Results are out! Find what you need...fast. Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey there! Sign in to have your say on this topicNew here? Join for free to post

Bring Back the 11 plus?

Announcements Posted on
Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    See my response to Michael.
    Your response is flawed. Since grammar schools make up such a tiny minority of schools, why would people care? You assume that anything that isn't a grammar school is automatically terrible. We both know that's not true. With your Mansfield example, you could argue the same for whatever is the best comprehensive in Mansfield right now (I don't know, I'm not from the area).

    Besides, isn't the current system just selection by house prices? That makes the best schools far more inaccessible to the poor than under a grammar system.
    • 23 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    In my school we had streams with promotion and relegation at the end of the year (ie if you were a super high flier in your set you got pushed up a set, if you were struggling you got pushed down). It seemed to work quite well, although the curious thing was the streams were done on maths ability but you were in those sets for other core subjects as well including English and PE.

    I was in the top set which meant I was the don in PE because most of the others were just maths geeks and so when we played football I used to go through them like Lionel Messi.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    In my school we had streams with promotion and relegation at the end of the year (ie if you were a super high flier in your set you got pushed up a set, if you were struggling you got pushed down). It seemed to work quite well, although the curious thing was the streams were done on maths ability but you were in those sets for other core subjects as well including English and PE.

    I was in the top set which meant I was the don in PE because most of the others were just maths geeks and so when we played football I used to go through them like Lionel Messi.
    At my school we had sets in maths, science, english and pe and everything else was half setted with a top set a bottom set and everything inbetween jumbled up
    • 16 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by barnetbuzzzz)
    Your response is flawed. Since grammar schools make up such a tiny minority of schools, why would people care? You assume that anything that isn't a grammar school is automatically terrible. We both know that's not true. With your Mansfield example, you could argue the same for whatever is the best comprehensive in Mansfield right now (I don't know, I'm not from the area).
    No I am not making any assumptions about the quality of education. I am making assumptions about the attitudes of voters.

    The was a deliberate sleight of hand in my comments. In the case of the Mansfield/Doncaster example the leaders of my Disgruntled Party are probably parents who would have had a realistic chance of getting their children into a grammar school under the Buxton example. There is a pretty engrained dislike in this country of entrenched privilege amongst voters for all parties. The disgruntled are the parents of potential 11+ successes excluded in favour of what would be a very small number of visibly socially elite pupils.

    In the Buxton example, they aren't disgruntled. The Disgruntled Party are the inconvenienced parents of 11+ failures. They aren't complaining about the existence of grammar schools but about why they and their children have to be inconvenienced in order to create them. No-one complains about the bright shiny new hospital; only about the closure of the obsolete but convenient one.

    Besides, isn't the current system just selection by house prices? That makes the best schools far more inaccessible to the poor than under a grammar system.
    Of course.

    But the public do not in most cases (houses funded by MP's expenses being an obvious exception) see the ownership of an expensive house as an entrenched privilege.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    No I am not making any assumptions about the quality of education. I am making assumptions about the attitudes of voters.

    The was a deliberate sleight of hand in my comments. In the case of the Mansfield/Doncaster example the leaders of my Disgruntled Party are probably parents who would have had a realistic chance of getting their children into a grammar school under the Buxton example. There is a pretty engrained dislike in this country of entrenched privilege amongst voters for all parties. The disgruntled are the parents of potential 11+ successes excluded in favour of what would be a very small number of visibly socially elite pupils.

    In the Buxton example, they aren't disgruntled. The Disgruntled Party are the inconvenienced parents of 11+ failures. They aren't complaining about the existence of grammar schools but about why they and their children have to be inconvenienced in order to create them. No-one complains about the bright shiny new hospital; only about the closure of the obsolete but convenient one.
    Is there huge opposition to entrenched privilege? You see plenty of entrenched privilege in this country, you don't see people flocking away from the Tories who arguably exacerbate that privilege.

    Why would grammar schools be such a disaster for whoever introduces them if the number of people who actually go to them is tiny? Why would people look at that and decide not to vote for a party because of it?

    How exactly are the people of Mansfield losing out?
    If there are no grammar schools, their kids go to a comprehensive.
    If there is a grammar school, the kids have a small chance of going to the grammar, and if they don't they go to the comprehensive anyway.

    Unless the introduction of grammar schools leads to a massive decline in the quality of education in secondaries, (which there won't be), then there won't be any large scale opposition to grammars.

    Just look at Kent where a grammar school is expanding itself to parts of Kent without a grammar school, a move being welcomed by parents.
    • 16 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by barnetbuzzzz)
    Is there huge opposition to entrenched privilege? You see plenty of entrenched privilege in this country, you don't see people flocking away from the Tories who arguably exacerbate that privilege.
    Whether or not they exacerbate that privilege is debatable but they certainly don't intend to. That is really the bargain that Peel made when the modern Conservative Party was created and that pact with the electorate has remained pretty solid ever since.

    Why would grammar schools be such a disaster for whoever introduces them if the number of people who actually go to them is tiny? Why would people look at that and decide not to vote for a party because of it?
    I have just explained this.

    If the number of places are tiny, the resentment is about entrenched privilege. Look at the reaction to Tony Blair's trip along the M4 bus lane. From a security point of view, even from a value to the UK point of view, it was a rational decision, but the public expect that Prime Ministers should incur the same traffic delays as the rest of us.

    If the numbers are not trivial (and to recreate the Butler Act position about 25% of schools would have to become grammar schools), the resentment is amongst those who are inconvenienced.

    How exactly are the people of Mansfield losing out?
    If there are no grammar schools, their kids go to a comprehensive.
    If there is a grammar school, the kids have a small chance of going to the grammar, and if they don't they go to the comprehensive anyway.
    That is the approach of MPs when they switched expenses from reimbursing rent actually incurred on their London flats to paying the interest on mortgages on such flats. The public didn't lose out. Indeed with low interest rates the public might have been better off.

    The public didn't see it that way. They saw a fundamental difference between reimbursing a cost and enriching oneself at public expense. It wasn't about the money. It was about the principle of fairness.


    Unless the introduction of grammar schools leads to a massive decline in the quality of education in secondaries, (which there won't be), then there won't be any large scale opposition to grammars.
    Obviously in statistical terms there will be if the number of grammar school places is significant simply because the top slice of pupils will be removed. In a very highly selective system, then it won't be because in all probability the grammar school pupils were otherwise private school bound.

    To be fair to you, the point you make is that the performance of any pupil remaining at the existing secondary school will not drop because of the removal of the grammar school cohort. Whether that is true is debatable. There seems to be some correlation between middle class flight and sink schools. However, the key point is retaining teachers. It is very hard to keep decent teachers, particularly heads, in secondary moderns unless they have an ideological commitment to non-selective education.

    Just look at Kent where a grammar school is expanding itself to parts of Kent without a grammar school, a move being welcomed by parents.
    Not quite.

    The petition in favour only attracted about 2600 signatures (by no means all parents). Considering over 1100 kids were being bussed each day to grammar schools elsewhere in Kent, a cynic would suggest that the petition was only signed by their parents, their grand-parents and Aunty Flo.

    It isn't clear the Council have yet found an existing grammar school to provide this annex.

    What helps this proposal is that there is a long term need for more secondary school places in Sevenoaks. If this had been tried somewhere with surplus places, there would have been a furious reaction from parents fearing the closure of existing schools. The government is yet to experience this effect with its free schools programme but it will come as and when parents see free schools as a threat to their own children's school.
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Look at the proposal that was around about 5 or 6 years ago; a grammar school for every town. Take a town like Mansfield with a population of 60,000 and probably a rural hinterland of about the same again, so say 120,000.

    Let us say we have one grammar school with 120 places a year. How is that going to look to most parents of school age children in the area? That is a perk for Sophie from Farnsfield, not for the likes of us.

    Do the same exercise for Doncaster. The borough has a population of about 300,000. Again 120 places a year. How are the locals feeling? Why not have a Zil Lane along the White Rose Way while we are about it.

    So lets have a different system.

    We convert 25% of all school places to being grammar schools. There are two secondary schools in Buxton. One is RC, the other non-denominational. We are going to convert the non-RC one into a grammar school. So all the Buxton parents whose kids failed the 11+ who used to send their kids to school locally now have to send them 9 miles down the A6 to Bakewell. Do you think they are going to be chuffed about that?
    As we discussed before we would not have the first system.

    As for the second - well clearly school infrastructure etc. would have to be changed, and any major changes to the schools system will not happen overnight. But I still think you're talking about relatively minor issues here. This would not be an issue in most towns, cities and suburbs, which are big enough to house plenty of schools. Half the middle class parents living further out from such areas send their kids to private schools in town anyway.
    • 16 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by michael321)
    As we discussed before we would not have the first system.

    As for the second - well clearly school infrastructure etc. would have to be changed, and any major changes to the schools system will not happen overnight. But I still think you're talking about relatively minor issues here. This would not be an issue in most towns, cities and suburbs, which are big enough to house plenty of schools. Half the middle class parents living further out from such areas send their kids to private schools in town anyway.
    I am afraid you underestimate the opposition that is generated by even the most trivial school re-organisation proposals. That is why local politicians duck them as long as they dare.

    Taking Bash Street Infants and merging it with Bash Street Junior to form Bash Street Primary on the existing site, will still generate a petition against the reorganisation together with an appeal to the Schools Adjudicator.

    Politics is the art of the possible and the point I have been making all along is that there is a widespread recognition that there is no feasible way to reintroduce grammar schools and carry the public along with the proposal.
    • 6 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    The general consensus (amongst historians anyway) appears to be that the 1944 Butler Education Act which introduced the tripartite system didn't particularly improve the education system. In that the majority of those who went to grammar schools would likely have gone anyway and the secondary moderns & technicals were underfunded and so on. I know the 11+ still exists in some counties, but I'm really not convinced its a good thing...just my opinion.
    • 16 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by twinlensreflex)
    The general consensus (amongst historians anyway) appears to be that the 1944 Butler Education Act which introduced the tripartite system didn't particularly improve the education system. In that the majority of those who went to grammar schools would likely have gone anyway and the secondary moderns & technicals were underfunded and so on. I know the 11+ still exists in some counties, but I'm really not convinced its a good thing...just my opinion.


    The Butler education act raised the school leaving age from 14 to 15.

    Therefore what you are saying is that the general consensus amongst historians is that the education system with a school leaving age of 15 was no better than the education system with a school leaving age of 14.

    There were 489,000 pupils in grammar schools in 1946 and and 726,000 in 1964. You are saying that without the 1944 Act the number of pupils attending grammar schools would have in any event risen by 48%.

    I think I would be grateful for your sources.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Is there really a need for this debate because the 11plus is still around and so are grammar schools? so tbh your debating bringing something back when it never went away
    • 16 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by firebolt)
    Is there really a need for this debate because the 11plus is still around and so are grammar schools? so tbh your debating bringing something back when it never went away
    Find me a grammar school in Notts, Derbys, Leics, Northants, Cambs, Herts, Beds, Norfolk, Suffolk, Sussex, Hants, Cornwall, Somerset, Oxon, Worcestershire, Herefordshire or Wales.

    There is one grammar school in the whole of the counties of Cumbria, Northumberland and Durham and that is in the metropolis of Penrith.

    Do you think we can say that London has grammar schools because there are 4 schools for 8 million people?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Find me a grammar school in Notts, Derbys, Leics, Northants, Cambs, Herts, Beds, Norfolk, Suffolk, Sussex, Hants, Cornwall, Somerset, Oxon, Worcestershire, Herefordshire or Wales.

    There is one grammar school in the whole of the counties of Cumbria, Northumberland and Durham and that is in the metropolis of Penrith.

    Do you think we can say that London has grammar schools because there are 4 schools for 8 million people?
    Well in the area I live there is plenty, Cheshire/Manchester, and if your talking about Greater London rather than The City of London where not that many actually live then there are quite a few, i know someone who lives in Barnet and has the choice of several grammar schools.

    My point was that grammar schools never went away they just didnt build any more so whats the point it debating it when they never actually dissapeard
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Firstly, you stated that the brighter pupils would gain access to an enriched education, however, you then state that the less able pupils would receive a more practical education. How is an academic and theoretical education better than a practical one?

    Secondly, no, the 11+ should not become common place in schools once again as it reverts back on the whole policy of equal opportunity and equal rights. By bringing it back we would be taking a step back in this direction.

    Also, would it not be better to encourage some of the pupils who perhaps don't achieve well in an academic sense?

    Finally, intelligence is very malleable, especially during our younger years. Someone at the age of 11 might not be very bright and might not pass such a test. However, they might end up becoming brighter as they age. For example, they may have been a slow developer but are able to catch up later on. Surely bringing back the 11+ would only diminish the chances of success for many pupils.
    • 16 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by firebolt)
    Well in the area I live there is plenty, Cheshire/Manchester, and if your talking about Greater London rather than The City of London where not that many actually live then there are quite a few, i know someone who lives in Barnet and has the choice of several grammar schools.

    My point was that grammar schools never went away they just didnt build any more so whats the point it debating it when they never actually dissapeard
    Then I hope you now realise that what you have in your area is an atypical experience over the country as a whole which is why those who both want grammar schools and those who don't debate this issue.

    Even in Cheshire, I can't see any sign of grammar schools outside the Manchester fringe. Where is the grammar school in Chester or Nantwich or Macclesfield for example?

    This is the list of London grammar schools according to the National Gramma Schools Association.

    http://www.ngsa.org.uk/map-m_london.php

    Find me a grammar school south of the River or in Chelsea or Kensington or Westminster?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Thing is I don't know how for/against it I am in general but there are massive flaws. It's not truly representative of intelligence as my brother got all A*s in his GCSES but didn't pass it, and loads of people that I know passed it and ended up with Cs. I also know someone applying to Cambridge that didn't pass it.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Then I hope you now realise that what you have in your area is an atypical experience over the country as a whole which is why those who both want grammar schools and those who don't debate this issue.

    Even in Cheshire, I can't see any sign of grammar schools outside the Manchester fringe. Where is the grammar school in Chester or Nantwich or Macclesfield for example?

    This is the list of London grammar schools according to the National Gramma Schools Association.

    http://www.ngsa.org.uk/map-m_london.php

    Find me a grammar school south of the River or in Chelsea or Kensington or Westminster?
    sorry my mistake there are non in cheshire, im very close to the manchester border so sometimes forget, i know for a fact there is more than one grammar school in barnet, wiki has a lot more in london although i know its not the most reliable source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...Greater_London

    Westminster and Chelsea and Kensington Boroughs are the wealthiest in England so wouldnt they have private schools?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I grew up in Northern Ireland and in my area we went from Primary School to a Junior High School at age 11. This was for 3 years and was basically a comprehensive, there were 2 in my town, you went to the closest one. Then at 14 you took transfer tests which determined whether you then went to the Grammar School or the Senior High School. I think this was a really good system as those extra 3 years make a big difference. Also 14 is a time when you are making important life-decisions about GCSEs, so makes sense.
    • 16 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by firebolt)
    sorry my mistake there are non in cheshire, im very close to the manchester border so sometimes forget, i know for a fact there is more than one grammar school in barnet, wiki has a lot more in london although i know its not the most reliable source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...Greater_London

    Westminster and Chelsea and Kensington Boroughs are the wealthiest in England so wouldnt they have private schools?
    Thanks for the link. It looks like the list I posted only contains schools who have joined that Association and a fair number of London ones hadn't.

    There is a vast shortage of private school places in London.

    London is also atypical for secondary education in England. Every year columnists write screeds in the broadsheet press about the fight to get children into decent schools and middle class parents from Berwick to Penzance wonder what on earth they are going on about. I was at dinner in London this week and schooling is a major topic of conversation for middle class London parents in the way it simply isn't elsewhere.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Thanks for the link. It looks like the list I posted only contains schools who have joined that Association and a fair number of London ones hadn't.

    There is a vast shortage of private school places in London.

    London is also atypical for secondary education in England. Every year columnists write screeds in the broadsheet press about the fight to get children into decent schools and middle class parents from Berwick to Penzance wonder what on earth they are going on about. I was at dinner in London this week and schooling is a major topic of conversation for middle class London parents in the way it simply isn't elsewhere.
    There are some very good comprehensive schools though, I went to one, I think it depends on the individual, but getting good teachers is more important than grammar schools because unfortunately they can be very intelligent but cant teach to save their life.

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: June 4, 2012
New on TSR

Personal statement help

Use our clever tool to create a PS you're proud of.

Article updates
Useful resources
Reputation gems:
You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.