Grammar Schools - Good idea or bad idea? Watch

Poll: Are grammar schools good or bad?
Yes (145)
84.8%
No (26)
15.2%
Uncon
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#21
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#21
I am absolutely in favour of grammar schools and I fully support academic selection. I do believe children should be taught by ability rather than any other factor such as age.

I also think that the tests should remain secret to give everyone a fairer chance but would fully support an alternative to the current tests which can be incredibly unfair - as someone who is not a fan of exams in general, I do believe they should be replaced with something less unpleasant.
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Maker
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#22
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#22
(Original post by therealOG)
So you'd rather everyone had a "poorer educational experience" rather than the most academically able being able to flourish, irrespective of socio-economic status?

The problem doesn't lie with the existence of Grammar Schools, it lies with the quality of the rest of the UK's primary and secondary education.
Its a myth that grammar schools are only selective on academic ability. Grammar schools favour the better off because they can afford to have their kids tutored and practise the 11+ exam. Its a fact that in areas where grammars exist, there are a lot of very busy private tutors helping kids pass the entrance exams.

I agree grammars by themselves are not detrimental to education but where they exists, you automatically have a 2 tier state system where the kids in the secondary moderns are assumed to benefit less from good education and get an inferior educational experience while all the best teachers and resources goes into the grammars.
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Tonn
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#23
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#23
To quote John Prescott; We can't make any more good schools, parents will want their kids to go there and the bad schools will get closed down!

In an ideal world, we wouldnt have grammer schools, as they are socially divisive and put too much pressure on kids.

In reality, they are the only way of preventing privately educated, detatched individuals from dominating the highest areas of society. Andrew Neil put this very strongly in a documentary he made.
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Britishstudent
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#24
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#24
(Original post by DougieG)
I

I'm in favour of grammar schools, but I think they separate ability too early. I'd advocate testing at 13 or 14 instead of 9 or 10, because kids are too young to take that sort of pressure at that young age. In addition, the test should be secret and no practice papers released so that kids with richer parents can't get expensive tutoring to give less able but wealthier kids too much of an advantage.
I understand your logic, but I just think it isn't practical. What kid would want to leave their comprehensive school at the age of 14, with all their friends? And also, the fact that you were able to undertake all of that pressure shows something about you - even at a young age you could handle pressure and succeed.

Again, I agree with you to an extent. It is a major flaw with the system that richer people can afford to pay for a tutor. But withdrawing all practice papers? I don't know about you, but my primary school didn't even teach me half of the stuff I needed for the 11+, and without those past papers I would never have ever seen certain styles of questions
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Akbar2k7
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#25
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#25
The truth is most people who get into grammar schools nowadays are affluent, since they pay large amounts of money for there children to be tutored on how to do the 11+ exam. And I agree children at the age of 11 should never be put in that position, most really would not care.
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Britishstudent
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#26
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#26
(Original post by Maker)
While all the best teachers and resources goes into the grammars.
I think that's very generalised. At my grammar school, there was such a bad teacher that I complained for weeks to have a different teacher, because I feared failing my GCSE at the cause of him. This year, with my History A Level, I've had a teacher where we copy out of a textbook every lesson.

I'd also like to dispute the 'better resources'. Arguably, the comprehensive schools get more resources and more money. Due to your logic that the poorer can't afford tuition, and consequentially attend comprehensive schools, those schools get 'more per head'. For instance, schools get more money for poorer children.

And how on earth could the government get away with giving grammar schools better resources? The Labour Party would sulk so much that it wouldn't be possible.
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flying plum
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#27
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#27
I'm an advocate of grammars...I can't help but feel (from some of the comps I've worked in as a SEN assistant over the years), that a good atmosphere for learning is lacking. this is reinforced by friends of mine who went to comprehensive schools, who felt they had to 'hide' the fact that they were intelligent at school, and really struggled to find their self-confidence once they got to uni. If you are clever, and you're at school in an environment where you are challenged to answer, and success is valued and encouraged (not just by the teachers, but by the whole ethos and atmosphere of the school), then you will succeed.

Thought needs to be given however - we can't return to a system where, if you don't get into the grammar you are bundled off to the secondary modern and written off at 11 years old. certainly the age should be raised to 13 - this is how it works in the boys' public school system with common entrance and seems to be a little more representative of ability.

at the moment, i think the system seems to be failing everyone...bright kids don't live up to their potential, and the self-esteem and ambitions of less-able pupils doesn't seem to have been raised by a not being classed automatically as 'less bright' through 11+. although, judging by some of the reports from the new Academies, some success would appear to be being achieved within a comprehensive system. If it could be done, i would fully support comprehensive education; but in it's current state, it's failing children.
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Britishstudent
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#28
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#28
(Original post by stayd001)
I got into a grammar school in year 7. I passed the tests and got in but then they started charging £12000 per year so I had to leave. Therefore I hate the and think the should be abolished :P
You do realise that it wasn't a grammar school, it was a private school?

Just so you know, not all grammar schools get converted into private schools :rolleyes:
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flying plum
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#29
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#29
(Original post by matt_price93)
I think that's very generalised. At my grammar school, there was such a bad teacher that I complained for weeks to have a different teacher, because I feared failing my GCSE at the cause of him. This year, with my History A Level, I've had a teacher where we copy out of a textbook every lesson.
I went to an independent school and had a teacher who did that. mind-numbing, and pointless...but bad teaching exists everywhere, certainly.
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therealOG
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#30
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#30
(Original post by RK)
The 11+ exam is also something that those with money can take advantage of, paying for private tuition from an early age whilst those without the money cannot do this, putting their children at a disadvantage.
I'll admit that I was privately tutored for the 11+ exam, but it was absolutely unnecessary, and in most cases successful candidates have no private tuition. You can get just as good preparation by doing past papers and practice papers; you don't need to pay someone to give you them (that's all my tuition consisted of).

They basically promote elitism and segregation and force some parts of society to stay down. I wouldn't support a move back to having more grammar schools.
I'd say around 30% of students in my year at Grammar School are from lower-Middle class backgrounds and Working Class backgrounds (I'm classifying purely on household income, not by social criteria). And all of them are going to good universities, including the likes of Oxbridge, Bristol, Warwick etc. They increase mobility, and encourage the mixing of people from all walks of life.

We need to ensure that all our schools are decent schools and that all pupils can flourish at every single school in the country.
Exactly, so why are you against Grammar Schools? The problem doesn't lie with them, it lies with the state of low performing Comprehensives. Why should everyone be subject to the lowest denominator? That'll severely harm the UK's international competitiveness in the long run.
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hypocriticaljap
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#31
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#31
Margaret Thatcher saw the unfairness in Grammar schools.
That's why she was responsible for closing more down than any other politician.
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creak
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#32
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#32
There's no need to divide pupils at such an early age into different schools, with all the impact that has on their development and life chances. Comprehensive schools operating a flexible setting system would enable children to learn at a suitable pace with pupils of similar ability, without segregating them into entirely different institutions. Proponents of grammar schools always make the argument about mixed classes holding the brightest pupils back, whilst ignoring this alternative.
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fivebyfive
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#33
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#33
http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...ocial-mobility

No, if they can't even improve social mobility, then I don't see too much point in them....
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90pies an hour
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#34
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#34
kids who are smart deserve the chance to go to a grammar school and it shouldn't purely be based on mammys and daddys income
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stayd001
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#35
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#35
(Original post by matt_price93)
You do realise that it wasn't a grammar school, it was a private school?

Just so you know, not all grammar schools get converted into private schools :rolleyes:
It's called Portsmouth Grammar School, so I think it's safe to assume it was a grammar school.
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Britishstudent
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#36
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#36
(Original post by stayd001)
It's called Portsmouth Grammar School, so I think it's safe to assume it was a grammar school.
It can't have been a grammar school, because grammar schools don't charge.

It was a converted private school, who simply kept it's name.
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Britishstudent
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#37
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#37
(Original post by creak)
There's no need to divide pupils at such an early age into different schools, with all the impact that has on their development and life chances. Comprehensive schools operating a flexible setting system would enable children to learn at a suitable pace with pupils of similar ability, without segregating them into entirely different institutions. Proponents of grammar schools always make the argument about mixed classes holding the brightest pupils back, whilst ignoring this alternative.
  • Not all comprehensive schools segregate inside the institution itself
  • Even if they are, they are often forced to take BTECs to increase the schools grades
  • If you're going to segregate them anyway, why not allow them to go into a learning environment that is wholly similar to what they desire?
  • They would still inevitably been influenced by the less academic pupils
  • This alternative doesn't really have much advantage over grammar schools
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Yotobari
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#38
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#38
(Original post by stayd001)
It's called Portsmouth Grammar School, so I think it's safe to assume it was a grammar school.
Many, many private schools have the word grammar in the name. Portsmouth Grammar School was founded in 1732, is independent and almost certainly has been since it's foundation. Did you really not even google the school before you applied to it?
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ByronicHero
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#39
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#39
Very bad.

Remove them, remove private schools, implement extensive streaming in comprehensive schools. Good times.
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username739587
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#40
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#40
I think Grammar Schools are amazing. (I went to one, so am biased, yes.)
In the comprehensive schools nearby, it seems that a LOT of people don't want to be there, and instead of learning, just **** around until they can legally leave school. This is very disruptive to those who are willing to learn, and as teachers have to maintain order amongst these disruptive pupils, they end up doing very little teaching. This results in overall worse grades.
Put all the people who want to learn together, and they will benefit from competing amongst each other.
I do, however, strongly disagree with the PRESSURE of getting past the 11+. In my ideal world, there would be more grammar schools, and so less pressure on this test. I would not make it easy, far from it, I think the test serves a valuable purpose of separating those who WANT to learn, from those who don't.
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