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Grammar Schools watch

  • View Poll Results: Do you support the existence of Grammar schools?
    Yay
    299
    81.03%
    Nay
    70
    18.97%

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    Oh, for Pete's sake..


    If this hasn't gone back to talking about schools by tomorrow I shall have to lock this thread. And I don't want to have to do that.
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    (Original post by Laika)
    Oh I think you can considering that made no sense whatsoever. By answering the question you're not commiting yourself to saying the system COULD be acheived, only whether the system is a good one in theory, in principle.

    Let me rephrase it again: If the proposed system could be acheived, would you support such a system?

    I know you don't think it could be acheived, that's one thing, but that's not substantiated by fact, only speculation. I, for one, know I would favour my proposed system. Whether it could be acheieved is up in the air for the rest of the debate. But answer the question, and we will move on.
    I think the clear answer is yes, people would agree with a more fair system, if it could be achieved. But we don't know if it could be achieved. Had to wrack my brain a bit for that answer, though. You do ask toughies Laika!
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    (Original post by Paul Bedford)
    You can rephrase it as often as you want, I can not answer until I know how the system works, until I know that I do not know if it's fair or not, or wether I can support it or not.
    :mad:

    The workings of the system are clear. The things omitted are the steps between the current system and the future system. Do you agree with the theory of the system of schooling? You don't need to know the methods to achieve it at this point, that will come later, and we will subsequently conclude whether the proposed system can realistically be implemented or not.

    Since you're fond of analogies: should we not discuss political ideologies and systems without clearly stating how we would change from the existing system to the theoretical one? Of course not. Address the theory in the abstract. Your refusal to do so is only holding back any further discussion.
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    (Original post by Laika)
    :mad:

    The workings of the system are clear. The things omitted are the steps between the current system and the future system. Do you agree with the theory of the system of schooling? You don't need to know the methods to achieve it at this point, that will come later, and we will subsequently conclude whether the proposed system can realistically be implemented or not.

    Since you're fond of analogies: should we not discuss political ideologies and systems without clearly stating how we would change from the existing system to the theoretical one? Of course not. Address the theory in the abstract. Your refusal to do so is only holding back any further discussion.
    I have answered this repeatedly, I'm not going to keep repeating myself.

    If you can provide the details I will repsond, if not you have my answer already.

    I've explained why I have answered in the way I have, and I don't see why you can't accept that, and why you seem to want me to commit to something that you refuse to give me the details of, but I will not do that.

    I need to know the details to something before I can agree to it or not, or before I can support it or not.

    It's not an uncommon attitude in this world, nor is it unreasonable.

    You can keep asking until we are both old, but that won't change.
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    I don't understand what details you wish to discuss?

    The theory is explicit: All schools are of the same category (comprehensive/state, whatever you wish to call it). All schools admit a range of students in terms of ability. All schools aim to admit similar ranges of pupils and provide the same standard and range of education. It theoretically follows that all students will be treated to an equal education with a range of their peers in a similar environment.

    Now what details do you need in order to form an opinion? Do not refer to details about how such a system would be implemented, we've been over thatr. Tell me what details you need in regards to fleshing out the theoretical system, and I will oblige.
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    (Original post by amie)
    I think I see what you mean.

    In my area at least, there is no official 'comprehensive'. If you fail the 11+, or don't take it, you go to one of the secondary modern schools unless you want a nice long journey to the nearest comp.

    Having said that, my area is probably a bit of an anomaly. It performs very well in general and almost all of it's secondary education is single-sex.
    Which LEA is your former school in?
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    (Original post by cottonmouth)
    Anyone else?-


    We are also saying that the main distinguishing factor between grammars and comps is that one selects by ability solely, and one doesnt. Some specialists schools use limited powers to selcet for their specialit, in a limited capacity- max of 105, according to someone in the know, and often less. How does that compare to gramamrs, who select their whole intake on ability? Ability for all subjects, in a wide capacity i'll add, not just for one subject. In a specialist comp, where the speciality is maths, they have the right to select 105 students who are good at maths. That same maths whizz could be crap at everything else. He wouldn't get into a grammar for just being good at maths, so again, the parallel cannot be drawn, as you say it is.
    Your observations are correct (with the exception of the figure of 105 - Roger made a 'typo' at that stage and the figure is 10% - as I have provided evidence of from the website of the Specialist Schools Trust!)

    (Original post by Cottonmouth)
    Eevn if the stats are wrong, and it isnt 105 pupils, maybe its 200 pupils,who cares? Explain howgramamrs and comps have similar selection procedures.
    Specialist Schools are limited to admitting up to 10% of their intake by reference to aptitude in the relevant specialism - and as we have seen, only 6% of those schools do, and this would be corroborated by the experience of specialist schools in Kent where the very few do and the rest don't select at all.

    See this information on Admissions published by the Specialist Schools Trust (who are, incidentally the point of all contact and the place for expert advice for Specialist Schools and those aspiring to that status)

    http://www.specialistschools.org.uk/...pt2005_211.doc

    There is no similarity between the selection process for SS and GS since one tests for aptitude in the given specialism, and the other for overall ability.
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    (Original post by Laika)
    Yes. I also think he should be banned from using the word 'agreed'. He makes a point and then states 'agreed' as though it somehow has meaning even though it would be impossible for the other poster to have any input.
    He has also called other posters 'Liars'; now I object to being called a liar since it is extremely defamatory and very ill-mannered.

    If I had been, I would have reported the post to a mod - I really think, that in the interests of fairness, his posts should be examined closely and he should be subjected to the same threats of banning as the one he complained about.

    Then we could all get back to debating in the prescribed and civilised manner.

    BTW - the practice of demeaning the evidence that backs up another's claims whilst neglecting to provide evidence for one's own claims is not debate. It is immature and vacuous and hence, the reason why I shall not be responding to any of PB's posts. :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by dogtanian)
    Oh, for Pete's sake..


    If this hasn't gone back to talking about schools by tomorrow I shall have to lock this thread. And I don't want to have to do that.
    Lock it then - since the main (unreprimanded) 'culprit' is debasing the discussion anyway.
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    (Original post by Laika)
    I don't understand what details you wish to discuss?

    The theory is explicit: All schools are of the same category (comprehensive/state, whatever you wish to call it). All schools admit a range of students in terms of ability. All schools aim to admit similar ranges of pupils and provide the same standard and range of education. It theoretically follows that all students will be treated to an equal education with a range of their peers in a similar environment.
    All the above is what was supposed to have happened as a result of 'comprehensivisation' back in the 70's. And would have happened if some LEA's had not doggedly stuck to the mantra that grammars are the best schools for the brightest kids, and refused to go comprehensive - Kent being one of the worst offenders.

    Where there are LEA's that have 'cross-county' grammars, the performance is sullied because of their existence and the dearth of truly comprehensive intake at the others.

    Now we see that Kent has one of the worst records for 'failing' schools and every year at least one of its schools languishes at the bottom of the league table. It's grammars are at best, mediocre considering the intake.

    In those areas where comprehensives were fully embraced, we have successful schools where many of those children who would have been consigned to secondary moderns have flourished and have successful careers.
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    (Original post by yawn)
    All the above is what was supposed to have happened as a result of 'comprehensivisation' back in the 70's. And would have happened if some LEA's had not doggedly stuck to the mantra that grammars are the best schools for the brightest kids, and refused to go comprehensive - Kent being one of the worst offenders.

    Where there are LEA's that have 'cross-county' grammars, the performance is sullied because of their existence and the dearth of truly comprehensive intake at the others.

    Now we see that Kent has one of the worst records for 'failing' schools and every year at least one of its schools languishes at the bottom of the league table. It's grammars are at best, mediocre considering the intake.

    In those areas where comprehensives were fully embraced, we have successful schools where many of those children who would have been consigned to secondary moderns have flourished and have successful careers.
    I wasn't aware Kent was representative of the entire country, and what exactly is your definition of 'flourished' and 'successful careers'?
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    (Original post by Laika)
    I don't understand what details you wish to discuss?

    The theory is explicit: All schools are of the same category (comprehensive/state, whatever you wish to call it). All schools admit a range of students in terms of ability. All schools aim to admit similar ranges of pupils and provide the same standard and range of education. It theoretically follows that all students will be treated to an equal education with a range of their peers in a similar environment.

    Now what details do you need in order to form an opinion? Do not refer to details about how such a system would be implemented, we've been over thatr. Tell me what details you need in regards to fleshing out the theoretical system, and I will oblige.
    I have two questions:

    1) Why do you want to drag down British standards of education?
    2) Why do you want to penalise the more able?
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    (Original post by The Ace is Back)
    I have two questions:

    1) Why do you want to drag down British standards of education?
    2) Why do you want to penalise the more able?
    It wouldn't b penalising them though! There would, as he said, be streaming in these new schools, so people would still be in classes with their own ability groups. They just wouldn't be in entirely separate schools, and the new ones would have a wealth of backgrounds and abilities that all of the children would do well to have. The less able will be able to socialise with the more able, and maybe learn things? Th class divide would be narrowed, if slightly, because it would abolish the separation of middle-class from working class kids- though working class kids can attend grammars, sooo many don't, and there is a massively disproportionate amount of middle-class kids in grammars.
    The middle class kids would learn things from a working-class point of view perhpas too- they'll be able to see what real struggle is sometimes, they'll maybe learn a bit of compassion for those who aren't as fortunate as theya re. They'll maybe learn not to take everything they have for granted. They get these good social qualities, and still a good education because of the streaming sets. It really isn't penalising them.

    How would it drag down standards of education exactly? I bleieve that basically, no matter what school you go to, in the main, you do well if you are capabe. Less well perhaps, in a school at the bottom of the league tables, where there is a high concentration of kids who don't really want to learn. This type of school, in Laika's theoretical situation, would be gone, because there would be an influx of higher ability children introduced into comprehensives. That in itself would raise the schools on the league tables, and they would cease to be low-performing school. Standards wouldn't be dragged down, they would just be spread evenly across the boad, making it EQUAL for ALL KIDS. There would be no early discrimination of young children, who would all have equal access to a decent education, and wouldn't be forced into a "crap school". The grammar kids wouldn't suffer, as there are still going to be streaming sets. I think that if people cant agree on that, and have different opinions, we reach a stalemate.

    There are very basic principles that we all have, that are based on very little; theya re just our beliefs, and they dictate what our opinion will be on EVERYTHING. Because Laika and i, for example, are left-wing, we believe in total equality, and helping everyone out, and raising the standards of poorer people to meet those of middle-class people, to give everyone else a good fighting chance in life, to erase elitism. So whatever topic arises, we will come into it with those principles. A right-winger won't have the same principles, they tend to have a "survival of the fittest", everyone for themselves, sort of attitude. And as long as the base principles don't change, we can't agree, i think, which is why TSR gets a bit repetitve and tedious. But still addictive!
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    (Original post by cottonmouth)
    It wouldn't b penalising them though! There would, as he said, be streaming in these new schools, so people would still be in classes with their own ability groups. They just wouldn't be in entirely separate schools, and the new ones would have a wealth of backgrounds and abilities that all of the children would do well to have. The less able will be able to socialise with the more able, and maybe learn things? Th class divide would be narrowed, if slightly, because it would abolish the separation of middle-class from working class kids- though working class kids can attend grammars, sooo many don't, and there is a massively disproportionate amount of middle-class kids in grammars.
    The middle class kids would learn things from a working-class point of view perhpas too- they'll be able to see what real struggle is sometimes, they'll maybe learn a bit of compassion for those who aren't as fortunate as theya re. They'll maybe learn not to take everything they have for granted. They get these good social qualities, and still a good education because of the streaming sets. It really isn't penalising them.

    How would it drag down standards of education exactly? I bleieve that basically, no matter what school you go to, in the main, you do well if you are capabe. Less well perhaps, in a school at the bottom of the league tables, where there is a high concentration of kids who don't really want to learn. This type of school, in Laika's theoretical situation, would be gone, because there would be an influx of higher ability children introduced into comprehensives. That in itself would raise the schools on the league tables, and they would cease to be low-performing school. Standards wouldn't be dragged down, they would just be spread evenly across the boad, making it EQUAL for ALL KIDS. There would be no early discrimination of young children, who would all have equal access to a decent education, and wouldn't be forced into a "crap school". The grammar kids wouldn't suffer, as there are still going to be streaming sets. I think that if people cant agree on that, and have different opinions, we reach a stalemate.

    There are very basic principles that we all have, that are based on very little; theya re just our beliefs, and they dictate what our opinion will be on EVERYTHING. Because Laika and i, for example, are left-wing, we believe in total equality, and helping everyone out, and raising the standards of poorer people to meet those of middle-class people, to give everyone else a good fighting chance in life, to erase elitism. So whatever topic arises, we will come into it with those principles. A right-winger won't have the same principles, they tend to have a "survival of the fittest", everyone for themselves, sort of attitude. And as long as the base principles don't change, we can't agree, i think, which is why TSR gets a bit repetitve and tedious. But still addictive!
    Thing is though, people will do better when they have better teachers, better facilities and a better environment which is more conducive to learning - ie that which is more likely to be found at grammar schools. As such, while grammars are arguably 'unfair' (but again, what isn't?), abolishing the grammar will reduce British standards of education, at the same time as penalising the more able. You don't need statistics to prove this, it is entirely common sensical. This is why people are willing to spend money to send their kids to privates, to strongly encourage their kids to study hard to get into grammars (or alternatively to pay money for tutoring), and why people are willing to put in huge amounts of time and effort to get into Oxbridge/Ivy Leaues - because the fact of the matter is, 'better' schools provide 'better' opportunities and results, even to the best of pupils. If people were not disadvantaged by schooling, universities like Cambridge would not add points onto GCSE grades for those from 'failing' schools. Clearly they have not introduced this policy on a whim; they must have researched the matter, looked at studies, looked at statistics - and Cambridge tutors are hardly unintelligent creatures.

    As for the problems of class divide, I really don't believe they will be solved at all by the abolition of grammars. Firstly, many parents will swallow their pride and send their kids to privates. But more importantly, we are born into a class and brought up in a class - the middle classes will still speak and act like the middle classes, and the working classes will still speak and act like the working classes. This is more a problem of capitalism as opposed to education.

    You are also rather optimistic about how things will work in a truly comprehensive system. But I disagree with your assumptions that the stronger pupils will encourage the weaker pupils - in fact, I would even go on to say that the weaker pupils would be further discouraged in your proposed system. While weaker pupils in a comprehensive are competing against each other and thus can be at the top of their schools, when you bring in the grammar school students a lot of those who were at the top of their comprehensives will now be brought down a notch. Also, as the weaker pupils will be in a majority, it is far more likely that the stronger pupils will be bullied as they are seen to be 'different', thus restricting their capacity for academic growth and potential.

    So really, the reason I disagree is not largely ideological. I disagree because I think you are overlooking certain important factors in education, most importantly the quality of teachers and the environment. These we are certain of achieving in grammar schools for a lucky minority of the population, but we are far from certain of achieving them in comprehensives. This then is the real reason I believe that abolishing grammar schools will penalise the able, even though currently they are not penalising the poor.

    I can understand your support of equality; however, I strongly believe that those who adopt one side or the other without incorporating elements of the other side's point of view (I'm not saying this is you) are, basically, wrong. We must operate a mix of the two and find our place within the 'grey area'. Of course, where you put yourself on that grey area is purely personal and ideological. I myself favour a mix largely based on 'survival of the fittest' (to put it crudely) but with measures in place to safeguard against absolute poverty etc. (basically the system currently in place). I think this is most representative of human nature, and the best solution we have to the various problems we face, which allows humans to truly develop and flourish, but which is also civilised in its nature. I also believe in increased equality of opportunity, but this to me involves improving education in comprehensives (and working on family values and incentives) and not taking away from the current system in place. To me, the various attempts at communism in the past quite clearly demonstrate that humans, as a result of the way we have developed, are simply not cut out for socialism without any substantial capitalist element at all.

    I guess you're right though, base principles don't change.
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    (Original post by yawn)
    Which LEA is your former school in?
    Wiltshire. Although, I don't know what the schools are like all through the county, I just know that the two grammar schools here do very well and the secondary moderns less well in terms of statistics, but still well in the grand scheme of things.

    Actually, now I think of it my town is even more anomalous than I thought. We have two mini-systems going on - most kids go to a primary school and then either the grammar or a secondary modern (both single sex) at 11. But, at the moment the council are in the process of phasing out a middle-school system, in which kids go to a first school until Yr 4 or something, then a middle school until Yr 8 and then a comprehensive high school from Yr 9 onwards.

    It's all very confusing, but I will say that that comprehensive typically underperforms in comparison to both grammars and one or two of the secondary moderns. That could be due to it's location though, it's purpose built for a council housing estate which is in general a poorer area of my town.
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    (Original post by The Ace is Back)
    .
    But with a more even system, we wouldn't lose any of those good faciltiies and teaching standards from the grammars, they would simply be transferred into the new schools, bringing up standards of education for everyone, not 'bringing down' the more abled. Obviously the standards of many comprehensives would have to be raised if such a system were to be implemented, but no standards would be lost - we would simply seek to improve things for everyone.

    There are two scenarios you have to accept - A. Grammar schools are unfair because a certain section of the population is receiving a better education than others. Or B. Though grammar schools offer a different learning enviornment, everyone can reach their full potential, ragardless of what school you go to.

    If you accept A, we must attempt to make the system more fair in order to have equality of oppurtunity for all students, which I don't thtink you would disagree with. If you accept B, you must also accept that by abolishing grammars, people won't be brought down, they will continue to work at the same level as before.

    I'd also like to make another point. The stigma attached to comprhensives currently, particularly the bad ones, is in part to blame for the current system under New Labour. With so much emphasis placed on league results and parents chooosing the 'best' schools of their children, a school's intake can suffer as a result of bad word of mouth or one year bad results (perhaps through no fault of their own). A cycle begins, and the school becomes worse and worse. In an attempt to regain reputation, it places ridiculous effort in trying to get a few students to achieve good grades and boost its image, rather than aiming to reform itself as a whole. Thus, if this emphasis on selectiveness and league tables was reduced, the concept of a 'bad' school wouldn't be as accentuated as it is today, and schools would acheieve a more even reputation.
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    (Original post by yawn)
    He has also called other posters 'Liars'; now I object to being called a liar since it is extremely defamatory and very ill-mannered.
    Not when it is refering to a lie.

    What would you rather it was called, the truth?

    If I had been, I would have reported the post to a mod - I really think, that in the interests of fairness, his posts should be examined closely and he should be subjected to the same threats of banning as the one he complained about.
    Well I'll tell you what yawn.

    Why don't you report any of my posts where I point out someone was lying, when they haven't been?

    If you do that then I'm sure a mod will come into this thread and warn me, but I wouldn't hold your breath, because there is no such post.

    When I have highlighted that someone has lied it is based on the fact that they have lied.

    BTW - the practice of demeaning the evidence that backs up another's claims whilst neglecting to provide evidence for one's own claims is not debate. It is immature and vacuous and hence, the reason why I shall not be responding to any of PB's posts. :rolleyes:
    You are the one who has made the claim, and has yet to provide your evidence.

    You've done this before yawn.

    You make a claim, it's shown you are wrong, then you wait a few pages and make the claim again, hoping people have forgotten the truth.

    That's very dishonest.

    Let's remind people of the true situation should we?

    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...&postcount=370

    What is so hard about this yawn?

    Why can't you muster the nerve to type the simple fact that you have no evidence to back up your claims?

    Let us make it very clear for everyone to see.

    Let us break it down from start to finish.

    You made a claim.

    My response was that I had doubts over what you were claiming, and I asked you if you had any evidence to back up your claim.

    You said yes.

    I asked you to back it up.

    You ignored this.

    You were asked again to back this claim of yours up.

    You eventually, after being repeatedly pushed on the matter, produced two links.

    Neither of these links worked.

    I went and found the documents you claimed to be reading.

    Neither backed up your claim.

    I asked you if you had any real evidence to back up your claim.

    You threw a tantrum and asked me to back up my claim.

    Let us repeat my claim.

    My claim is that I have doubts about your claim, because you are yet to produce any evidence to back it up.

    I have at no time stated your claim is right or wrong.

    I can not make such a claim until you have produced evidence that either substantiates such a claim, or refutes such a claim.

    I have again asked you for this evidence.

    You have again failed to provide it.

    I ask you again, do you actually have any evidence to back up your initial claim, or was it merely an opinion that you purported to be fact?

    If it can be backed up, can you please provide the evidence, or if you can not can you please make it very clear that what you claimed as fact, can not be substantiated with any evidence?

    Is that a reasonable request?
    Several pages later you still haven't provided this proof, totally ignored the requests for it, and again are implying things are very different to how they truely are.

    You are being dishonest.

    Now you said above, you would report me if I made such a claim against you.

    Feel free to do so, but the facts stand, and they say I am right, you are missrepresenting the situation.
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    (Original post by Paul Bedford)
    .
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...&postcount=425
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    (Original post by The Ace is Back)
    I wasn't aware Kent was representative of the entire country, and what exactly is your definition of 'flourished' and 'successful careers'?
    Kent is the largest, wholly selective LEA in the country and what happens there is indicative of what happened, prior to most of the country embracing the comprehensive system in England and Wales.

    The existence of grammar schools in any significant numbers within an LEA leads to a polarisation of results between grammars and secondary moderns that is not found in comprehensives.

    Grammar schools educate a proportion of the pupils in the communities they serve; pupils who are not seclected for grammar schools go to 'other' schools. LEA's have a variety of different description for these schools. The DfES approach to this as definitive;

    'there is no statutory basis for the definition of a school as 'secondary modern', we use the term to cover 'all mainstream, maintained non-selective schools in LEAs deemed wholly selective'.
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    (Original post by cottonmouth)
    Rog, you got there before me!

    I also want to make it VERY plain to all of those who think people get into grammar schools soley on academic merit, that money plays a big part in it. Why do people think there is a very disproportionate amount of middle-class to lower-class kids in grammars? Because middle-class kids are more intelligent? Its because middle-class parents buy tuition for the 11+, and that puts their kids in a much better position to take the tests- they practice practie practice what it is like to take tests, the same types of questions that will arise, etc. Poorer kids go in blind. They may be as clever, but if the only experience of tests they have had were ther SAT's, its hardly a level playing field, is it?
    So poor people never get into grammars? I think you know that's wrong.
    Grammar schools provide a chance for the less wealthy to receive a similar education to that received at private schools, without paying tuition fees.
    Scrap grammar schools and you risk turning the system into a truly two tier education, where the quality of your education depends on the size of your bank balance.
    For example, in the area that I live there are a number of comprehensives and a grammar school. At each comprehensive, there is poor pupil behaviour - bullying is rife, teen pregnancies are high (though the norm for the UK). At the grammar school, on the other hand, you do not get bullied for trying to learn - there is less peer pressure to be "cool" by skiving off lessons.
    I can guarantee that I have performed better at the grammar school than I would have at the comprehensive.
    Can you provide a source for your claim about middle class pupils being disproportionately represented? Because at my school there's a pretty even mix. to be honest.
    I wish people actually learned a little about grammar schools before criticising them, some people in this thread remind me of the kids from the nearest comp. "All the grammar school kids are rich" - presumably because we go to a free school? Oh, wait
 
 
 
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