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New grammars by 2020 which will exclude 90% of local kids

(519 Posts)
noblegiraffe Thu 09-Feb-17 15:47:43

What an excellent use of scarce public funding, to build schools that most kids can't access hmm instead of using it to build good comprehensives to improve the life-chances of everyone.

Word from the government (who appear to be ploughing ahead with the proposals before they've even published the consultation results) is that new grammars will only take the top 10% rather than the top 25% of kids. God knows where they've got the evidence that the top 10% of kids require a different school but they're certainly not sharing it with us.

It is also beyond me how making grammar schools even more elite will help with the promised social mobility agenda, when previous discussions were about how the pass grade would be needed to be lowered to increase the number of disadvantaged kids gaining access.

And if you were in favour of a grammar school opening in your area because you thought your kid would get in, how sure are you now? How much less tempting is a grammar school opening up if your kid is more likely to be sent to the other school?

In addition, expect to see furious threads in the near future from parents whose local school of choice has converted to a grammar and their kid is now being bussed to another school in the MAT that they wouldn't have chosen for them.

BroomstickOfLove Thu 09-Feb-17 16:07:10

I'd be very annoyed if this happened locally. 90% of school places in my local authority are in schools which I would be very happy for my children to attend. One of mine would almost certainly get into a grammar school taking in the top 10% of children. One of them would be borderline, which is unfortunate as I think he's actually the more academic of the two, with a strong aptitude for science.

On the other hand, if there are going to be grammar schools, I'm all in favour of them taking as tiny a percentage of the local children as possible, as that has a lesser effect on the remaining schools.

myfavouritecolourispurple Thu 09-Feb-17 18:18:51

At the moment it's worse. It's about 5% and no catchment area at a super-selective. I guess somewhere like Kent they really do take the top 25% from the local area, but my old school, which used to have a strict catchment when I was there, definitely does not.

I think 10% is not enough, but I think sticking to a very defined local area is the right thing to do.

TurkeyDinosaurs Thu 09-Feb-17 18:27:18

But you're looking at it the wrong way. In my school there are few exceptional students who would get into grammar. I work in an inadequate school. Why shouldn't these students from deprived areas have the chance to better themselves if they are indeed in the top 10%? Why should they languish? Just to make it fair for the non academic. We're not communists and unfortunately from the economy to education, if you work hard you should benefit from that, not be suppressed because it makes others feel less inadequate.

BroomstickOfLove Thu 09-Feb-17 18:37:13

But why not focus on improving the inadequate schools so that they can support all their pupils, rather than focusing on the much smaller group of pupils who would be in the top 10% of pupils at the age of 10 or 11 even if they are at an inadequate school but wouldn't be five years later.

noblegiraffe Thu 09-Feb-17 18:39:32

No, you're looking at it the wrong way Turkey. Your school is inadequate so you're saying that inadequate is acceptable for 90% of kids and the top ones, who are way less likely to be disadvantaged anyway get a Willy Wonka Golden ticket to somewhere better.

Why should anyone languish in an inadequate school while resources and cash which could be spent improving the situation are spent on a tiny minority?

And describing 90% of kids as 'non-academic' is just bullshit.

SockEatingMonster Thu 09-Feb-17 18:50:48

I find it very sad indeed. I live in an area with no grammar schools and I am hoping both DC will go to the local comprehensive with other children from their local community.

If we had grammars taking the top 10%, my eldest would almost certainly waltz in, but he'd do academically well anywhere. DD is a different matter and, even if she did scrape in, would not be suited to a highly competitive environment. However her best friend would most likely go. She would be devestated and feel a failure and, to be completely honest, we would probably end up sending her private to 'make it fair' between her and her brother.

My MIL narrowly failed her 11+, as did a work colleague. Both had older siblings who got in and both said it drove a wedge between them and changed their perceptions of themselves (both had thought they were 'clever' until told otherwise).

Horrid system.

SockEatingMonster Thu 09-Feb-17 18:52:26

Incidentally, I went to a very bog standard comprehensive and walked away with all A and A* and never remember being teased for being smart or swotty.

thanksamillion Thu 09-Feb-17 18:53:32

I'm in an area like this and it's an awful system. Aside from anything else Turkey those students probably wouldn't get in anyway unless their parents are engaged enough to apply for them to take the test, provide them with practice papers at the very least, and get them to the test centre on the right day. It's not just about being clever enough.

Cinnamon2013 Thu 09-Feb-17 18:58:23

A lot of people really do only care about themselves and their kids eh.

This kind of development will damage social mobility irreversibly.

QuackDuckQuack Thu 09-Feb-17 19:00:50

Is there any indication of where new grammars might be? I can't see any appearing in areas that are completely comprehensive at the moment. I'd just like my DDs to be able to go to our local comprehensive. They'd probably be top 10%, but there'd be the stress of getting in and lots of travel for not much purpose.

noblegiraffe Thu 09-Feb-17 19:09:35

Grammars can apparently be opened wherever parents want them.

I can easily see fully comprehensive areas turning grammar, especially as academies within MATs can convert, they don't need to be new schools.

There will be a race as MATs get their applications in to have the local grammar offer. No MAT would want to be left as the secondary modern MAT. I know the CEO of my MAT will consider it, with a careful eye on other schools in the area to see who presses the button first.

The chiefs of the Harris academy chain and the AET academy chain have already gone public with their intention to consider selection, so if there are any of those schools nearby, you should definitely be worried.

SockEatingMonster Thu 09-Feb-17 19:09:59

Another thing that always puzzles me about grammar schools; what about those children who are near-genius in one subject (typically maths!) but not so strong in other areas. Are we going to tell them they are not 'academic'?

EssentialHummus Thu 09-Feb-17 19:17:09

if there are going to be grammar schools, I'm all in favour of them taking as tiny a percentage of the local children as possible, as that has a lesser effect on the remaining schools.

I agree with this. I think a Kent type scenario is the worse of two bad options.

KathyBeale Thu 09-Feb-17 19:19:38

I live in a grammar area and my son is in year 5. Just about all the kids in his class who will take the grammar tests are having tutoring and have been since the start of y4. Some since y3. That's between £35-£50 an hour and most of them have one or two sessions a week. One of the local schools runs mock tests at £60 a pop. They can do intensive holiday courses which are roughly £500 a week. And despite all that about 50 or 60% of the places at the grammars go to kids from private prep schools so the state school kids are competing for less than half the places.

It is absolute RUBBISH that grammar schools help kids from disadvantaged backgrounds. We are comfortably off and we can't afford all the tuition that some of my son's friends are having, so how anyone from a less well off household can be expected to compete I don't know.

It makes me so angry when Theresa May talks about grammar schools offering disadvantaged kids a chance because as someone who's
'in it' I can categorically say that's not the case.

Brokenbiscuit Thu 09-Feb-17 19:22:40

My dd is top 1% rather than top 10%, and she is perfectly capable of learning and thriving in the local comprehensive school. I happen to think it's good for her to spend time with children of all abilities, and to see that all of them have their strengths and weaknesses, whether they are academic or not.

I am totally opposed to this new grammar school policy. My dc is already very lucky to be academically gifted. Why does she need to have further advantages heaped on her? What about the 90% who won't get into the grammar schools? Why aren't we investing in them?

We should be investing properly in the development of all schools, so that they can cater effectively for children of all abilities. I don't understand why this isn't obvious to everyone.

SallyGinnamon Thu 09-Feb-17 19:30:12

No doubt at the 2020 general election everyone can vote to express their opinion. Everyone here on MN thinks they're a bad thing so maybe people will show their disapproval with their vote.

noblegiraffe Thu 09-Feb-17 19:31:23

They're pulling a Michael Gove. New grammars by 2020 means it'll be too late by the next election to change things.

Brokenbiscuit Thu 09-Feb-17 19:32:40

Well, I will certainly be showing my disapproval with my vote, though to be fair, my local Tory MP is strongly opposed to grammar schools in any case.

But by 2020, the boat will have sailed and whatever government we get next may choose not to reverse this stupid policy.

SallyGinnamon Thu 09-Feb-17 19:35:36

It's only three years away. Can anything move that fast?

Brokenbiscuit Thu 09-Feb-17 19:39:44

I thought the announcement today was that the new schools could open by 2020. If that's the plan, things will have to progress pretty quickly.

Thankfully, my dd and her friends will be too old to be affected by this nonsense, but this doesn't stop me from feeling incredibly angry on behalf of the next generation of kids who will.

flyingwithwings Thu 09-Feb-17 20:13:49

Noble you should be very happy with the Governments proposals to limit grammar schools to the top 10% as opposed to 25%!

This means you will guarantee that 90% of local children do go to the local 'bog standard' comprehensive.

No the reason you are not happy because you want 100% of children to all get the same education.

Socialist dogma is if we can't give it to everybody, then no one should have the chance !

Absolute bollocks.

The poor children in these so called 'Comprehensives' in Stoke , Oldham ( who are receiving an education far far inferior to the worst 'Modern' schools in Buckinghamshire.

My dear sister how terribly hopeless she is unable to offer , when her brightest Chemistry students the chance to study three separate sciences. All the school does 'Double Science' at GCSE because the school cannot cater for the 4 or 5 students that should be doing Triple Science. This being down to logistics of time, much of which is lost due to sanctioning 'students' that refuse to do anything but shout across the classroom.

flyingwithwings Thu 09-Feb-17 20:15:52

My dear sister is always telling me how hopeless she feels for her brightest and most conscientious pupils.

QuackDuckQuack Thu 09-Feb-17 20:21:27

Our local comprehensive is small and still offers triple sciences for some. That isn't a grammar school only option.

BackforGood Thu 09-Feb-17 20:22:34

I'd far rather see the money put into providing proper funding for those with SEN/D who currently struggle to access any education. Let's be honest, the top 10% most academically gifted will do ok in any school, but those with the most difficulties surely need the most support. In my authority there aren't even enough school places, let alone properly funded school places.

I speak as someone whose dd is now struggling in 6th form as she was never, ever stretched, or challenged in yrs 7 - 11, and who quite possibly would have got into a school in an area where the most academic 10% got a grammar school place, not from any personal gain situation, btw, so I don't think many of our local schools are good enough yet, but I'm still aware she has a lot more option open to her than youngsters with SEN/D.

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