Grammar Schools - Good idea or bad idea? Watch

Poll: Are grammar schools good or bad?
Yes (146)
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No (26)
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therealOG
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#41
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#41
(Original post by Maker)
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.
I believe the effect that tuition has on 11+ exams is grossly overstated. Kids are drilled in comprehension and numerical tests from day 1. Tuition may skew the candidate mix slightly by giving marginal candidates an edge, but at the end of the day whether you're poor or rich, if you're academically strong then you'll get in.

A whole other thread could be created about the effect high socio-economic status has on future education and earnings, but Grammar Schools are the pragmatic approach to create an even playing field. You're also forgetting the fact that a lot of rich kids go to private schools anyway, so effect is less pronounced again.
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RK
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#42
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#42
(Original post by Yotobari)
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?
Some comprehensive schools have 'grammar' in their name too. My old school has been a comprehensive since the 1950s but kept the historic 'grammar school' in it's name as it was around 850 years old and didn't want to lose the connection with it's history. Even in the last couple of years, an attempt to remove the 'grammar' part of the name was completely defeated by the governing body (much to the local authorities annoyance, I bet :p:).
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Aeschylus
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#43
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#43
OK I've been negged by those who think grammar schools are a panacea. Here's my reasoning

What is it with the British and their exam mentality? Why do we need to assess children when they still should be enjoying childhood. Why should we fill them with fear and regret if they don't pass this exam? Everyone has seen how stressed people are doing GCSEs - that's when people are 16 and enjoy lots of benefits that adults have! How will 10 year olds cope, ESPECIALLY if the parents are 'you MUST get in or you won't get a decent education?

What will it do for social mobility? Yes people say that bright poor kids get in but parents WILL buy their way in, and if you disbelieve me go down to Buckhinghamshire and see how many private tutors there are offering tuition for the 11+. Incidentally, many of my friends who did the 11+ burnt out in school and did less well than people who just went to an ordinary comp. The stress gets TOO much!

What do you think teachers are going to want to do? Teach at a grammar school with the bright kids or go to a secondary modern with the 'thick' kids? You're going to establish a two-way educational system that will have profound repercussions on the kids. Imagine failing for whatever reason and then being labelled a failure. The level of snobbery here already when it comes to university and subject choices is pathetic - how much worse do you think it will be when people go 'oh yeah, the ex-polys are just for idiots who failed their 11+' because it WILL happen?

There's a reason grammar schools were abolished before it wasn't because of some blighted ideology - their biggest eradication was under Thatcher!
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creak
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#44
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#44
(Original post by matt_price93)
  • 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
1. No, I'm saying they all should, as some already do.
2. That's a wider problem to do with league tables and school targets, it's irrelevant here.
3. It's not segregation, it's division on a flexible basis into classes appropriate to the abilities of the pupil. Such a system gives the flexibility for a pupil to change groups year to year depending on their progress, and they can be put into different sets for different subjects depending on their strengths- essentially, it provides shades of grey within the straight black/white binary choice the grammar/comp system imposes.
4. Not in class.
5. It does, as explained. Grammar schools only offer inequality, social division and the suppression of opportunities for those who fail to get into them.
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GreenRomance
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#45
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#45
(Original post by stroppyninja)
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.
I agree with every word! Yes, I did go to a Grammar School so maybe I am biased too, but I think they are a really good idea and they should not be scrapped.
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Ebuwa
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#46
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#46
(Original post by Maker)
Grammar schools give the impression of making kids do well by siphoning off the most academic while leaving the rest with a poorer educational experience.

Most people support grammar schools right up to the point they or their kids don't get in.
They don't leave the rest; the government/ teachers are the reason why 'the rest' all left with poor educational experince.
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Ebuwa
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#47
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#47
(Original post by matt_price93)
In the news recently, there has been discussion about grammar schools. Do you think grammar schools are a good idea, or should they be scrapped?

Personally, I think they're a good idea
Well Gove is trying to get rid of them. All the grammr schools in the Bexley borough are academies or have applied for academy status. I think they are good because it provides a supportive environment for students and most teachers care.
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Britishstudent
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#48
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#48
(Original post by stroppyninja)
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.
Just saw your location in Essex Which grammar school did you go to?
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Mr Inquisitive
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#49
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#49
(Original post by notepad)
This is common practice nowadays :rolleyes: BTEC are offered so schools receive a 100% pass rate and boost their rankings. Completely selfish, if you ask me.
Couldn't agree more.
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Britishstudent
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#50
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#50
(Original post by creak)
1. No, I'm saying they all should, as some already do.
2. That's a wider problem to do with league tables and school targets, it's irrelevant here.
3. It's not segregation, it's division on a flexible basis into classes appropriate to the abilities of the pupil. Such a system gives the flexibility for a pupil to change groups year to year depending on their progress, and they can be put into different sets for different subjects depending on their strengths- essentially, it provides shades of grey within the straight black/white binary choice the grammar/comp system imposes.
4. Not in class.
5. It does, as explained. Grammar schools only offer inequality, social division and the suppression of opportunities for those who fail to get into them.
The problem is completely relevant here - people who are academic are being brought down by people who struggle, and therefore they are being FORCED to take a BTEC, whereas at a grammar school that isn't the case.

Ultimately, it's still segregation, you're separating the children into different areas based on ability - isn't that what grammar schools do?

Not in class? What about in terms or revision, homework? They make socialise with children outside of school who may influence them to disregard their work.

Grammar schools promote equality in my opinion. In a comprehensive school, it is clear to me that the more academic are discriminated against in the favour of the less academic. Social division? I have many friends in comprehensive schools, and most of my friends do as well.

You say a suppression of opportunities who fail to get into them? Why would you have everybody have this suppression then?
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username271381
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#51
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#51
We don't have grammar schools where I'm from... I think it'd be interesting to convert a few of the old grammars back though and see what sort of impact it'd have. At the moment we have a fair few small independent schools and lots of comprehensives, but I'd like to see what effect grammar schools would have now. As it stands, about half our comprehensives are really good and half are terrible and in lots of trouble.

Overall I think I'm in favour of grammars, even though we don't have them. I think the brightest should be pushed, though not at the expense of the less academically able, because the comps should still be provided a good standard of education.
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Peteo
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#52
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#52
(Original post by stayd001)
It's called Portsmouth Grammar School, so I think it's safe to assume it was a grammar school.
Not all schools with grammar in their name are grammar schools. I went to one with Grammer in it's name but selection was purely based on where you live, no exam etc..
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py0alb
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#53
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#53
We seem to do this thread about once a month, and always reach the same conclusion.
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DougieG
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#54
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#54
(Original post by matt_price93)
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
Me neither. Everyone would score lower but it would be the only way to level the playing field!

If it were the norm to change school, and start at your new school at y10, it wouldn't be a problem. Plenty of people change school for sixth form, after all.
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username739587
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#55
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#55
(Original post by matt_price93)
Just saw your location in Essex Which grammar school did you go to?
Colchester RGS
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Britishstudent
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#56
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#56
(Original post by stroppyninja)
Colchester RGS
Ahh on the other side of Essex to me - I went to Southend High School for Boys, don't know if you know that one or not
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frank070691
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#57
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#57
All for them because I went to one and am inherently biased.
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frank070691
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#58
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#58
(Original post by matt_price93)
Ahh on the other side of Essex to me - I went to Southend High School for Boys, don't know if you know that one or not
I went to Westcliff
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username739587
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#59
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#59
(Original post by matt_price93)
Ahh on the other side of Essex to me - I went to Southend High School for Boys, don't know if you know that one or not
I know... of it

The fact that all of the people who went to a grammar school are in favour of them must be saying something.
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creak
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#60
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#60
(Original post by matt_price93)
The problem is completely relevant here - people who are academic are being brought down by people who struggle, and therefore they are being FORCED to take a BTEC, whereas at a grammar school that isn't the case.

Ultimately, it's still segregation, you're separating the children into different areas based on ability - isn't that what grammar schools do?

Not in class? What about in terms or revision, homework? They make socialise with children outside of school who may influence them to disregard their work.

Grammar schools promote equality in my opinion. In a comprehensive school, it is clear to me that the more academic are discriminated against in the favour of the less academic. Social division? I have many friends in comprehensive schools, and most of my friends do as well.

You say a suppression of opportunities who fail to get into them? Why would you have everybody have this suppression then?
1. You’re addressing the symptom, not the cause. Students are being forced to take BTECs etc. to increase the number of good grades achieved by the school so they look better in the league tables. If the construction and emphasis on the league tables changed so that the figures couldn’t be massaged in this way, the compulsion to force students to take BTECS, where not appropriate, would end.

2. We could argue semantics here but there’s no point, as regardless of what you call it there’s such an obvious difference between the two systems. One where students are separated at an early age according to an arbitrary test into different institutions almost pre-defining them as 'successful' or 'failures' before they’ve even started; and one where all go through a system in which they’re flexibly placed in classes that best suit their particular strengths and weaknesses, and allows for change according to the rate at which they improve or struggle throughout their school career.

3. Equally, the more academic pupils could drag the less interested up. This is a much larger topic than my previous reply acknowledged (purposefully, as tbh I can’t really be arsed), but think about the two-way nature of the relationship as well as the psychological/motivational impact of a system which doesn’t paint a vast majority of the year group as ‘failures’.

4. I don’t understand how the more able are discriminated against?

5. Where there’s a dual system which elevates one group and belittles the other, there will inevitably and unfortunately be stigma attached to pupils and school graduates according to which type of school they attended. If there’s a single system which treats all students equally, there’s no basis for such stigma and pupils will instead be judged on their individual merits. Your grammar system benefits those who are included at the expense of those who are excluded; a fully comprehensive system places all on the same footing, and so is of benefit to everyone.
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