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    I have full confidence in the current Northern Irish system... I go to a grammar school which has high expectations (A-level pass rate: 99%, GCSE pass rate 96% with 82% at A* - B) and have no problems with school life.

    There's now fear that the system is going to change and schools like mine will be forced to go private, perhaps resulting in disadvantaged families being unable to afford to get the level of education they deserve. I'm not saying the comprehensive system is hopeless because it isn't - but surely the N. Ireland figures speak for themselves?
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    (Original post by TheMole)
    I have full confidence in the current Northern Irish system... I go to a grammar school which has high expectations (A-level pass rate: 99%, GCSE pass rate 96% with 82% at A* - B) and have no problems with school life.

    There's now fear that the system is going to change and schools like mine will be forced to go private, perhaps resulting in disadvantaged families being unable to afford to get the level of education they deserve. I'm not saying the comprehensive system is hopeless because it isn't - but surely the N. Ireland figures speak for themselves?
    For anyone who is interested here is an article from the sunday times

    THOUSANDS of parents are appealing to the Government to reverse plans to end academic selection, which will in effect abolish 70 grammar schools at one stroke.
    Northern Ireland’s grammar schools are among the highest achieving in the country but despite overwhelming opposition the Government has declared that they must stop selecting pupils on academic ability within three years.



    Last month 7,000 parents delivered a petition to the Department of Education in Northern Ireland demanding the right to retain selection and prevent one of the biggest closures of grammar school in the UK in 30 years.

    Tomorrow a teachers’ union meeting in Derbyshire will hear calls for the Government to bring back grammar schools to England — they are in only a few areas now — in an attempt to halt falling standards and help the most able to succeed.

    At Belfast Royal Academy, Marcus Paterson, an economics teacher and father of two, is livid. “We are being treated like a colonised people,” he said. “We have won the educational and political argument but Tony Blair is using his majority to cast us aside.”

    Almost a third of the school’s intake is Roman Catholic, in the heart of a working-class Protestant community. It accepts academically able children from all walks of life, is non-denominational and sends pupils to Oxbridge annually.

    Northern Ireland is proud of its academic record. Last year 69.4 per cent of GCSEs taken were awarded A*-C, compared to 59.2 per cent across Britain. At A level, 30 per cent of Northern Irish students gained A grades compared to 22.4 per cent of students in Britain.

    However, in October 2002, Martin McGuinness, then Sinn Fein Education Minister, chose to scrap academic selection and the 11-plus from 2008, the day before the Stormont Assembly was suspended. Months earlier a household survey had revealed that two thirds of parents wanted to retain selection.

    The Province has since been ruled by Westminster. Labour has opposed selection since the 1960s, when it first proposed comprehensive schools. In January 2004 the governmentappointed Costello group recommended the end of selection with parents instead choosing a secondary school to send children to based on a “pupil profile” built up over years. The Governing Bodies Association, which represents grammar schools, condemned the proposals as “not fit for purpose”. Sir Kenneth Bloomfield, an executive member of the association, said: “The grammar school has been a wonderful escalator for children from backgrounds where in England they find it difficult to succeed. It’s not perfect but I can’t believe that by removing the most successful bit, that we are improving it.”

    Critics fear the rise of a “postcode lottery” which reinforces social divisions as bright children from less well-off areas can no longer attend the best schools because the children’s address, not their ability, will determine who enrols.

    In Derbyshire Peter Morris will appeal to the Professional Association of Teachers at its annual conference in Buxton to vote to bring back “the most successful type of school that Britain has ever had”.

    England’s existing 164 grammar schools represent 5 per cent of secondaries but account for more than 40 per cent of the best 100 schools in the progress made by pupils aged 11 to 16. However, despite rising grades and studies showing that social mobility has worsened since grammar schools were abolished, the Government has vowed not to increase academic selection.

    PAST FORM


    There are 164 grammar schools in England, spread over 36 local education authorities

    After the 1964 general election, the Labour Government instructed all local authorities to prepare plans to create comprehensive schools

    Under Tony Blair, Labour has not closed any grammar schools in England

    Since 1995, grammar schools have expanded by 35 per cent, or the equivalent of 46 schools

    One ballot has been held — in 2000, to abolish Ripon grammar — but parents voted by two to one to keep it
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    (Original post by Sebby)
    Ok.

    -Why is your school so fantastic/rubbish/ok

    -Which famous people have gone to your school/are going to your school/should have gone to your school.

    -Where would you have liked to have gone to school
    1. my school was very very good as far as academic results go, but rubbish because its position in the league tables often seemed to take priority over the well-being and contentment of the students (we weren't actually allowed to use the front door).

    2. i think gustav holst went for a bit and then left.

    3. now that i've left my school, i'm quite happy with the education i received.
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    1. Tends to do very well in league tables, one of the best comprehensive schools in Wales. They also have me as Head Girl
    2. Timothy Dalton, Helen Willets (weather person), some multi millionaire who formed Redrow Homes and some welsh assembly minister (i think)
    3. I'm happy with the education i've received. I've had the time of my life at secondary school.
 
 
 
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