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1. Re: Private pupils 55 times as likely to go to Oxbridge
(Original post by Bubblyjubbly)
I think you are trying a little too hard to carve out a niche for yourself. Your point is irrelevant - I wasn't talking about probabilities, I was referring to the Oxbridge discrimination angle - even your argument says nothing about probability, but observed frequency instead.
What? Of course the point is relevant. What is important is the probability of a given student getting a place, not how many of them there are in total.

(Original post by Bubblyjubbly)
The bottom line is that there are 57 times more students with 3As+ from the private sector and as far as Oxbridge admissions are concerned and the issue of unfair discrimination, that is all that matters.
This is just wrong. Assuming that Oxbridge admissions are actually concerned about this issue (I would argue that they are not, per se), then it is the proportion of FSM students against the proportion of private school students which is important, as I pointed out in my previous post.

(Original post by Bubblyjubbly)
If you want to take your non-argument down some irrelevant back alley please feel free, but your rather naked (and neurotic) attempt to hide the fact that state schools are garbage (except grammars) cuts no ice here.
This may be true, but that doesn't stop that statistic being useless unless it's a proportion/percentage.

(Original post by Bubblyjubbly)
Personally, I'd like to know how many of those 176 students attended grammars (or somehow managed to get a scholarship to a private school); the Sutton Trust (and other lefties) love to lump in state grammars with the rest of the crappy comprehensives when it suits them; if, as I rather suspect, that a significant number of those 176 are from grammars, that would be constitute an even more damning indictment of the state sector/comprehensive schools.
More information would be useful, and one such important fact will be the total numbers so that proportions/percentages can be calculated.
2. Re: Private pupils 55 times as likely to go to Oxbridge
(Original post by Captain92)
I think the point here is that fewer people % wise from state schools on school dinners get the grades required for Oxbridge compared to those from private schools, which is more a failing of the state school system than anything else (although I don't think the state can quite afford to educate every pupil to the same standard that Eton can, for example).
I have one major problem with this article: why are Oxford and Cambridge singled out ALONE? Yes, they are both considered outstanding universities, but they are by no means the only universities that people who are getting A*AA and higher should be aspiring to.
Yeah i agree. I wasnt surprised when i read this though.
3. Re: Private pupils 55 times as likely to go to Oxbridge
(Original post by Bubblyjubbly)
You clearly don't understand the difference between probability and relative frequency - in reality, there is no such thing as probability in social science.
As someone who is studying a social science at university, I can assure you that there is such a thing as probability. Relative frequency is one way of observing information on said probability.

(Original post by Bubblyjubbly)
Your point is completely irrelevant and utterly fatuous. With reference to the Oxbridge admissions issue, it is the "probability" related to those with 3As or more that is of concern to Oxbridge, not the "probability" of anybody from any particular group getting in regardless of their grades.
That was the point I made in my first post in this thread, that the probability considered has to be conditional on getting the required (in fact the same) grades.

(Original post by Bubblyjubbly)
The probability of getting in with less than 3As is virtually zero regardless of origin and the "probability" of getting into Oxbridge with 3As is similar whatever the background.
The latter is what is being debated here. I would agree with you that it is similar, but I do not have any evidence to back that up.

(Original post by Bubblyjubbly)
It's clear your tiny mind can't handle the fact that the "probability" for the FSM sector you refer to is of relevance to the state, not Oxbridge.
Yes that probability is not of interest to Oxbridge, but information regarding number of FSM students who had the grades and applied to Oxbridge is important in deciding whether or not there is any discrimination against them.

(Original post by Bubblyjubbly)
English clearly isn't your first language - I didn't say that Oxbridge admissions were not concerned, I said "...as far as Oxbridge admissions are concerned.." which is something else entirely.
English is my first language and I perfectly understand the difference between an entity "not being concerned" and "as far as [the entity] is concerned".

(Original post by Bubblyjubbly)
Your obsession with proportions/percentages is a joke.
It's not an obsession, it's required information to make any judgement on the matter. It's like being given a statistic that "only 10 students of Afro-Caribbean origin were admitted to Oxbridge, while 10,000 White British were" compared to "only 10% of Afro-Caribbean applicants were admitted, while 50% of White British were". I'm not saying that the latter tells anywhere near the whole story, but it's far more useful information than the former. That is all I am trying to say and you're blowing it far out of proportion (pardon the pun ).

(Original post by Bubblyjubbly)
Go back to school, little boy.
I left school quite a while ago.
Last edited by alex_hk90; 30-12-2010 at 00:45. Reason: Typo: 'considered' to 'concerned'.
4. Re: Private pupils 55 times as likely to go to Oxbridge
Im a state school, 1million times more likely to go to oxbridge than any private school pupil.

RIP RAHU :e
5. Re: Private pupils 55 times as likely to go to Oxbridge
(Original post by alex_hk90)
...
Hmmm, everything he said . I'm not an economist, so you're doing a better job of arguing this than I would!

(Original post by Bubblyjubbly)
You clearly don't understand the difference between probability and relative frequency - in reality, there is no such thing as probability in social science. Your point is completely irrelevant and utterly fatuous. With reference to the Oxbridge admissions issue, it is the &quot;probability&quot; related to those with 3As or more that is of concern to Oxbridge, not the &quot;probability&quot; of anybody from any particular group getting in regardless of their grades. The probability of getting in with less than 3As is virtually zero regardless of origin and the &quot;probability&quot; of getting into Oxbridge with 3As is similar whatever the background. It's clear your tiny mind can't handle the fact that the &quot;probability&quot; for the FSM sector you refer to is of relevance to the state, not Oxbridge. English clearly isn't your first language - I didn't say that Oxbridge admissions were not concerned, I said &quot;...as far as Oxbridge admissions are concerned..&quot; which is something else entirely. Your obsession with proportions/percentages is a joke.

Go back to school, little boy.
I do find it quite amusing how on this forum many people, when challenged, suddenly resort to being as pompous and patronising as possible. The big words come out, often along with thinly disguised personal attacks, in attempt to hide the points actually being made, which are normally repetitions of points made in previous posts. I don't know where this desperate defensiveness comes from - possibly a refusal to (even passively) concede defeat at an argument, or maybe some feeling of inferiority when faced with someone who clearly knows more about the subject than you do?
6. Re: Private pupils 55 times as likely to go to Oxbridge
Bringing back grammar schools would certainly help.

The unfortunate result of mixed-ability education is that able students are often dragged down by the requirement of teachers to cater to people far less intelligent than themselves. Similarly, particularly gifted students are often bullied or made to feel unincluded if they have aspirations higher than their classmates. In private schools, where everyone's being trained for university education, this isn't so much of a factor.

Statistics such as these aren't purely indicative of a failed state education, it's of a state education which refuses to recognise innate ability.
7. Re: Private pupils 55 times as likely to go to Oxbridge
(Original post by FyreFight)
Bringing back grammar schools would certainly help.

The unfortunate result of mixed-ability education is that able students are often dragged down by the requirement of teachers to cater to people far less intelligent than themselves. Similarly, particularly gifted students are often bullied or made to feel unincluded if they have aspirations higher than their classmates. In private schools, where everyone's being trained for university education, this isn't so much of a factor.

Statistics such as these aren't purely indicative of a failed state education, it's of a state education which refuses to recognise innate ability.
I'm not so sure. I went to a comprehensive school, with some classes mixed-ability and others streamed, with a greater proportion of the latter as we moved up. Seeing that other people have trouble with you find easy is good for developing empathy, and can teach you to help people out. Going from 11 to adulthood never having to interact much with people who aren't academically clever is a bit of a recipe for lack of insight, especially when people go straight on to competitive universities and the professions.

Bright pupils are failed by rubbish comprehensives, but to me this is more to do with breakdown of discipline in general, demotivated teachers and so on than being dragged down simply by contact with less intelligent peers. I'm sure it is frustrating when the disparity is very great and not well handled, but from experience I don't think that's an inevitable consequence of having a variety of ability within a school.

The other problem I have with grammars is that a distinction is made between two classes of student at an early age, with the less able streamed off into what is implicitly an inferior education (seperate but equal is always a hard sell, never mind different but equal). Those schools are likely to have more problems with discipline or demotivation, and students will never have the benefit of intelligent\motivated peers. Not to mention educated and middle-class will have the advantage of any test no matter how pure its intentions leading to stratification by class. Oxbridge's demographics show this and I think that's a price worth paying for excellence in higher education, but not at secondary level.

Anyone who does end up at a secondary modern or whatever they end up being called and discovers intellectual gifts or aspirations aged 12 is going to have even bigger problems with bullying or not being included, with their potential clever peers having been hived off.

The real tragedy of failing comprehensives isn't the people who go to UCL who might have gone to Oxford, or even the people who go to Warwick who might have gone to Oxford. It's the people who don't get an opportunity to go to university when they might have been capable of it. And even more so, the people who leave school effectively illiterate or innumerate. While that goes on, arguments about the fate of the top 10% are the tail wagging the dog.

I have nothing against grammars, and I know you're not all cold intellectual beings with zero insight. It's clear that they are very effective at educating a selected slice of pupils and reap the rewards. It isn't their fault that this is achieved at the expense of those who weren't picked - seem to remember reading quite a long time ago stats showing the average results in selective education systems are lower because the increased performance for grammar schools are outweighed by the reduced performance in the non-selecting "comprehensives" (I realise this is weak stuff!).

Against my own argument: current "comprehensive" system is selection by postcode. Better opportunities confined to clever working-class people still better than rubbish opportunities for all working-class people.
Last edited by Huw Davies; 30-12-2010 at 03:22.
8. Re: Private pupils 55 times as likely to go to Oxbridge
(Original post by bex285)
That's what they're trained to aim for at private school.
On the contrary, we are not 'trained' to aim for Oxbridge. :/
We just have the desire to do more, achieve more and become more well rounded people.

I have been in state education, now in private, the teachers just push you further and when you get the grades you want to achieve more in private education.
9. Re: Private pupils 55 times as likely to go to Oxbridge
(Original post by Bubblyjubbly)
Indeed, this whole thing is a nonsense and if you had read my first post on this thread, you'd know I said exactly the same thing about FSM as a proxy for poverty. As for being a leftie, you'll grow out of it (I hope) - the left have done nothing but betray the working classes and have force them into a lifetime of failure and depdendency. The destruction of grammar schools was the biggest social and educational disaster of the last century IMHO.
I now see my tiny bit of data isn't even relevant, wrong years, sorry.
10. Re: Private pupils 55 times as likely to go to Oxbridge
(Original post by Huw Davies)
I'm not so sure. I went to a comprehensive school, with some classes mixed-ability and others streamed, with a greater proportion of the latter as we moved up. Seeing that other people have trouble with you find easy is good for developing empathy, and can teach you to help people out. Going from 11 to adulthood never having to interact much with people who aren't academically clever is a bit of a recipe for lack of insight, especially when people go straight on to competitive universities and the professions.
It's an interesting point, but having gone to a (mostly selective) grammar school, there was plenty of opportunity to develop said insight because even then there was quite a large range of academic ability. I've always had a problem with the argument that there is anything wrong with going from "11 to adulthood [and beyond]" without having to interact with people who aren't academically clever, because if you were really that 'clever', you'd work out that there is a large proportion of the population who isn't.

(Original post by Huw Davies)
Bright pupils are failed by rubbish comprehensives, but to me this is more to do with breakdown of discipline in general, demotivated teachers and so on than being dragged down simply by contact with less intelligent peers. I'm sure it is frustrating when the disparity is very great and not well handled, but from experience I don't think that's an inevitable consequence of having a variety of ability within a school.
No doubt that is also a major problem and solving this would help significantly. Nevertheless, I still feel that if you had 60 students of random ability, you would do better by splitting them into a 'high' and 'low' ability class of 30 students each rather than just randomly dividing them into two classes. I also feel that this extends to whole years, so splitting 600 students into two schools of 300 by ability would be better than randomly doing so.

(Original post by Huw Davies)
The other problem I have with grammars is that a distinction is made between two classes of student at an early age, with the less able streamed off into what is implicitly an inferior education (seperate but equal is always a hard sell, never mind different but equal). Those schools are likely to have more problems with discipline or demotivation, and students will never have the benefit of intelligent\motivated peers. Not to mention educated and middle-class will have the advantage of any test no matter how pure its intentions leading to stratification by class. Oxbridge's demographics show this and I think that's a price worth paying for excellence in higher education, but not at secondary level.
While the aims of education in the 'less able' may not be as high in terms of grades, I wouldn't call it 'inferior' but rather 'differently targeted'. If the problems of discipline and demotivation are in any way linked to academic performance of the individual students this may even be better as students won't feel as left behind as teachers can go at a pace that is more suitable and maximises the students' potential.

(Original post by Huw Davies)
Anyone who does end up at a secondary modern or whatever they end up being called and discovers intellectual gifts or aspirations aged 12 is going to have even bigger problems with bullying or not being included, with their potential clever peers having been hived off.
As I mentioned, standard entry points at Year 10 and Year 12 would be required to deal with this.

(Original post by Huw Davies)
The real tragedy of failing comprehensives isn't the people who go to UCL who might have gone to Oxford, or even the people who go to Warwick who might have gone to Oxford. It's the people who don't get an opportunity to go to university when they might have been capable of it. And even more so, the people who leave school effectively illiterate or innumerate. While that goes on, arguments about the fate of the top 10% are the tail wagging the dog.
I agree that there should be a minimum standard of education that everyone attains, especially in terms of literacy and numeracy, but the benefit to society of sending those extra borderline people to university is very debatable. (I already feel that there are far too many university places as it is.)

(Original post by Huw Davies)
Against my own argument: current &quot;comprehensive&quot; system is selection by postcode. Better opportunities confined to clever working-class people still better than rubbish opportunities for all working-class people.
This is pretty much the main point - some opportunity is surely preferable to no opportunity. Of course the best situation is that all schools are good enough but that is what is currently being tried and doesn't appear to be working.

(Original post by Bubblyjubbly)
Indeed, this whole thing is a nonsense and if you had read my first post on this thread, you'd know I said exactly the same thing about FSM as a proxy for poverty. As for being a leftie, you'll grow out of it (I hope) - the left have done nothing but betray the working classes and have force them into a lifetime of failure and depdendency. The destruction of grammar schools was the biggest social and educational disaster of the last century IMHO.
I agree. FSM is not a great proxy for poverty. The left do fail the working classes. Closing grammar schools was a terrible idea in practice.
11. Re: Private pupils 55 times as likely to go to Oxbridge
(Original post by AgaROSE)
On the contrary, we are not 'trained' to aim for Oxbridge. :/
We just have the desire to do more, achieve more and become more well rounded people.

I have been in state education, now in private, the teachers just push you further and when you get the grades you want to achieve more in private education.
So what you're saying is that if you don't go to a private school, you don't have the desire to achieve more or become "well rounded"?
I think that was a pretty sweeping statement of you and to be honest I'm quite offended by it.
12. Re: Private pupils 55 times as likely to go to Oxbridge
I think its because comprehensive schools just don't have the resources to help Oxbridge candidates e.g. at my school and lots of other comprehensive schools you just have to work yourself, especially for interviews. In private schools they get better training for interviews (perhaps pre-interview I don't think it matters that much).
13. Re: Private pupils 55 times as likely to go to Oxbridge
(Original post by anshul95)
I think its because comprehensive schools just don't have the resources to help Oxbridge candidates e.g. at my school and lots of other comprehensive schools you just have to work yourself, especially for interviews. In private schools they get better training for interviews (perhaps pre-interview I don't think it matters that much).
Partly, but it's much more to do with the students background.

To put it bluntly...students on FSM are more likely to come from stupid families. Children brought up in student families are thus more likely to become stupid.

It's bull**** when people say that getting into oxbridge has nothing to do with your background. Of course it does. A child brought up in a wealthy family is far less likely to drop out of school at 16 and start injecting heroin into their veins. Why? Because their parents are wealthy, and are more likely to be quite smart too, which will usually rub off on their children.

It's a sad fact that there are thousands of 'oxbridge able' children who were just brought up in the wrong family, and will never have a chance even to think about applying to oxbridge.

I know people will take this post the wrong way but...

Stupid parents (=> more likely to have stupid children) ~ low paid job ~ FSM ~, far less likely to go to oxbridge.

Smart parents (=> more likely to have smart children) ~ high paid job ~ good school ~ more likely to go to oxbridge.

I'm not saying it's impossible for children from such backgrounds to get into oxbridge, I'm just saying it's obviously more unlikely. It's not a surprise. And I'm not saying that students on FSM have stupid parents.

(I don't come from a wealthy background)
14. Re: Private pupils 55 times as likely to go to Oxbridge
Approx 1 in 4 on free school meals who got 3 As got Oxbridge offers in 2007. That was only the same odds as many independent school pupils in the same year. Whereas students at state schools who receive free school meals have really done fantastically well in terms of self motivation and independent study to get those grades.
Last edited by mummyperson; 05-01-2011 at 05:01.
15. Re: Private pupils 55 times as likely to go to Oxbridge
(Original post by mummyperson)
Approx 1 in 4 on free school meals who got 3 As got Oxbridge offers in 2007. That was only the same odds as many independent school pupils in the same year. Whereas students at state schools who receive free school meals have really done fantastically well in terms of self motivation and independent study to get those grades.
What do you mean, 'only'? Surely that's pretty good? I don't really think it's helpful to generalise and assume that because a number of students achieved against the odds, it automatically follows that they must have been the strongest candidates of the lot and consequently deserved a success rate of 100%.
16. Re: Private pupils 55 times as likely to go to Oxbridge
(Original post by mummyperson)
Approx 1 in 4 on free school meals who got 3 As got Oxbridge offers in 2007. That was only the same odds as many independent school pupils in the same year.
The same odds? Source? Are you saying that out of ALL the independent schooled students who got 3 As in 2007, 1 in 4 went to oxbridge? I very doubt that...
17. Re: Private pupils 55 times as likely to go to Oxbridge
(Original post by refref)
The same odds? Source? Are you saying that out of ALL the independent schooled students who got 3 As in 2007, 1 in 4 went to oxbridge? I very doubt that...
Here is the link to the Sutton trust report which generated the newspaper headlines. The website has other research reports which also help explain my post.

http://www.suttontrust.com/research/...ersity-access/

On Page 16-18, the proportion of students who have been receiving free school meals who are accepted at universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, are shown.

It will be obvious from the data that Oxford accepts the smallest proportion of sixth formers attending state schools and in receipt of free school meals students in the country, even (and particularly) when compared to, say, UCL/Imperial/kings College London.

Before there is an outcry about the high academic standards Oxford has, it is (not) amusing to note that even Oxford Brookes takes fewer students in receipt of free school meals from state school backgrounds than UCL.
18. Re: Private pupils 55 times as likely to go to Oxbridge
(Original post by mummyperson)
Here is the link to the Sutton trust report which generated the newspaper headlines. The website has other research reports which also help explain my post.

http://www.suttontrust.com/research/...ersity-access/

On Page 16-18, the proportion of students who have been receiving free school meals who are accepted at universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, are shown.

It will be obvious from the data that Oxford accepts the smallest proportion of sixth formers attending state schools and in receipt of free school meals students in the country, even (and particularly) when compared to, say, UCL/Imperial/kings College London.

Before there is an outcry about the high academic standards Oxford has, it is (not) amusing to note that even Oxford Brookes takes fewer students in receipt of free school meals from state school backgrounds than UCL.
I suspect the two of you may be talking at cross-purposes slightly, from my reading of the posts. I don't think refref is questioning the stats for FSM pupils, but that 1 in 4 of independent school pupils getting 3As go to Oxford, which does seem very high on the face of it.

I don't think the stat on proportion of FSM pupils accepted is very useful without the context of how many applied.
19. Re: Private pupils 55 times as likely to go to Oxbridge
(Original post by mummyperson)
Here is the link to the Sutton trust report which generated the newspaper headlines. The website has other research reports which also help explain my post.

http://www.suttontrust.com/research/...ersity-access/

On Page 16-18, the proportion of students who have been receiving free school meals who are accepted at universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, are shown.

It will be obvious from the data that Oxford accepts the smallest proportion of sixth formers attending state schools and in receipt of free school meals students in the country, even (and particularly) when compared to, say, UCL/Imperial/kings College London.

Before there is an outcry about the high academic standards Oxford has, it is (not) amusing to note that even Oxford Brookes takes fewer students in receipt of free school meals from state school backgrounds than UCL.

Yes, I know.

But afaik, the statistic from Oxford and Cambridge shows that out of ALL the FSM students in 2007 that got 3 A's at A-level (176), no matter where they applied, 45 went to Oxbridge (which approximately equates to the numbers on that pdf). This is actually an extremely high percentage, because if you take the amount of people who got 3 A's at A-level in 2007 (a very large number) and compare it with the amount who went to oxbridge (3000) you will never get such a high proportion.

If it were the same proportion (1 in 4) only 12,000 people would have got 3 A's at A-level in 2007. I would like to find the actual number but I can't.

What I am saying is, that the article is saying that private pupils are 55 times more likely to go to Oxbridge. However (taking 40,000 as a very rough estimate on the amount who got 3 A's in 2007) there's roughly a 10~15% chance that someone who got 3 A's in 2007 went to Oxbridge, so you can say that:

FSM students in 2007 are 60% more likely to go to Oxbridge than non-FSM students.
20. Re: Private pupils 55 times as likely to go to Oxbridge
Cba to repeat myself but for anyone who didn't see it, please look at the posts I made in the similar thread in the General University Discussion section, starting on this page:

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...idge+55&page=3

Important stuff there.

Not on TSR much these days so quote if you want my input/attention
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