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If Teresa was serious about the Big Leg Up, she'd back BTECs, not grammars...

(17 Posts)
Draylon Fri 16-Sep-16 19:26:13


But of course, she's not serious about social mobility; she's serious about sops to classic GS supporters: the wealthy who have private as a back-up, and the rose-tinted older Boomers, and elderly. Core Tory voters.

The true surprise in all this is that it's The Torygraph that published this!! Maybe cos they know how many of their readership are 'lower MC', people who actually can't afford private, but whose DC don't qualify for FSM. The 'worried'.

Peregrina Sat 17-Sep-16 09:45:37

The Torygraph writer couldn't even get the name of the qualification right, but in essence yes. A lot of parents would be happy to see B Tecs get the recognition they deserve plus good apprenticeships.

Longlost10 Sat 17-Sep-16 11:52:35

BTECS could be a fantastic course if they were properly resourced, staffed and moderated. As it is the work submitted is often not the students own, and a lot is copy and paste. We had a plagiarism checker in one school, but it was discontinued because it was "too expensive" - guess what, BTEC grades went up when we lost it..... Maybe the government could provide a single nationwide plagiarism checker for BTEC, that would be fantastic, and not very expensive in their terms. Then the BTEC could really mean something, rather than coming with the assumption that cheating is rife and grades meaningless

titchy Sat 17-Sep-16 16:32:54

Neither did you peregrina...

mathsmum314 Sat 17-Sep-16 17:16:56

So your saying if we opened up selective schools that specialized in BTEC's then their would be more social mobility? Maybe TM is planning on allowing that as part of her proposals. Isn't that what UTC's do?

Peregrina Sat 17-Sep-16 17:56:52

Titchy - no, I may not have got the name right, but I am not being paid to write articles. Once they get something basic wrong, you wonder how much else they get wrong.

Initially Secondary education was supposed to be a tripartite system, but not many places implemented the technical strand. My SIL didn't pass the 11+ but was in a place which did implement the Technical schools, where she was very happy and doing well. Sadly, they moved to a town which only had grammars and Sec Mods; she didn't get into the grammar, and switched off completely from education at the Sec Mod, even though she went to quite a good one.

She did get into a white collar job, with training, and I think that is what gave her social mobility. I think she could have achieved more if she had been able to stay at the Technical school.

Peregrina Sat 17-Sep-16 18:02:05

I have no idea what the level of schools below technical schools was like, but I expect they were pretty dire.

eddiemairswife Sat 17-Sep-16 18:27:36

As the school leaving age was raised to 15 when the 1944 Act was implemented , Secondary Moderns didn't do O Levels. It was when Comprehensives were introduced that 11+ failures could stay on to do external exams. People of my era who went to grammar schools were able to progress through the system to University if we desired. All the 'bring back the Grammar' brigade should read a bit of education history. Also, in the early 50s, 75% of the population were working class so it's not surprising that 'bright working class children' went to grammar schools.

Peregrina Sat 17-Sep-16 18:33:10

Sec Mods weren't officially supposed to offer O levels, but some sort of fudge was worked, because my SIL did gain two from hers and it was before the town went comprehensive.

Ethelswith Sat 17-Sep-16 18:34:44

"Secondary Moderns didn't do O Levels."

That was only true of some. Many of those in Lincolnshire did O levels (a county that kept grammars) as well as CSEs.

Longlost10 Sun 18-Sep-16 07:11:33

It really doesn't matter whether you say BTEC or Btec, both are in common use, even by the exam board.

Longlost10 Sun 18-Sep-16 07:12:32

all my aunties were given the opportunity to do O levels at secondary moderns. Some took them, one didn't

Peregrina Sun 18-Sep-16 09:04:26

BTECS could be a fantastic course if they were properly resourced, staffed and moderated.

I think that's the key. I can't remember which politician it was who said the other week that vocational qualifications were a complete mess, and wanted a body like UCAS to co-ordinate them. Whether that is the solution, I don't know, but the first part of his statement was true.

The thing which annoys me is that good reports have been commissioned over the years, with sensible suggestions on reforming vocational education but both Labour and Conservative Governments have been hung up on A levels so ignore them.

portico Sun 18-Sep-16 09:16:31

A proper tripartite system must have technical schools to focus on STEM think BTECs align well with STEM technical schools

Peregrina Sun 18-Sep-16 09:31:16

We need more than just STEM schools though - we need people with STEM qualifications to get into high positions, e.g. to be CEOs in Industry. Switzerland and Germany have no problem with having an Engineer as a CEO, but we are more likely to appoint an Accountant or Lawyer.

I don't incidentally think the Germans have got it right either - they have the same problem with the less academic underachieving.

Draylon Sun 18-Sep-16 18:15:16

The issue is there just isn't the blue-collar job availability there once was.

Everyone needs to be reasonably numerate and literate, i.e. to have a maybe higher grasp of 'academic' stuff that was needed 30 odd years ago. The think the idea of the tripartite seems good- unless it's your lovely but 'less able' DC being shunted into what'll be regarded as third rate schooling.

We need to up our game as a nation.

We get told about the Finnish model, yet no one examines some realities: it's very well funded, teachers are highly regarded and very well paid. And Finnish society is very egalitarian; we're not. We want equality for all but just a bit more 'equality^ for ourselves.

The fact we even have such an entrenched and well established private school system and we go on voting Public Schoolboys into power probably tells you about how ingrained our cap-doffing gene is.

Draylon Mon 19-Sep-16 13:11:32

Genuine question- how do you plagiarise in BTEC seeing as there's precious little worked/ model answers out there, unlike in say A level!

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