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why don't we either have grammars everywhere or abolish them?

(75 Posts)
katebee Tue 15-Jul-08 21:23:14

I know life isn't fair (!!) but it seems strange that a child should get a completely different state education system depending on where he/she is born in the UK.

Is it correct that grammar schools have a higher budget per child than comprehensives? Surely the same amount should be spent per child whatever state secondary school he/she is in? If there are reasons to keep grammars in some counties why aren't grammars brought back everywhere? If the grammar school system is flawed (due to some children maturing later academically or whatever) why are grammar schools still in existance?

I don't know all the arguments for or against grammars or have a particular opinion as to whether they are the best system (I have never lived in a county that has grammars).

I just think that we pay the same level of tax uk wide so why not have the same standard of education nationwide - preferably improved everywhere. I think the postcode lottery of the NHS is bonkers too.

looking forward to lots of objective replies!!

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 15-Jul-08 21:24:35

Message withdrawn

katebee Tue 15-Jul-08 21:26:27

Whooopss!! Maybe I should have said "grammar schools"..feeling a bit tired having only just got my children to sleep so my use of the English language is not at its best!

figroll Tue 15-Jul-08 21:35:25

No grammar schools don't have a larger budget - a commonly held misconception.

Both my children go to grammar school, so I am totally biased and desperately tired of being criticised for sending my children there.

I can't defend their presence and I think we are very lucky to have them in the area. It was the closest school to my house and I wanted my children to go to a school that was close - luckily they got in.

I don't think they would suit everyone though, as I can imagine if you were at the bottom of the year group you could grow up feeling somewhat inadequate. There are some seriously clever children there. If grammar schools didn't exist I could imagine some of these children would be given hell - they are the ultra geeky 100% in maths types.

figroll Tue 15-Jul-08 21:38:40

No grammar schools don't have a larger budget - a commonly held misconception.

Both my children go to grammar school, so I am totally biased and desperately tired of being criticised for sending my children there.

I can't defend their presence and I think we are very lucky to have them in the area. It was the closest school to my house and I wanted my children to go to a school that was close - luckily they got in. So no, I don't want them to be abolished as I would then have to find a new school for them.

Equally, I would prefer grandmas not to be abolished, as I am looking forward to being one, one day in the future!

AbbeyA Tue 15-Jul-08 21:39:17

I would abolish them. I notice that everyone always says 'Save Our Grammar Schools'-I have never heard anyone campaigning to keep the Secondary Moderns.

figroll Tue 15-Jul-08 21:39:43

What happened there? Sorry about that trash I just posted!!

katebee Tue 15-Jul-08 21:41:04

figroll - thanks for explaining the budget.

I would not criticise anyone for sending their child to a grammar school. If we had grammar schools nearby and my children were bright enough I'm sure I'd be hoping they would get in.

ivykaty44 Tue 15-Jul-08 21:43:41

Why not have grammer schools? I thought it was just academic bright dc that went to grammer schools? The nearest one to us is 10 miles away, same county.

How do you get into a grammer school - on ability?

ScummyMummy Tue 15-Jul-08 21:43:54

Good point, Abbey. I am still keen on total abolition of all grammar and private schools come the revolution.

abouteve Tue 15-Jul-08 21:45:25

The plan was to abolish them so they started up North. Then for some reason the affluent South wouldn't take it lying down so they stayed. Ok I know they still exist up North in some cities but not in my area. Seem to remember that they changed there status to grant maintained as a loophole to stop closures.

I think they are here to stay, just a pity there is now a three tier system.

Tinker Tue 15-Jul-08 21:49:08

Yes, good point Abbey. When we moved recently I deliberately chose not to move to a nearby borough that still has grammar schools despite suggestions that we should. Could not face the, presumably compulsory, coaching to get in or (the more likely) not getting in and having to cope with that at 11.

pluto Tue 15-Jul-08 21:49:10

You get into grammar school based on the results of the 11plus exam. Different counties call this test different things. Where I live it's called the kent ability test and kids sit it in the sept of Y6, children in many cases have had extra tuition from private tutors to help them through the test. Some grammar school teachers I know complain of children who have been taught how to "pass the test" and they find the students don't really have inate high intelligence.In kent parents get the results before having to decide what schools to apply for.
it's very controversial and creates all kinds of heartache for parents and children when they are in Y5 and Y6.

abouteve Tue 15-Jul-08 21:54:14

Must admit that I'm so glad we didn't have to go through the 11 plus stress. No choice except the local good comp. (or private) so still no choice for us. The advantage of being in a non grammar area is that they comp has a mixture with very bright pupils who have not been creamed off by the system, so the comps are very good schools.

ivykaty44 Tue 15-Jul-08 21:55:17

If you have a more academic ability then why not go to a grammer school?

I am sure my two dd's would not qualifie and i certainly would not have them coached to pass a test and then struggle though school.

My dd's both have other abilities that although may not be academic are lovely atributes and will give them other advantages in life.

Not everyone can and should be academic so why worry?

But dont take the grammer schools away from the pupls that will benifit from it.

TheHerdNerd Tue 15-Jul-08 21:56:47

But why abolish them? You're saying that some people have access to something good, and other people don't have access to something good, so we should take it away from those who do have it.

Hurrah! We want what's worst for everybody! hmm

How about campaigning for picking the standards up in other areas, rather than reducing everybody to mediocre?

ScummyMummy Tue 15-Jul-08 21:57:08

it sucks man, labelling 11 year olds as failures. bye bye self esteem, bye bye happiness. I got through school swimmingly because of intellectual dysmorphia- told I was clever, believed I was clever, and without any major evidence felt fairly confident that I could do whatever I wanted. I would have been SO crushed if I'd failed the 11+ and had to face reality. I'm so grateful i didn't have to take it.

Fennel Tue 15-Jul-08 22:00:27

I think it's interesting that something like 69% of people are in favour of grammar schools (according to a recent poll) but only about 20-30% of children would go to them. People do tend to assume their own children will go to the grammar schools I think.

Before children I wasn't a fan of the grammar school system but did assume rather that if we had children they *of course* would be grammar school material. And now I have children I am really very glad indeed we aren't in a grammar school area. Because I think some of my children would get in easily. and some might well not. And I am really very glad my children are not going to be ranked as successes or failures aged 10.

Fennel Tue 15-Jul-08 22:01:12

x-posts Scummy but I think we're agreeing there smile

ScummyMummy Tue 15-Jul-08 22:03:29

We are indeed, fennel.

Tinker Tue 15-Jul-08 22:06:46

I agree Fennel. I was easily grammar school material at school (had they mattered then, Catholic school for me) and just assumed my own would be the same. But she's not!

TheHerdNerd Tue 15-Jul-08 22:08:02

I think you're being over-emotive about it.

Kids don't see themselves as failures, surely - I mean, yes, there's a certain amount of acceptance that they haven't got into a grammar school, but neither have any of the other children in their school.

They've already been in school for 7 years by this point. They've had to come to terms with success and failure already, no? Surely you're underestimating their resilience?

ReallyTired Tue 15-Jul-08 22:08:11

The 11+ stinks and it has to be remembered that the majority of people in the past left school with zero qualifications. Eleven year olds is too young to seperate kids to different schools on intelligence. Setting is much better and allows late developers to be moved at a later date.

I think it would be more sense to do it at 14 years old. Infact it could be done by offering a really wide range of courses and teachers guiding children towards a suitable course rather than an massive exam.

I agree that comprehensives aren't prefect. Many comprehensives are not comprehensive. In our town the schools are very polarised.

The rich kids go to one school and the poor kids go to another. It is selection on postcode. Often children in deprived areas have lower intelligence, however there are plenty of children who buck the trend. A bright child in a deprived area might lack the company of children of similar ablity. This can have implications like their school not offering difficult subjects becuase of lack of uptake.

ivykaty44 Tue 15-Jul-08 22:08:39

70-80% of dc don't want to go to a grammer school - so then they perhaps don't see themselves as failure if they don't want to go?

I think it has much more to do with the parents expectations as far as the failure attitude goes - why would a child be a failure because they dont pass a written test? This doesn't denote failure it states this dc is not inline to be taught in a certain way at a certain school but will thrive in another school and be good at other things.

AbbeyA Tue 15-Jul-08 22:11:50

I think that people are assuming that their DC would get a grammar school place when they support them. We moved away from a grammar school area and I much prefer the comprehensive system. The 11+ was abused by many people who coached their child to the test.

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