Turn on thread page Beta

Why don't people like grammar schools? watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I'm thoroughly confused as to what the argument against grammar schools is. I mean, isn't it the best way to ensure we push the brightest students without harming the education of the less gifted? It certainly seems better than a system where you have to pay for the best possible education at private schools, or where some state schools are so much better than others we end up with a so-called 'postcode lottery'.

    I don't mean implementing them in exactly the same way as they were in the past (having only one shot at getting into a grammar school, in the 11+, seems slightly silly), but surely the idea behind grammar schools is a good one? I just can't work out what the issue is with them. I know the left wing typically opposes them, but I genuinely don't understand what's not to like, at least in the principle.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Luke Kostanjsek)
    I'm thoroughly confused as to what the argument against grammar schools is. I mean, isn't it the best way to ensure we push the brightest students without harming the education of the less gifted? It certainly seems better than a system where you have to pay for the best possible education at private schools, or where some state schools are so much better than others we end up with a so-called 'postcode lottery'.

    I don't mean implementing them in exactly the same way as they were in the past (having only one shot at getting into a grammar school, in the 11+, seems slightly silly), but surely the idea behind grammar schools is a good one? I just can't work out what the issue is with them. I know the left wing typically opposes them, but I genuinely don't understand what's not to like, at least in the principle.
    Two problems
    1) It's usually well off kids who get the places, and not many bright kids from poorer backgrounds
    2) the less bright benefit from being in classes with those brighter than them as they learn from them
    • TSR Support Team
    • Peer Support Volunteers
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    Peer Support Volunteers
    Personally I am all for grammar schools. I did the 11+, got an A, spent 7 years in one of the best grammars in NI, and came out with decent GCSEs and A Levels.

    My sister and brother won't have the same results, but secondary schools suit them. I guess it depends on the person truly when it comes to grammar vs secondary.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    They were quite unpopular when we got rid of them, this is because the parents of the ~80% couldn't stomach being told by the state that their offspring were destined for production line type jobs. (we still had production lines back then). This included tory voters/right wingers - they're not going to be jumping for joy about any social engineering that threatens their kids with the spectre of downward mobility.

    IMO people are generally even less happy about being bossed around by the state now than they were in the 1970s... but they're apparently not so bothered about backdoor selection for good state schools by house price.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Cause they didn't get into one.
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Gazzaaa)
    Cause they didn't get into one.
    Literally came on to write this, praise
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    I'm not sure how I feel about grammar schools but I think the current catchment area system is unfair. Usually around good schools, the property prices are a lot higher so only wealthy people can live there and people like me have to go to rubbish schools just because that's the catchment area I happen to live in.

    I think it would be better if some sort of test could be taken to determine what secondary school you can go to. Then the not so academic could be together and focus on things more relevant to them like vocational skills. Maybe also there's opportunities to retake the entry test so people have the chance to change schools if they become more academic through school.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jelly1000)
    Two problems
    1) It's usually well off kids who get the places, and not many bright kids from poorer backgrounds
    2) the less bright benefit from being in classes with those brighter than them as they learn from them
    It works both ways. The brighter get held back whilst the teacher focuses on those who are struggling.
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    I think people would be more supportive if Grammar Schools were Years 10-13 rather than from Year 7, that entry point is just too early to tell and having a later start would allow a slightly greater proportion to be admitted. There also needs to be some kind of income adjustment because as it is right now a lot of richer families will happily pay a lot for 11+ tutoring as it saves them paying for private school in the long run, if it ended up being an income dependent fee which would be used to improve schools then I could see grammars being very popular.
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jelly1000)
    Two problems
    1) It's usually well off kids who get the places, and not many bright kids from poorer backgrounds
    2) the less bright benefit from being in classes with those brighter than them as they learn from them
    I currently attend a grammar school and in my case this isn't true at all. At least half of my year (me included) are getting EMA. I do realise that cases like mine are rare but I still don't think it is fair to use the stereotype that only the rich kids get to grammar schools.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by S E L A W Z)
    I currently attend a grammar school and in my case this isn't true at all. At least half of my year (me included) are getting EMA. I do realise that cases like mine are rare but I still don't think it is fair to use the stereotype that only the rich kids get to grammar schools.
    Are most of the other students in your class better off than you?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jelly1000)
    Two problems
    1) It's usually well off kids who get the places, and not many bright kids from poorer backgrounds
    2) the less bright benefit from being in classes with those brighter than them as they learn from them
    Surely the first point is moot. Even if most places in grammar schools ended up being filled by kids from more affluent backgrounds - which I'm not completely sure is true but I couldn't prove otherwise - it must still have a better mix than the current private school system, where virtually every place in the best schools is taken by those who are most well off.

    And the second point is a double edged sword, cause you end up holding back the kids who are most able. You end up with a kind of 'regression to the mean' effect where we just end up with more average kids and less exceptional ones, which doesn't seem good for the children, nor for the country.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    Jealousy

    And some unrealistic political ideal that everyone is exactly equal
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Luke Kostanjsek)
    Surely the first point is moot. Even if most places in grammar schools ended up being filled by kids from more affluent backgrounds - which I'm not completely sure is true but I couldn't prove otherwise - it must still have a better mix than the current private school system, where virtually every place in the best schools is taken by those who are most well off.

    And the second point is a double edged sword, cause you end up holding back the kids who are most able. You end up with a kind of 'regression to the mean' effect where we just end up with more average kids and less exceptional ones, which doesn't seem good for the children, nor for the country.
    You are confusing teaching quality with innate ability. Separating kids by ability at an early age does not mean their education will be better, it just means grammar schools can coast because the students are more able so teachers can do less and still get good results and less able students in secondary moderns can coast because they have already been told they are not academic so why bother trying.

    The average taxpayer don't want to be complicit in social engineering by educating kids in 2 separate cohorts.

    Some schools are streamed by ability so there is no need for 2 schools which is wasteful and unnecessary.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Maker)
    You are confusing teaching quality with innate ability. Separating kids by ability at an early age does not mean their education will be better, it just means grammar schools can coast because the students are more able so teachers can do less and still get good results and less able students in secondary moderns can coast because they have already been told they are not academic so why bother trying.

    The average taxpayer don't want to be complicit in social engineering by educating kids in 2 separate cohorts.

    Some schools are streamed by ability so there is no need for 2 schools which is wasteful and unnecessary.
    To my mind, the idea isn't to let anyone coast. If anything, it avoids that issue. The current education system does very little to help the most able and least able. If you have all the 'most intelligent' students in a class they can quickly cover the more basic work and move on to more challenging areas, whereas in a typical secondary school they'd end up waiting around for the rest of the class to catch up.

    Similarly, if you have a class of 'less intelligent' students then they can take more time over the basics to make sure they properly understand it, whereas in a state school they get left behind because the rest of the class found it easier to understand and so are ready to move on.

    I guess that's the crux of the matter, it's a political correctness kind of thing. It's an awkward truth that we aren't all made equal.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Luke Kostanjsek)
    To my mind, the idea isn't to let anyone coast. If anything, it avoids that issue. The current education system does very little to help the most able and least able. If you have all the 'most intelligent' students in a class they can quickly cover the more basic work and move on to more challenging areas, whereas in a typical secondary school they'd end up waiting around for the rest of the class to catch up.

    Similarly, if you have a class of 'less intelligent' students then they can take more time over the basics to make sure they properly understand it, whereas in a state school they get left behind because the rest of the class found it easier to understand and so are ready to move on.

    I guess that's the crux of the matter, it's a political correctness kind of thing. It's an awkward truth that we aren't all made equal.
    All the issues you have brought up can and is solved by streaming. There is no proof students get a better education by being separated.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Maker)
    All the issues you have brought up can and is solved by streaming. There is no proof students get a better education by being separated.
    We'll have to agree to disagree there I'm afraid I don't believe the issue has been solved at all, I can't say I think a great deal of our education system currently. Whether grammar schools are the answer or not, something needs to be done about it.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I went to a grammar and it was the making of me. I mean I love to learn, couldn't afford to attend a private school but at same time, couldn't and wouldn't have coped at my local comp. Plus, the way school applications worked at the time means that even though my parents had cars and would have willingly driven me three miles a day to a better school on the other side of my town, the local authority wouldn't allow it and insisted I go to my nearest comprehensive school, which was awful. Grammar was really the only option for me to get an education I enjoyed.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Helloworld_95)
    I think people would be more supportive if Grammar Schools were Years 10-13 rather than from Year 7, that entry point is just too early to tell and having a later start would allow a slightly greater proportion to be admitted. There also needs to be some kind of income adjustment because as it is right now a lot of richer families will happily pay a lot for 11+ tutoring as it saves them paying for private school in the long run, if it ended up being an income dependent fee which would be used to improve schools then I could see grammars being very popular.
    You make a fair point that selection at 11 is too young for a number of reasons for example that May and June bot children are still behind their July and August of the year before counterparts. That is why I think the Dickson plan system that I went through I'm Northern Ireland ( I am currently in my A2 year) is best as you leave primary school go to a secondary school and then are selected at 14 to either go to a grammar school for GCSEs and A levels or a vocationally based comprehensive for GCSEs I think that the 14-18 grammar schools are great as they allow for maximum social mobility for everyone who is academically minded and opportunities for those who are not so as they have a school for themselves as well.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    The whole point of having grammar schools was to give bright kids of all backgrounds a place to have a good education. Most grammar schools were closed down. The remains are now in the well-off areas, so disadvantaged kids don't even have the opportunity to attend one. The parents in these areas even pay for 11 plus tutoring to ensure their kid is accepted into a grammar school.
 
 
 
Poll
How are you feeling in the run-up to Results Day 2018?
Useful resources
Uni match

Applying to uni?

Our tool will help you find the perfect course

Articles:

Debate and current affairs guidelinesDebate and current affairs wiki

Quick link:

Educational debate unanswered threads

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.