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Grammar schools

(102 Posts)
Var123 Tue 14-Feb-17 11:43:06

I heard this on the radio this morning. Was very interesting to us parents of G&T children, I thought.
talkradio.co.uk/news/julia-tears-mp-neil-carmichael-opposing-grammar-schools-while-sending-his-children-one

noblegiraffe Tue 14-Feb-17 11:48:57

It is entirely possible to be idealogically opposed to grammar schools and still send your children to one, because you have to live in the system as it is, not as you would like it to be. If bright kids around his way go to the grammar and his kids are bright, then of course they should go to the grammar.

It would be more of a problem if he were in favour of grammar schools but had sent his kids private because they failed the 11+.

Var123 Tue 14-Feb-17 12:29:03

But he's opining on how Comps are the best way with no direct experience, and by having actively chosen to have his own children avoid them.
Is that hypocrisy or is there a better word for wanting one thing for those who matter to you and another for everyone else?

noblegiraffe Tue 14-Feb-17 15:01:46

You don't need direct experience of comps to be able to refute the claim that grammars are good for social mobility (which was the claim the government was making when they first made the proposal).

If MPs could only argue about things of which they had direct experience, then it would be rather impossible for them to run the country.

BroomstickOfLove Tue 14-Feb-17 15:09:45

Plenty of people manage to be in favour of grammar schools based only on their experience of comprehensives. I grew up in a grammar school area and went to a grammar school. My children are growing up in an area with comprehensive schools. I much prefer the comprehensive system.

If he sent his daughter to a grammar school, then presumably he didn't have the option to send her to a fully comprehensive school without moving to a different area, presumably outside his constituency.

noblegiraffe Tue 14-Feb-17 15:30:24

Also if he has experience of grammar schools, then are you not curious why he isn't in favour? That's pretty damning if even people who use them think they aren't a good system.

user7214743615 Tue 14-Feb-17 20:19:53

I send my children to selective private schools as the least bad option for our family.

I would much rather send my children to adequately funded non-selective state schools and (were I a politician) I would campaign (a) for the funding being set aside for grammars to be put into non-selective state schools and (b) for significant increases to state education funding, so that all ability groups could get more support.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Wed 15-Feb-17 07:48:08

A politician who is a hypocrite.... that's a rare one.

Matildatoldsuchdreadfullies Wed 15-Feb-17 07:52:22

I am opposed to selection at 11. My children go to grammar schools. If my children had failed the 11+ they would still be in a selective system, and would be going to a secondary modern. I don't think this makes me a hypocrite.

BertrandRussell Wed 15-Feb-17 08:00:15

How is it hypocritical to have to use the system that prevails where you live?

And he may not have direct experience of the comprehensive system, but he does have direct experienice of the selective system and knows at first hand how divisive and unfair it is.

As a Tory, it would be better for him politically to say that he supports the selective system. The fact that he openly doesn't hugely reinforces the case against.

BertrandRussell Wed 15-Feb-17 08:02:11

And what about all the supporters of the selective system who use private schools? They have no direct experience either.......

Brokenbiscuit Wed 15-Feb-17 08:10:49

But he's opining on how Comps are the best way with no direct experience, and by having actively chosen to have his own children avoid them.

How has he actively chosen to avoid them? If he is in a grammar area, then presumably, there are no fully comprehensive schools that he could have chosen in any case.

Personally, I find it quite convincing when someone who is in a position to benefit most from an unfair system argues against that unfairness.

You can disagree with the existing system while still wanting the best f for your children within that imperfect system.

lljkk Wed 15-Feb-17 08:14:08

I bet most the people clamouring for more grammars do not currently have children in any school at all. So maybe we can knock out their votes, too?

IrenetheQuaint Wed 15-Feb-17 08:17:00

It's perfectly possible to form your view on an issue by analysing it from the outside and reading up on the research, rather than relying solely on your own limited experience,

Unfortunately this is a point that many posters on MN have yet to grasp grin

Brokenbiscuit Wed 15-Feb-17 08:30:27

Yes indeed, Irene. Wish more people would base their ideas on the research!

noblegiraffe Wed 15-Feb-17 14:15:35

In this twitter thread people attempt to explain to Julia HB (the interviewer in the OP) why she is wrong.

twitter.com/juliahb1/status/831824606830927872

wannabestressfree Wed 15-Feb-17 14:20:50

At one stage the whole of the conservative cabinet had attended top private schools. They still make laws and debate state schools and the benefit system- something they will have little or no experience of. Until we have a system that is proportionally fair this will Always happen.

noblegiraffe Wed 15-Feb-17 14:23:12

The select committee tasked at looking into the evidence for grammar schools have basically concluded that the aims of the government regarding grammars are unachievable.

www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/education-committee/inquiries/parliament-2015/selective-education-16-17/

CookieDoughKid Sat 18-Feb-17 10:42:12

There are stats and there are stats. I've seen stats that show grammars are very good on progress scores for the top academicly pupils . Kendrick school has amazing progress scores for its pupils (assume top 1% of cohort where it draws upon). So saying that a bright child cannot progres as much as a bottom set child doesn't stack up for me. Both sets have capabilities and both setsides may or may not have limited capabilities.

Speaking to numerous teachers at secondary they all say tailored set classes rather than mixed ability would be better for the top and bottom end of the cohort. Plus a host of other reasons too.

I think parents need to be honest with ourselves including this MP that was mauled in this interview. We may not agree with the grammar system. We choose the system because we want our children to be with like minded children and families who are serious about education. Fact. Its not about teachers or buildings or exams or selection. Its about cohort and social commonality hinged on this fact. These school tend to have lower class disruption and SEN issues (note my generalisation here before you get in a huff) and we all know that. And there are parents that will move heaven and earth literally to avoid their children's education from being disrupted by others (just being honest). I fall into this camp and so does this MP. This MP could have opted into private but he didn't or rather couldn't pay. And he certainly did move country in comprehensive education knowing full well his children would have been at the front of the arms race to get into grammar. And they did.all 3 of them.

CookieDoughKid Sat 18-Feb-17 10:43:31

didn't move into comprehensive

BertrandRussell Sat 18-Feb-17 10:48:52

"We choose the system because we want our children to be with like minded children and families who are serious about education."

Many of us don't "choose"

The MP, for example, presumably had to live in his constituency?

Crumbs1 Sat 18-Feb-17 10:53:11

More poor children get better academic qualifications from areas that only offer comprehensive education.
Most grammar schools (even in poor areas) are dominated by those who have, in some way, bought the place through moving house, buying a second house, tutoring to test etc.
Comprehensives can provide a truly exceptional education where children are stretched academically and offered amazing extracurricular activity - whilst teaching social responsibility of caring for those less able children they are working alongside.
Grammars do better because the are selective in terms of a version of ability, parenting and financial status.
Grammars take resources from other local schools.
The question is not " Would you want your child to go to a grammar?" but "Would you want your child to go to a secondary modern?"
Going back to 1950s if we increase number of grammars for politicians personal gain. Profession and all evidence shows grammars do not work for benefit of society.

noblegiraffe Sat 18-Feb-17 11:03:44

Grammar schools choose the kids, in a grammar system 75% of kids don't go to a grammar.
With the new grammar schools it's proposed that 90% of the kids in the area don't go to the grammar.

That's not a choice for parents, that's a gamble. And you see lots of posts on MN about what to do when that gamble doesn't pay off.

BertrandRussell Sat 18-Feb-17 11:11:23

"The question is not " Would you want your child to go to a grammar?" but "Would you want your child to go to a secondary modern?""

The whole grammar school debate is basically "devil take the hindmost"

And everyone knows this really. It's one of the reasons that grammar school supporters get so angry and defensive. They know that their position is indefensible.

user7214743615 Sat 18-Feb-17 18:41:49

The select committee tasked at looking into the evidence for grammar schools have basically concluded that the aims of the government regarding grammars are unachievable.

But they will be ignored, along with everybody working in education who has said the same.

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