Nikki out, Justine in

(186 Posts)
bojorojo Thu 14-Jul-16 17:28:40

Will the new Government be more supportive of new grammar schools and change the law to allow new stand-alone ones? Theresa May wants one in her constituency and all the anti grammar school brigade have gone: Gove, Morgan, Cameron and Osborne. The BBC is reporting this could be on the agenda.

TaIkinPeace Thu 14-Jul-16 19:26:03

Hope not.
Stupid plan to put Secondary Moderns in areas that survive without them.

Greening is a Comp girl.
Hopefully she will bring some sense

TeenAndTween Thu 14-Jul-16 21:06:02

What would be better would be to stop insisting more-or-less everyone does Ebacc when they are not academically suited to it.

sandyholme Thu 14-Jul-16 21:33:12

That means because she went to 'real' comprehensive (I.e a gritty northern Comp in Rotherham) she will understand why grammar schools are needed ! Hopefully.....

BackforGood Thu 14-Jul-16 21:39:32

Of all the things that need to change in education this doesn't come anywhere near my top 100 or so..... hmm

Stickerrocks Thu 14-Jul-16 21:46:30

Justine did her accountancy exams with me. My colleagues taught her everything she knows about finance, but nothing about education. Still, she must be better than Govey.

TaIkinPeace Thu 14-Jul-16 22:01:06

sandyholme
why would being at a northern comp make her more want to put a Secondary Modern in every town?

surely its better to make all schools better ?

Stickerrocks Thu 14-Jul-16 22:13:52

I'm with TalkinPeace. Grammar schools are only the holy grail for people who think their own DC should have got into one. Secondary moderns have always been widely considered second best, so few would advocate the system if they thought their own child would fail the 11+.

All children have the right to receive a great education. As Justine is the first Secretary of State for Education to have been to a comprehensive school, who then went to a Russell Group university and got a training contract with a Big 6 accountancy firm, she is in the ideal position to see what a good comprehensive education can achieve as well as the flaws.

OhTheRoses Thu 14-Jul-16 22:30:38

She's also well placed yo understand their faults, especially in London where she lives. In Putney/Wandsworth where she lives there was not one single state comp that offered three separate sciences, two mfls and a classical language. I'd expect a grammar to offer that. If comps are intended to fulfil the potential of all, it is essential their curriculums reflect a grammar offer for those able to engage with an academic education.

Primary schools in Wandsworth are great. Justine must be acutely aware of the problems and should address them.

Why is it ok to say some young people shouldn't be expected to do the ebac but not ok to say clever children should have access to an academic education.

Children are different. The need different types of schools.

minifingerz Fri 15-Jul-16 06:00:09

"Children are different. The need different types of schools"

So where should a child like mine be educated: he failed the 11+ at a super selective because he struggles with essay writing and literacy, but easily got a level 6 in his maths SATS with no practice at home, no tutoring or parental input. He plays two instruments at grade 5 at the age of 11, and is top of his class in science at his very good comp. What 'type' of child is he? He's intellectually curious, very bright, but not academic in the sense of loving formal study. Do you think he should be educated in a secondary modern? There are many children like him out there - clever but not studious. Or very bright and high achieving in one area of the curriculum and awful in others. Where do they fit in?

By the way, my ds's comp offers separate sciences and for languages, Italian, German, Spanish, French, Latin and Ancient Greek. If they can do this why shouldn't others? Why do you need to separate children into separate buildings?

OhTheRoses Fri 15-Jul-16 08:01:18

If he doesn't like formal academic study and struggles with literacy, obviously not a deeply academic school.

At the comp DD attended for two years they could only enter the top stream if they were in the top quartile for Maths and English. She did, but it didn't make it a good school.

What does your son think?

Whilst I don't think we need a simplistic grammar/secondary modern system I think we do need different sorts of schools and massive investment again into specialist schools for those children who do not thrive and for those who cannot be properly managed in a comprehensive.

TeenAndTween Fri 15-Jul-16 08:02:20

And what about all the bright children who fail to get to grammar due to less bright but tutored children passing ahead of them?

Surely the answer is to do the range of offering within a comprehensive system, such as my DD's school has managed to do.

Why do we never hear 'bring back secondary moderns'? Why is it OK for MC/Wealthier families to ask for grammars, but then go private if their child doesn't get in? Or go private for prep to increase the chances of getting in.

The old grammar system of giving a leg up to the bright working class is long gone and buried under the private tutoring system.

TeenAndTween Fri 15-Jul-16 08:04:02

Oh - You know you don't need streaming don't you?

Nothing wrong with being top set for maths, but bottom for English.

HPFA Fri 15-Jul-16 08:22:08

It is a worry but I'm hoping not for the following reasons:
1. Andrea Leadsom said in her infamous Times interview that it would not be possible to bring back grammar schools. Since a commitment to bring back secondary moderns would have been hugely popular with the people she was appealing to, it seems that everyone actually in government realises that it would be very difficult.
2. The push for a new grammar school seems to have come from the local Conservative council, Therea May said she supported it but then she would have to, wouldn't she? There is no indication of strong support in Maidenhead itself, in a survey about educational provision only 106 people expressed an interest in the proposal (out of thousands surveyed), there is a campaign group against the proposal but no-one's bothered to set one up in support, it may (hopefully) never happen.
3. All those who have worked with TM say she's very good at looking at the evidence before making decisions. Since all the evidence shows that a return to secondary moderns would not raise standards and would reduce social mobility hope this is true.
4. It is time for those of us who do not want a return to secondary moderns to raise our voices though.especially support the group in Maidenhead www.excellenteducationforeveryone.org.uk/.

Needmoresleep Fri 15-Jul-16 08:31:07

Years ago my mother taught in a Secondary Modern, albeit in a naice Surrey town. The 11+ did cream off a good proportion of the brighter students (and in those days before tutoring, and when Grammars took far more than Tiffin's top 2%) they would always miss some and her school were able to run an academic top stream who aspired to good Universities. She always felt that those kids did better than if they had gone to Grammar. Teachers would vie for the chance to teach them, and it was probably better to be one of the clever one at the top at that school, than be bottom at the Grammar. The school could also apply more focus on technical subjects for the less academic. I know my mother, who taught maths, enjoyed bending the CSE syllabus for the bottom set to allow a project on household budgeting. And indeed, in her options role, would try to get some of the boys to take typing as well as car mechanics as complementary skills, for what was often the dream job in a garage.

Children are different. Whether more Grammars are the solution, I think it is important that thought is given to how each child, whether academic or not, reaches their potential and leaves school equipped to play a part in society. One size does not fit all.

OhTheRoses Fri 15-Jul-16 08:37:51

Needmoresleep agree with everything I your post.

The obsession with GCSEs and a university degree has become ridiculous.

esornep Fri 15-Jul-16 08:44:28

All those who have worked with TM say she's very good at looking at the evidence before making decisions.

She looks at the evidence, yes. In some of her decisions at the Home Office, she did not take into account the evidence. Not only did she make decisions which were later successfully challenged by law, she also made decisions such as including international students in immigration figures which made no sense. Her decisions lost the UK a large number of international students, resulting in an income loss estimated at 1 billion or so per year.

Nonetheless I agree that grammar schools are unlikely to be introduced.

Peregrina Fri 15-Jul-16 09:00:16

Justine Greening's old school was, I believe, a technical school, before becoming a Comprehensive, i.e. the third option in a supposedly tripartite system. I don't remember how old she is, or when her LEA's system changed, but I imagine that it would have had much of the same ethos still when she was there.

My SIL failed the 11+ and went to a technical school and got a good education from it. They were less 'bookish' than the Grammar schools, but still taught a foreign language or two and sciences, as well as more practical subjects. I suspect if this system had been implemented across the country there would have been much less dissatisfaction with the education system as it was. People now forget how deeply unpopular the Secondary Modern System was, even though there were some good ones out there.

minifingerz Fri 15-Jul-16 09:00:49

"If he doesn't like formal academic study and struggles with literacy, obviously not a deeply academic school."

What is a 'deeply academic' school?

They send children off to do law and medicine every year, have a good number passing their grade 8 music, and also getting 10A*'s. In terms of league tables for GCSE its in the top 10% in the UK.

My friend's son has just left Cambridge with a 1st after having attended a comp just down the road from my son's school. This comp has similar GCSE results to my dc's school. My nephew is applying to Imperial from the same comp and stands a good chance of getting in on the basis of his current form. My DH failed the 11+, went to a terrible comp but eventually went on to do a doctorate in chemistry.

Kings offers a 6 year medical degree only open to children from non-selective state schools, who have lower than average (for a medical degree) grades. These students go on to do extremely well in medicine. Yes they need an extra year to catch up with some aspects of their learning having had less teaching time and intensive small group tuition than medical students coming from private and schools, but they thrive once they get to university.

Point being: there are not 'different types of children'. Bright children can do well in all well resourced, and well run educational environments.

Peregrina Fri 15-Jul-16 09:03:41

My DH failed the 11+, went to a terrible comp
Was it a Comprehensive or a Secondary Modern?

minifingerz Fri 15-Jul-16 09:08:20

Peregrina, it was theoretically a comp, but in an area where 15% of children attend private schools, and where possibly another 5% attended nearby grammars. There are also some Catholic and Cof E schools in the borough which magically seem to be able to fill their places with disproportionately large numbers of high achieving children. Yes, these factors seriously distort the make up of the so called 'comprehensives'.

Ticklethosetoes Fri 15-Jul-16 09:12:40

I'm in an area with grammar schools, the stress the year 5's put themselves under to get in. Even with chilled out parents the kids are doing it.
My eldest has the attitude and interests (it's also likely her friends will go to grammar) that would suit a grammar better, but up against tutored kids I'm not sure she will get in. It really worries me that she'll split from her friends and she's 7!!!!!
I don't believe more selective schools are the way forward, academia is not the be all and end all, we do need more practical lessons and more of a rounded education.

minifingerz Fri 15-Jul-16 09:16:06

I'm saying the comp was 'terrible' - bit unfair. He enjoyed it, but it suffered from a lack of bright children in the top sets, and this encouraged a poverty of ambition in both teachers and children.

I believe that separating children by attainment and perceived (rather than actual) ability generally results in separation by income and social class, with only a few exceptions which are constantly held up as though to prove the point that children from poor, working class households can attend selective schools and that these schools are therefore not socially exclusive. Actually these children are the exception which proves the rule that social apartheid is alive and thriving within selective systems of education.

Peregrina Fri 15-Jul-16 09:21:08

Minifingerz Yes, I see. I asked because Kent parents tend to talk about Comprehensives which are actually Secondary Moderns.

My own children had to go to similar Comps where 15% were creamed off to Independent schools. It wasn't quite like a Grammar area though, because not all parents with academically able children could afford Independent education, so they stayed in the Comprehensives. The Independents also siphoned off some of the 'nice but dim' types. We had more girls than boys independents, so the end result for the Comprehensives tended to be boy heavy with more behavioural problems.

The solution to getting a good comprehensive probably depends on getting a balanced intake. My own mediocre girls GS has now become a very successful and well regarded comprehensive. Factors in its favour are it serves an area with a mixed population - no real sink estates and no ultra wealthy areas, and there are no private or Church schools within easy travelling distance, so it achieves the balance.

OhTheRoses Fri 15-Jul-16 09:28:15

The fact that Kings offers a medical degree for those from nonselective schools with lower grades says it all.

EVERY child should have the opportunity to achieve high grades before university and the education system should be working on raising standards for bright children rather than lowering the bar for the next level and putting right what hasn't but should have been taught.

Where I was educated in Kent there were grammar schools (and they had their own hierarchy), technical schools, as previously mentioned (excellent and woukd be perfect for your son mini), then the really good secondary modern, the average ones and admittedly then the awful one. There were also special schools. The son of my parents' neighbours went to the special school and got the help he needed. He's 40 now, married, successful building company.

It was a much better system than the Putney/Wandsworth comps available in Justine's constituency. That would be a very good starting place for careful thought.

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