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Should we bring back grammars? Watch

  • View Poll Results: Should we bring back grammar schools across the UK?
    Yes
    65.00%
    No
    25.00%
    Ambivalent
    7.50%
    Other
    2.50%

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    I'd say no just because many people blossom far later than age 1....
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    Yes, they should be reintroduced, but if and only if they facilitate upwards social mobility. Current statistics re free school meals show that 'the system' is not working. However, my father came from a working class background and got accepted into a grammar school. He now has two academic jobs at top universities. I believe that grammar schools are potentially a very good move, but ONLY if they cater for the socioeconomically disadvantaged.
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    (Original post by zippyRN)
    These are arguments based on the failure of the post war labour government to adequately invest in Sec Mods and their near total failure to provide the third type of school in the tripartite system - the Technicial School.
    Attributing this failure solely to Labour seems rather perverse given that Labour was out of power from 1951.

    The reality is that both Labour and Conservatives prioritised school building and teacher training.

    Prior to the 1944 Act the school leaving age was 14 and England for the most part didn't have a system of secondary education. It had a system of elementary education.


    people are also confusing acadmeic rigour and a pathway that prepares for traditional higher education with havign high standards ... high quality teaching can be delivered to any ability group and a high quality education in terms of value added and preparation for further study and work is not just measured in UCAS points
    But that confusion led to the lack of demand for technical schools. It is only with hindsight that those who want grammar schools have bemoaned the lack of technical schools. No-one was clamouring for them at the time.
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    (Original post by AlannahK)
    I went to a grammar school, and I will be starting at Cambridge University in the next couple of weeks. I come from a working class background, and I am the first person in my family to attend university. I had no tutoring for the 11+ and passed. I would have been unable to gain a place at Cambridge without the support of a grammar school because they were more able to help me with the Oxbridge application process than a comprehensive would have been able to. In addition to this, the teachers and other students were so enthusiastic about their subjects and helpful, going above and beyond to help me and others. To say that grammar schools reduce social mobility is absurd; Myself and other friends (all of whom are also from working class backgrounds) are heading to fantastic universities this year, and I'm sure they're as grateful for their education and the opportunity as I am. If you want to point the finger at discrimination based on finance, I suggest you look at private schools, which also tutor their students to pass the 11+ and push others who can't afford tutoring out.
    I know someone who narrowly failed to get into a local grammar at age 11, then a few years later they applied to a different grammar prior to sixth form. Didn't get that place either, probably because on both occasions they weren't tutored.

    So they stayed at their comprehensive instead.

    And they start at Cambridge in October.

    Comprehensives do send pupils to Oxbridge...

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    I don't have a particular view on it. Do I disagree with academic selection fundamentally? Not really. After all, it's key to "streaming" within state comprehensives. Equally no-one would suggest removing academic selection from universities either.

    There's a case to be made that the lowest socio-economic groups will be disadvantaged. Perhaps some would consider that the price for greater mobility for some, and particularly those in the middle. There's something to be said for that - and I think a relentless focus on the very bottom can obscure negative outcomes for those who are far from wealthy, but equally are not on the breadline.

    I don't see a great deal of evidence that poor comprehensives really do pull up standards: instead it seems to go the other way in our worst schools. There's something brutal in separating children quite so clearly - but I think you'd have to be deluded not to acknowledge that, in comprehensives, most children know where they lie on the spectrum of attainment anyway.

    Grammar schools are great - which is why I'm amazed the debate really focuses on them. What I think is worth discussing is how we can make the Secondary Moderns work.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    I know someone who narrowly failed to get into a local grammar at age 11, then a few years later they applied to a different grammar prior to sixth form. Didn't get that place either, probably because on both occasions they weren't tutored.

    So they stayed at their comprehensive instead.

    And they start at Cambridge in October.

    Comprehensives do send pupils to Oxbridge...
    Well, yes, certainly. The local comprehensive in my area often sent candidates to Oxbridge - just as the local independent did. However it was in a very middle class catchment area, was one of the best performing schools in the region and had a tradition of this.

    The problem is in schools where that does not exist. Where teachers really don't know how to direct a child to Oxbridge, even if they can get over the aspiration hurdle that suggests to them that going to the best universities in the country really isn't for people like them. When there's neither a clear avenue for entry or any peer group support, it takes a very dedicated child to actually make that leap.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    I know someone who narrowly failed to get into a local grammar at age 11, then a few years later they applied to a different grammar prior to sixth form. Didn't get that place either, probably because on both occasions they weren't tutored.

    So they stayed at their comprehensive instead.

    And they start at Cambridge in October.

    Comprehensives do send pupils to Oxbridge...

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    I know they send them, but friends I have in comprehensives who applied felt they got less support. People do get in, of course - but one friend this year feels that it was going to a comprehensive that hindered him this year as they didn't really know anything about the process, and the techniques and things for writing an Oxbridge style PS. Maybe that's just the limited experiences I know, but he felt quite let down.
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    (Original post by AlannahK)
    I know they send them, but friends I have in comprehensives who applied felt they got less support. People do get in, of course - but one friend this year feels that it was going to a comprehensive that hindered him this year as they didn't really know anything about the process, and the techniques and things for writing an Oxbridge style PS. Maybe that's just the limited experiences I know, but he felt quite let down.
    The best resource for potential Oxbridge applicants are the Oxbridge fora on TSR
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    What's the harm of a grammar?
    I do think they should change the testing though, I remember doing my 11+ (and failing) only 1 girl out of my year passed.
    All the people that I know that have been to grammar schools are middle/upper class.
    ALL schools should provide a great level of teaching and no child should not have the chance to do well just based on their background.
    Everyone should get the best chance in education
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    (Original post by zippyRN)
    people are also confusing academic rigour and a pathway that prepares for traditional higher education with having high standards ... high quality teaching can be delivered to any ability group and a high quality education in terms of value added and preparation for further study and work is not just measured in UCAS points
    I couldn't agree more. Unfortunately though, although we all know the teachers who you might deem to be "high quality", it is very difficult to objectively assess them, especially when there are thousands to assess. So instead you look at their outcomes i.e. exam results. An educational establishment that has high standards is therefore one that produces good exam results. How they did it is irrelevant in the eyes of the government and press. As a result, we have students coming out of school with a raft of superb exam results and not a clue about anything. Same goes for universities. Why is it that so many computer science graduates struggle to find work when there is such a high demand for software developers and IT workers? Maybe we are looking at the whole education process from the wrong perspective? What is it for?
 
 
 
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