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Are grammar schools better for above average children?

(234 Posts)
celticclan Tue 16-Jul-13 21:24:59

I'm talking about your bog standard Grammar in somewhere such as Bucks not Kent (not super-selective schools). Are they better for the top 30% than comprehensive schools? In what way?

I'm personally not keen on the Grammar school system but lots of people are and I'm interested to find out why.

Chewbecca Wed 13-Apr-16 12:05:14

Here in my part of Essex we have grammars with catchment areas so I guess the other schools must be classified as secondary moderns so we don't have the choice the OP quotes of non super selective vs comprehensive.

I have no doubt that DS is better at the grammar vs my local 'secondary modern'. He's middle of the grammar for many subjects, top for a few, bottom for a few. The differences in ability though are generally pretty narrow and the whole class is able to move at the same pace without spending time differentiating, unlike at primary school. The main things I think are working really well are the pace of work, the competitiveness and the general expectation of excellence. He's met a lot of boys who are 'like him' whereas there were few at primary school.

I do think at a large, good, well setted comprehensive he would be equally well served, perhaps better from a social angle, including that school & friends would be closer to home & this surely must be the ideal model.

I'd love to see big comprehensives, setted from the start in every subject.

Spandexpants007 Wed 13-Apr-16 11:41:04

You need to google the schools value added score to see if the same child would do better in one school or another. It will varey and isn't dependant on the type of school (grammar or what ever).

Personally I'd avoid grammar if your child only scrapes in.

Catmuffin Wed 13-Apr-16 11:37:05

Catholic schools in the England call themselves RC schools though don't they?

paintandbrush Mon 11-Apr-16 15:49:44

I'll second that, pigbin, the Roman bit only really gets used by bigots here in NI.

Anyway, grammar schools are great for top sets because you don't get picked on for being clever, or having a nerdy interest in Mendelssohn or whatever. Also to everybody who says "oh but then comps will do worse", NI GCSE/A Level results are always about 30% better than England's. Fact.

I went to grammar and my dyslexic sister to a great comp, she did slightly better than me at A level bc she was in a school better attuned to her needs. Only anecdotal evidence, but still.

curlew Fri 26-Jul-13 12:52:44

I am a Roman Catholic. I do not consider it loaded.

PigbinJosh Fri 26-Jul-13 12:48:15

Although maybe not incredibly stupid people.

PigbinJosh Fri 26-Jul-13 12:47:36

Curlew I've explained why it was. The fact that you don't accept that demonstrates that you meant to use that term and knew what you were doing. The usual form when people use loaded terms unintentionally is to apologise. Even stupid people.

curlew Fri 26-Jul-13 12:46:21

There was nothing in my post that could be considered discriminatory. I find the implication very offensive. Or I would, if it wasn't so incredibly stupid.

PigbinJosh Fri 26-Jul-13 12:39:48

Catholics are supposed to send their children to a catholic school (still). If there isn't one then you can't. In some places, there isn't one.

The only people who use 'Roman' are people who are sniffy about catholics since its not what we call ourselves, it was originally a made up name by protestants who wanted to pretend that they are the true 'catholic church' and we are some offshoot instead of the other way round. The only people who use it these days are people with an axe to grind, typically these days in an attempt the stress the 'foreign otherness' of catholics as a way to advance the cause of abolishing our schools. It's a very loaded term indeed. As I have no doubt you knew.

CofE schools are sometimes a back door for selection since they have property based entrance criteria. Catholic schools are not since they don't.

curlew Fri 26-Jul-13 12:30:42

And if your riding comprehension was that good, you would have noticed that Catholic schools were the only ones that ever had any justification, even though none do now.

curlew Fri 26-Jul-13 12:29:33

Since when has the use of the word Roman been discriminatory? Genuine question.

And all faith schools are a vehicle for back door selection. Any school where parents have to jump through a hoop to get a place (even if the "hoop" is part of the fabric of that family's life) will get better results than a school where all you have to do is wait for the allocation letter.

And you are wrong. Catholics were once obliged to educate their children separately.

PigbinJosh Fri 26-Jul-13 12:24:57

Curlew Your use of the word 'Roman' was sufficient thanks. I don't need a lesson in reading comprehension. And catholic schools are not and never have been a back door for selection. That is why the only criteria for entry is activity in the church, not depth of pockets and ability to buy a house in a desireable catchment area. Catholic parents have never been under an obligation for separate education - the distribution of catholic schools makes that a nonsense. There are many areas with no catholic schools.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 26-Jul-13 12:20:02

> I'm a bit hmm as to why Grimma even mentioned them in the first place.

only in relation to the distance kids have to travel to school, and I didn't mean to derail the thread!

(but just to clarify one thing: 'I only mentioned Catholic schools because they were the only ones that three was ever any justification for, because Catholics parents were once obliged to educate their children separately. While they are still obliged to educate their children in the faith, there is no obligation for segregation'
No, they weren't the only ones - nonconformists had similar problems. But mostly they got rid of their own schools way back (pre wwII) when non-church state primaries were introduced - they weren't necessary any more.)

HisMum4now Fri 26-Jul-13 12:11:41

Is it possible to 'abolish' selection?

curlew Fri 26-Jul-13 11:53:35

I only mentioned Catholic schools because they were the only ones that three was ever any justification for, because Catholics parents were once obliged to educate their children separately. While they are still obliged to educate their children in the faith, there is no obligation for segregation.

Which means that there is no justification for any faith schools, of whatever denomination. And they are all no a cover for back door selection.

Read posts with care, pigbinJosh, before you insinuate discrimination.

PigbinJosh Fri 26-Jul-13 11:44:48

But anyway faith schools are a completely different issue so I'm a bit hmm as to why Grimma even mentioned them in the first place.

PigbinJosh Fri 26-Jul-13 11:44:08

Catholics are still under an obligation to educate their kids in the catholic faith. Many catholics don't get the opportunity though since the distribution of catholic schools is not uniform throughout the country and no longer matches the distribution of actual catholics throughout the country. Many oversubscribed catholic schools are oversubscribed because non catholics want to go there too, not just because there are too many catholics (although this is sometimes the case). There are indeed plenty of no great catholic schools and sometimes they are oversubscribed and sometimes not.

Telling though that you mentioned only catholic schools, Curlew. There are for more C0fE schools and they are the ones that do selection by the back door.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 26-Jul-13 11:39:52

As I said, that's a topic for another thread -I don't want to derail this one. smile

curlew Fri 26-Jul-13 11:35:06

"Grimma I imagine the parents sending their kids to the faith school would disagree. What you describe as a 'fix' would likely be seen as a 'destruction' by many."

There was, possibly, an argument for faith schools, Catholic ones at least, in the time when Roman Catholics were under an obligation to educate their children apart from children of other faiths. Nowadays, they are simply a method of back door selection, whatever people say about the ethos. This is proved by the simple fact that undersubscribed faith schools do no better or worse than comparable non faith schools. It is only when over subscription criteria are applied that results are noticeably better.

PigbinJosh Fri 26-Jul-13 11:15:04

Grimma I imagine the parents sending their kids to the faith school would disagree. What you describe as a 'fix' would likely be seen as a 'destruction' by many.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 26-Jul-13 11:08:52

Well, in London (and some rural areas) you hear of kids having horrible long journeys (on public transport, not actual school buses) because of one set of parents sending kids miles to a faith school and then families who live near that school having to send their kids miles to whatever's left over - so they aren't even doing it because the school is in any way better for them. I'd want to fix that part of the education system first TBH - anyone else interested see here.

But that's a whole other thread!

PigbinJosh Fri 26-Jul-13 09:00:22

It used to take me an hour to get to my comp in south london, on public transport, back in the 80s. Because of the way the buses were. Mind you, it only took half an hour to walk, but it was uphill all the way and through woods and a park. I didn't mind walking home but walking there was a bit much.

gazzalw Fri 26-Jul-13 08:40:35

I have to comment though that we live in a neighbouring borough to where DS attends his super-selective. The bus journey isn't any longer than it would be for him to cross our home borough for some of the comprehensives. We only considered the super-selectives because they are effectively on 'our doorstep'....

I really cannot understand parents subjecting their children to really, really long journeys of a couple of hours just to go to school. And I'm pretty sure that a lot of these children don't live in towns or boroughs with no decent schools....

It's all gone a bit pear-shaped, hasn't it?

curlew Thu 25-Jul-13 23:55:34

"But isn't that the same as saying that a First from Oxbridge is the same as a First from Thames Valley?"

No, it isn't.

beatback Thu 25-Jul-13 20:34:18

Piggywigwag. It is a shame that the parents of those DDs believe it neccassary to enforce a 2-3hr journey to school and back each day. Due to the fact that a suitable education for their DDs is not available in a more accessible location.

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