of the Kent/Bucks system. There would need to be:

Preparation in primary so that children who couldn't access tutors are given a fair shot.
Potential for movement across the system beyond the 11+ so performance later on can be taken into account.
Bring back technical schools.
A whole rethink of secondary moderns. It would be a disaster if we returned to the days where they were holding pens until people were old enough to send out into employment.

BertrandRussell Sun 07-Aug-16 08:02:06

"Preparation in primary so that children who couldn't access tutors are given a fair shot."

But they wouldn't be given a fair shot, would they? They'd still be competing against kids who have huge amounts of parental support and preparation at school!

BertrandRussell Sun 07-Aug-16 08:02:50

"Bring back technical schools."

Preparing children for what?

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