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    (Original post by yawn)
    You maybe misunderstand what was being said.

    Proponents of grammar schools state that they allow bright children from deprived backgrounds to access selective education.

    The myth of this is that in practice, very few children from homes that are categorised by government as deprived do attend grammar schools. This fact is evidenced by comparing the percentage of children in receipt of free school meals, attending comprehensives and selective state schools.

    Now whether you receive free school meals and are therefore officially economically deprived - that is a matter for you to decide. There are many of us who would claim to come from poor homes where there is only one parent in full-time employment. That does not make someone poor - being in receipt of an income that is officially below the level to sustain reasonable standards of existence and therefore entitled to means tested benefits and maybe free school meals does make someone poor.

    I do not have a stereotypical image of all pupils at grammar schools being 'rich and posh' - but most of them do come from middle-class backgrounds as those homes are inclined to offer the most support and resources to their children - and this observation is borne out by the incidence of few being entitled to free school meals!
    But that is not a fault of the system, it is the nature of living in a liberal democracy where people are allowed freedoms which lead to socio-economic differentiation (or as you call it - class). Many grammar schools were set up to provide children from the lower classes access to good education if they were bright enough. The ethos of state-funded grammar schools has only changed to, in effect become class blind - applicants are selected based purely on two criteria achievement in competative examination and also often where the pupils live (catchment area).

    What you are saying is that because parents with more money are providing more resources and support for their children to get into such schools that the idea of such schools becomes bereft of merit. Essentially you are stating that the problem is that we live in a liberal democracy. One fails to realise that location of schools is also a major factor. Areas where the poorest in our society live have no access to grammar schools as they have been scrapped and replaced with the comprehensive system. You are saying that grammar schools are not being fair in giving opportunties to children when in fact the poorest children have no access to grammar schools at all, because of previous educational reform.
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    But that is not a fault of the system, it is the nature of living in a liberal democracy where people are allowed freedoms which lead to socio-economic differentiation (or as you call it - class). Many grammar schools were set up to provide children from the lower classes access to good education if they were bright enough. The ethos of state-funded grammar schools has only changed to, in effect become class blind - applicants are selected based purely on two criteria achievement in competative examination and also often where the pupils live (catchment area).

    What you are saying is that because parents with more money are providing more resources and support for their children to get into such schools that the idea of such schools becomes bereft of merit. Essentially you are stating that the problem is that we live in a liberal democracy. One fails to realise that location of schools is also a major factor. Areas where the poorest in our society live have no access to grammar schools as they have been scrapped and replaced with the comprehensive system. You are saying that grammar schools are not being fair in giving opportunties to children when in fact the poorest children have no access to grammar schools at all, because of previous educational reform.

    No!

    What I am saying is that grammar schools do not increase social mobility for the more socio-economically deprived, despite the perception that they do.

    Have a look at this item and tell me what you think;

    http://education.guardian.co.uk/prin...111774,00.html
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    (Original post by yawn)
    No!

    What I am saying is that grammar schools do not increase social mobility for the more socio-economically deprived, despite the perception that they do.
    That is more to do with limited availability of grammar schools than much else. For example when my parents were at school there were two grammar schools in my local area and one was near a very deprived area. During compification that grammar school was merged with the local high school to form a comprehensive, thus depriving an already deprived area of a local school with good academic standards. During the 90's the school was one of the worst in the area, and many children were forced to go there due to the fact that they weren't eligible for another school or the remaining grammar school. Many of my friends at primary school who were very bright were forced to go to a failing school because they lived on the wrong side of a line in the sand - suffice it to say that their educational achievements were much less than those of us who had the good fortune to get into the grammar school.

    Have a look at this item and tell me what you think;

    http://education.guardian.co.uk/prin...111774,00.html
    It is flawed simply because it sees the only way to return to selective education is to return to the flawed systems and structures of the past. Most anti-selection commentators make this automatic assumption (which annoys me greatly). A return to selective education doesn't mean a return to the past, a modern selective system would be very different from previous and current systems and I genuinely believe that it is the best way forward for children as it provides a tailored educational system which has more chance of fitting a particular child's needs than the comprehensive system, which, by definition, must neglect the minority of children to benefit the majority of children. Benefitting the majority of children doesn't provide good opportunities for all children, unlike the anti-selection commentators would have us believe.

    Left-wing political activists are trying to fight a class war over children's education. The author of the article suggest we should increase positive discrimination at university entry level that somehow a child from a certain background is more deserving of a place at university than a child from another background. I thought we were trying to break down class barriers, not re-enforce them.

    All children should have access to an education that brings the best out of them, regardless of background, if such an education system existed then the issue of class would be irrelevant.
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    (Original post by yawn)
    You maybe misunderstand what was being said.

    Proponents of grammar schools state that they allow bright children from deprived backgrounds to access selective education.

    The myth of this is that in practice, very few children from homes that are categorised by government as deprived do attend grammar schools. This fact is evidenced by comparing the percentage of children in receipt of free school meals, attending comprehensives and selective state schools.

    Now whether you receive free school meals and are therefore officially economically deprived - that is a matter for you to decide. There are many of us who would claim to come from poor homes where there is only one parent in full-time employment. That does not make someone poor - being in receipt of an income that is officially below the level to sustain reasonable standards of existence and therefore entitled to means tested benefits and maybe free school meals does make someone poor.

    I do not have a stereotypical image of all pupils at grammar schools being 'rich and posh' - but most of them do come from middle-class backgrounds as those homes are inclined to offer the most support and resources to their children - and this observation is borne out by the incidence of few being entitled to free school meals!
    My dad was earning below the average wage at the time. I like my other friends were classed as poor.

    The other things you are saying may be statistics, but if some individuals can get into grammar schools from a deprived background like me and my other friends then why should there be a problem? Its certainly possible. I had no coaching, but a strong determination to do well and get into a top school. If other individuals did not share my enthusiasm, then it is their loss. Most kids in comprehensive schools dont even want to be there. In grammar schools I would see people like me using their free periods for work. Many kids today fail to see the benefits of education, thats the problem with merit goods.

    People also have to take into account human nature. Jealousy can play a big part in why some people are against grammar schools. Its hard to swallow, but in many cases that is the truth.

    In a way what you were saying is almost irrelevant. It may seem unfair but at the end of the day the purpose of grammar schools is to allow the brightest individuals to excel and become our future. I think the worst situation would be to scrap grammar schools because it is seen as unfair, and hence alter the future and quality of our top mathematicians/scientists etc. The utilitarian view sees grammar schools as a good thing. Because all though some lose out, the benefits of the grammar school outweights the cons and that is why grammar schools NEED to stay.
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    (Original post by theepw)
    Most kids in comprehensive schools dont even want to be there.
    Another myth being propogated by a pro-selectionist!

    Where do you get these ideas from? You are in essence saying that the overwhelming majority of secondary school students in this country don't want to be there - this is plainly a nonsense. Not only is it a nonsense, it is demeaning and such a sweeping generalisation of all-ability schools.

    Remember, the very brightest do better at all-ability schools than grammars - according to research. :rolleyes:
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    I was using the same logic, and the same sweeping generalisations that makes people say that poor people going to grammar school is a fallacy....
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    (Original post by theepw)
    I was using the same logic, and the same sweeping generalisations that makes people say that poor people going to grammar school is a fallacy....
    No you weren't!

    There is no sweeping generalisions in saying that grammars allow bright children from poor families to attend them, because all the evidence shows that those bright children attend comprehensives in far greater numbers than in grammars - even in areas where selective schools are available to them.

    No, your generalisation that most students in comps didn't want to be at school was sweeping.
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    Yet you fail to see that what you said was equally a sweeping statement. You said it was a fallacy, it is not. The fact that kids from poor kids do go to grammar schools disproves what you say, no matter how low the numbers or what 'statistics' say. The fact that it happens proves that the opportunity is there. Its up to the kids to see that opportunity.

    Whats the other option then? Get rid of grammar schools and hence prevent the brightest of our children from gaining their true potential in order to seem politically correct.

    You pick up on my sweeping generalisations, fail to see your own sweeping statements, and fail to talk about the main points. You quote one part of my argument, and yet fail to respond to anything else. The statement I made was one sentence, just like yours was.

    See past your hang-ups and realise why grammar schools actually exist. I take it that you have not attended one...
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    (Original post by theepw)

    See past your hang-ups and realise why grammar schools actually exist. I take it that you have not attended one...
    My opposition to an education in a school that selects it's intake on the grounds of academic ability relates in no way to a 'hang-up', envy or any other negative connotations that selective education proponents care to fling around.

    My opposition is that they do not give the same opportunity to the more deprived in the community, they do not necessarily provide a better education for the median of the top quartile than an all-ability school and that they not only segregate friends at a crucial stage in their development but also fill many of those who attend them with notions that they are somehow superior to others that didn't (for whatever reasons). Witness those regaling people with stories of their school days - if someone went to an academically selective school they will also preface their story with "when I was at grammar school..." - it's never sufficient to say "when I was at school..."

    You presume too much - I did go to a grammar school and I noticed that many of my peers there did not do nearly so well at external exams as those who didn't go to them!
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    (Original post by yawn)
    My opposition to an education in a school that selects it's intake on the grounds of academic ability relates in no way to a 'hang-up', envy or any other negative connotations that selective education proponents care to fling around.

    My opposition is that they do not give the same opportunity to the more deprived in the community, they do not necessarily provide a better education for the median of the top quartile than an all-ability school and that they not only segregate friends at a crucial stage in their development but also fill many of those who attend them with notions that they are somehow superior to others that didn't (for whatever reasons). Witness those regaling people with stories of their school days - if someone went to an academically selective school they will also preface their story with "when I was at grammar school..." - it's never sufficient to say "when I was at school..."

    You presume too much - I did go to a grammar school and I noticed that many of my peers there did not do nearly so well at external exams as those who didn't go to them!
    I'd just like to give a different view from someone who goes to a grammar school.

    My school takes as many people as it can, the top 29%, to ensure that as many people as possible get in. There is also a good system for people who just miss the pass mark, and appeals are encouraged. In the 6th form there are a lot of people on EMA (me included), so its not as if its just the more wealthy people who get into grammar school. In my area, the grammar school's results for GCSE are always 97% pass rate or above, compared with something like 47% for the local comprehensives. What my school has is excellent 'value-added', i.e. it improves kids, so that even though we are arguably better at exams to begin with, the school is still very good. We aren't even one of the top grammar schools.

    I'm always conscious of the fact that I go to a grammar school and for example when I go on uni open days I always just give the name of my school and don't add 'grammar' onto the end, because I'd hate to sound arrogant. You do make a good point about segregating friends, however in some cities (like mine) there are a lot of secondary comprehensives so many people would be segregated anyway.
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    (Original post by yawn)
    My opposition to an education in a school that selects it's intake on the grounds of academic ability relates in no way to a 'hang-up', envy or any other negative connotations that selective education proponents care to fling around.

    My opposition is that they do not give the same opportunity to the more deprived in the community, they do not necessarily provide a better education for the median of the top quartile than an all-ability school and that they not only segregate friends at a crucial stage in their development but also fill many of those who attend them with notions that they are somehow superior to others that didn't (for whatever reasons). Witness those regaling people with stories of their school days - if someone went to an academically selective school they will also preface their story with "when I was at grammar school..." - it's never sufficient to say "when I was at school..."

    You presume too much - I did go to a grammar school and I noticed that many of my peers there did not do nearly so well at external exams as those who didn't go to them!
    Well I know about 5 people who are classed as poor, not including myself who went to grammar schools. So saying it does not give the same opportunity to the deprived is not true. The deprived are not discriminated against when passing the exam. Grammar schools dont only let rich people in. Anyone can go as long as they pass the entrance test? What is wrong with that?

    It segregates kids at a crucial stage in their lives? What crucial stage is this exactly? Kids go to different schools, its a fact of life. Its part of growing up, meeting new people. I lost contact with friends, but made many others, and that has helped me become a more social person. A grammar school does not put those on a higher placing in the social scale, it just allows the brightest to excel. Its the modern day stereotypical view that these kids are segregated. The grammar schools have not created that view, its the general public. And grammar schools should not be shut just because the public opinion is completely wrong. You are quite wrong in what you say, the people who attend grammar schools dont think that they are any higher than those who dont attend, its the modern day view that parents think that grammar school kids are supposed to be higher up on the social ladder. That isn't the grammar schools fault I am afraid, and to say grammar schools should be shut because of that is nothing short of ridiculous.

    I went to grammar schools and you are the only person I know who thinks that way. At grammar school I have seen my friends who are very gifted, being allowed to excel in what they do well and being allow to thrive in an environment which allows them to live up to their talents. I have seen many who have gone on to Oxford, Cambridge and other who got straight A's because of the hard work of the pupils and the teachers.

    Of course I have seen those who have not lived up to their potential, but that happens everywhere. That happens at every school. It will happen again, so to act as if that only applies to grammar schools is somewhat naive.
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    (Original post by theepw)

    I went to grammar schools and you are the only person I know who thinks that way.
    Perhaps that is because I am not susceptible to self-interest.

    I have a burning desire to see all children receive the best education on offer and not only those who pass a selective entrance test.

    As I said in my previous post, many of my peers who did not attend grammars went onto achieve very highly - and whilst the definition of high achievement does not begin or end with acceptance at Oxbridge - many of them did so whilst those from grammars did not!

    I live in an area that is wholly selective and has 2/3rds of secondary moderns and one 1/3rd selective. The effects of this result in a mediocre performance from the grammars (since they select the top 30% rather than the top 15%) where less than 10% of them manage to get all their students passing the benchmark of 5 A*-C grades (which is pathetically low considering the intake) and the non-selectives achieves substantially below the national average. If grammars were allowed to expand nationally this would be the outcome.

    btw Mata - what country are you being educated in?
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    Im sorry, but the only way to pick out the best is to have a selective entrance test. There is no better way and until there is, this is the only way of selecting people.

    Of course there will be others at secondary moderns who do well and there will be others who dont. This occurs at grammar schools as well. Grammar schools are there to allow the best to excel even further.

    I live in an area where grammar schools are very effective, in fact the same situation as Mata. The schools take the top 25% in the county and have a 99% A-level pass rate. Both schools in the local area were ranked in the top 5% of GCSE results in the country. Where 99% achieve A-C grades at GCSE.

    Plus Grammar schools are not a barrier to entry. Every Grammar school I know allows new people to enter the sixth form. If someone you know gets straight A's at GCSE but did not pass the 11+, they can apply to study at a Grammar school. In fact last year 10 people came from secondary moderns to join the sixth form at my school. Grammar schools are happy to take any child from whatever background, as long as they meet the schools requirements. That is perfectly fair.
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    (Original post by yawn)
    I live in an area that is wholly selective and has 2/3rds of secondary moderns and one 1/3rd selective. The effects of this result in a mediocre performance from the grammars (since they select the top 30% rather than the top 15%) where less than 10% of them manage to get all their students passing the benchmark of 5 A*-C grades (which is pathetically low considering the intake) and the non-selectives achieves substantially below the national average. If grammars were allowed to expand nationally this would be the outcome.

    btw Mata - what country are you being educated in?
    I think every grammar school achieves differently. My school takes the top 29% of applicants and consistently gains 97% or upwards of 5 A*-C grades at GCSE. My year had 99% pass rate; literally only one person didn't get 5A*-C. My area has two grammars (one boy's one girl's) and 4 comprehensives within the city limits and I think that everyone in the area would agree that the grammars provide a more successful education. Yes, people from the comprehensives do well (and then join the grammars at 6th form if they so choose) but overall, the grammars do much better.

    Yawn - I'm being educated in England. Sorry if it sounded as though I wasn't somehow.

    Edit: Theepw you're totally right. My school also has the same attitude. The new year 12's have gone from 125 to 185 due to intake from comps. Some people are even accepted with GCSE grades below the requirements through consideration for the school that they previously went to.
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    Little true story.

    I was amongst the last group in my area to sit the 11+. I passed and went to the local Grammar School. The year later we reorganised on comprehensive grounds and my grammar school amalgamated with the local secondary modern school. The second year (for such we now were) of the grammnar school and secondary schools were combined and taught together. As far as I know this is the only time grammar and secondary pupils went through the whole secondary educational experience (minus one year) together. The end result- there were as many ex secondary pupils as grammar pupils in the sixth form after seven years.

    There's a moral in the story if you can be bothered to filter it out.
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    (Original post by Mata)
    My area has two grammars (one boy's one girl's) and 4 comprehensives within the city limits and I think that everyone in the area would agree that the grammars provide a more successful education. Yes, people from the comprehensives do well (and then join the grammars at 6th form if they so choose) but overall, the grammars do much better.
    Sorry Mata, but I have to disagree!

    I don't think the grammars offer a more successful education. After attending both SWGS and St. Eds, it appears to me that the standards of teaching and opportunities are pretty much the same. The difference is that St. Edmund's are forced to take people unlikely to get 5A* - Cs. This brings our total % of C+ grades down, and as such it is quite unfair to compare the results of a selective school and a non-selective school to derive conclusions about the perceived success of both. Of course SWGS is going to get higher GCSE grades than St. Edmund's - they only take the brightest students! That has nothing to do with the standard of education.

    The only difference between St. Edmund's and South Wilts is that St. Edmund's has a number students who quite frankly don't have the intelligence to get 5 A* - Cs. No amount of teaching or opportunities will change that, and I suspect that had they received teaching from SWGS, they wouldn't do any better.

    I'll admit that there are some schools in the area which blatantly don't offer the same standard of education as South Wilts (eg. Westwood, St Josephs et al.). However, in my opinion this has nothing to do with South Wilts being a grammar, but Westwood and St Josephs being rubbish!
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    (Original post by amie)
    Sorry Mata, but I have to disagree!

    I don't think the grammars offer a more successful education. After attending both SWGS and St. Eds, it appears to me that the standards of teaching and opportunities are pretty much the same. The difference is that St. Edmund's are forced to take people unlikely to get 5A* - Cs. This brings our total % of C+ grades down, and as such it is quite unfair to compare the results of a selective school and a non-selective school to derive conclusions about the perceived success of both. Of course SWGS is going to get higher GCSE grades than St. Edmund's - they only take the brightest students! That has nothing to do with the standard of education.

    The only difference between St. Edmund's and South Wilts is that St. Edmund's has a number students who quite frankly don't have the intelligence to get 5 A* - Cs. No amount of teaching or opportunities will change that, and I suspect that had they received teaching from SWGS, they wouldn't do any better.

    I'll admit that there are some schools in the area which blatantly don't offer the same standard of education as South Wilts (eg. Westwood, St Josephs et al.). However, in my opinion this has nothing to do with South Wilts being a grammar, but Westwood and St Josephs being rubbish!
    You make good points. I'll stress that I didn't say anything about comprehensives being rubbish, just that grammars generally provide a more 'successful' education in terms of overall grades. Which, as you rightly say, is down to poaching all the students who already know how to pass exams.

    But... if the case is that both schools provide the same standard of education (using St Eds and South Wilts as case studies) and students aren't disadvantaged by going to St Eds (i.e. if you want to work you have the teaching and resources to do so - feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) then it isn't actually the fault of grammars (as some people have suggested) that comprehensive schools don't do as well.

    Maybe that made no sense. But Amie, you've sort of enlightened me. I always assumed that St Eds had less money or lower standards of teaching; shows how much I know.
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    (Original post by Mata)
    You make good points. I'll stress that I didn't say anything about comprehensives being rubbish, just that grammars generally provide a more 'successful' education in terms of overall grades. Which, as you rightly say, is down to poaching all the students who already know how to pass exams.

    But... if the case is that both schools provide the same standard of education (using St Eds and South Wilts as case studies) and students aren't disadvantaged by going to St Eds (i.e. if you want to work you have the teaching and resources to do so - feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) then it isn't actually the fault of grammars (as some people have suggested) that comprehensive schools don't do as well.

    Maybe that made no sense. But Amie, you've sort of enlightened me. I always assumed that St Eds had less money or lower standards of teaching; shows how much I know.
    I agree that its not SWGS fault that St. Eds looks bad. I blame all the bottom set chavs who spend their lessons tarting themselves up to seduce Wyvern boys at breaktime!

    St. Edmund's is a fantastic school in my opinion, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. Its actually oversubscribed for Yr 7 intake every year. The teachers are really dedicated and work so hard, I had especially good experiences with the English and Drama departments who busted a gut to put on school plays like Bugsy Malone and Grease, and take us to the theatre all the time. They get quite a lot of funding due to being a sports college too, and there's even the school gym with all the cardio equipment and stuff!

    The only problem with it is the ho of a head teacher who I really dislike. When I started in Yr 7 we had an ace head teacher, but she decided the school was running too smoothly and needed a challenge so she moved to some run-down inner-city school somewhere. The new head is just awful! Although I suppose SWGS encountered that problem recently too
 
 
 
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