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    (Original post by carmcarm)
    Does this plan assume that all working class students are thick? And they aren't able to get decent grades for themselves? Not everyone who gets into the top unis are rich, there are now some many ways for them to pay for themselves there: loans, grants, bursaries etc. so money isn't too much of a problem.

    Actually, I could bring all kinds of sociological crap into this argument but this plan is just ****!
    Agreed, I'm actually insulted.
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    (Original post by Ellsbells3032)
    I hate all this discrimination against the middle classes. Why should I be punished because my parent's worked hard for their money and used it to send me to private school. My family came from nothing, two generations ago they were immigrants that slept on factory floors because they couldn't afford housing and now they're being punished because they worked hard and invested in their children's education.
    I don't believe that giving students a two grade head start will help them in any sense. The grades are that level because you need that knowledge and hard work to help you pass the course. If you let people who haven't reached that standard take the course they usually won't be able to keep up and will end up dropping out.
    Nobody cares, I'm afraid - sob story or not, you have still had educational oppertunities which tower over potentially brighter disadvantaged pupils. You've enjoyed all the benefits and luxuries a private education can offer; sat in small classes, had brilliant teachers who've probably given you enviable amounts of individual attention, been exposed to unparalled educational resources and everything else which persuade parents to spent a fortune on a public education. With all of this, it might be said that your parents have indirectly 'bought' the sort of grades elite institutions like to see. A smarter kid than you, with bags of talent and potential, in some horrible, rough, failure of comprehensive school may achive an A-Level grade tally somewhat worse than yourself, but at the moment, you would be much more likely to secure the university place, even though this hypothetical student may have florished in a far more expansive way then yourself in the said university. This hypothetical situation (and one which occurs all to often in the real world) would be an example of were the principle that the most able students get the best university places is broken.

    This propesition by the govenment, as I said above, is not an example of class warfare, or an attempt to give the middle-classes a raw deal - it's simply trying to recognise that the quality of one's pre-university education has a big effect on one's eventual A-Level grades. Universities should recognise that a kid who attended some ****-hole inner-city comp. may have more natural flair for a given subject over some public-school boy, even though the former's grades are worse than the latter's, due to the loathsome circumstance he's been born into. That's what this report is all about.
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    Sure this suggestion offers a sort-term soultion to a long-term problem; but bringing the state sector up to speed with the priavte sector will take decades; how many poor but intellectually able youngsters will miss out on higher education before that goal's achieved? We all want our future surgeons, politicians, scientists, lawyers and managers to be the most talented people in the country; not those who entered those positions largely on the strength of their father's credit card.
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    (Original post by LurkerintheDark)
    Nobody cares, I'm afraid - sob story or not, you have still had educational oppertunities which tower over potentially brighter disadvantaged pupils. You've enjoyed all the benefits and luxuries a private education can offer; sat in small classes, had brilliant teachers who've probably given you enviable amounts of individual attention, been exposed to unparalled educational resources and everything else which persuade parents to spent a fortune on a public education. With all of this, it might be said that your parents have indirectly 'bought' the sort of grades elite institutions like to see. A smarter kid than you, with bags of talent and potential, in some horrible, rough, failure of comprehensive school may achive an A-Level grade tally somewhat worse than yourself, but at the moment, you would be much more likely to secure the university place, even though this hypothetical student may have florished in a far more expansive way then yourself in the said university. This hypothetical situation (and one which occurs all to often in the real world) would be an example of were the principle that the most able students get the best university places is broken.

    This propesition by the govenment, as I said above, is not an example of class warfare, or an attempt to give the middle-classes a raw deal - it's simply trying to recognise that the quality of one's pre-university education has a big effect on one's eventual A-Level grades. Universities should recognise that a kid who attended some ****-hole inner-city comp. may have more natural flair for a given subject over some public-school boy, even though the former's grades are worse than the latter's, due to the loathsome circumstance he's been born into. That's what this report is all about.
    It does matter. It's a clear case of having nothing, and then earning and working for something. I think this is a common thing that Labour (and it's supporters) fail to grasp.

    I find it rather worrying, that you continually mention; 'potentially brighter disadvantaged pupils'. If the potential is there, why isn't it being exercised? It's not about money, so don't even give me that reply. The reason it isn't being exercised is simply because Labour hasn't and won't give children the opportunity to do so! It is then in the interests of the parents to send their children to a private school where it can then be.

    I appreciate and respect that several bright students are failed by the system. But it's a Labour system, and therefore instead of improving it, which is what is needed, it's fiddling with it to give an underhand advantage. It's pointless, and won't work!
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    (Original post by LurkerintheDark)
    Sure this suggestion offers a sort-term soultion to a long-term problem; but bringing the state sector up to speed with the priavte sector will take decades; how many poor but intellectually able youngsters will miss out on higher education before that goal's achieved? We all want our future surgeons, politicians, scientists, lawyers and managers to be the most talented people in the country; not those who entered those positions largely on the strength of their father's credit card.
    If the youngster is intellectually able, why aren't they able exercise that in their comprehensive? It's because Labour has long failed students, and simply won't admit to it.

    It's not about rich parents and poor parents. It's a simple case of doing what is in the best interest of your children, with whatever resources you have.

    It's a sad fact of life that not everyone will be able to have nice things in life. But what you've again failed to grasp is that the middle-classes haven't always been middle class.

    As is the case with Ellsbells3032, her parents didn't have nothing. But instead of sponging off the state for whatever they could get, and crying foul, they knew that the only way to further themselves and their children, is not by relying on Labour, but to invest in their children's future. It's something you have clearly dismissed.

    Is it a case with Labour now, that people aren't allowed to work that little bit extra, to give them something to their child that not every child has? It's a sad fact of life, you work and you get something. You don't work, you don't get.
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    For goodness sake people need to calm down, those close to Mandelson say he is not in favour of this. The idea was just flirted with at best. As I say the title is misleading to say the least.
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    (Original post by cfc1992)
    Would pretty much cheat the middle class out of university places then.
    Seems like this is already happening to a certain extent at some of the better universities, who are favouring state school pupils over private school pupils already!

    I think that the less well off people need a better education rather than a 2 grade head start - there need to more incentives for the better teachers to teach at "worse" schools, and more punishments for badly behaved children.
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    (Original post by WhereIsMyMind)
    If a child hasn't been given the opportunity to exercise their intellect and potential, and thus hasn't attained an A grade in say Maths. Then I don't see how bumping up their grade so that they have an A grade (on paper) is going to solve anything?

    In fact, it's going to make things worse, or perhaps go in a circle. This individual is then going to go to University, and find that they haven't covered most of the work (due to the mismanagement of the school and it's teaching), and thus they will get a poor graded degree.

    Are the employers now going to have to give an unfair advantage to a candidate? It's stupid to consider that they will, and therefore we'll have more students in debt, and therefore back in that wonderful circle!
    Did you not read the article in The Times?
    Here's an interesting part:
    A scheme at King’s College London adds a catch-up year to its medicine programme for 50 low-income comprehensive pupils admitted annually from London and Kent on reduced A-level offers.

    At Leeds, the third scheme, application forms will be automatically flagged from this autumn if they come from postcodes where few people go to university or from schools where fewer than 45% of pupils score five good GCSEs.

    Under the scheme, which is already in operation for comprehensive applicants from Yorkshire, successful candidates whose forms have been flagged up will be eligible for offers of two grades below the standard — for example, ABB rather than AAA — as long as they pass an introductory course at the university.
    It's not like a "dosser" will get into Cambridge and take the place of an AAA student...
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    (Original post by _Hayko)
    Did you not read the article in The Times?
    Here's an interesting part:

    It's not like a "dosser" will get into Cambridge and take the place of an AAA student...
    I have read the article, and I noted what you quoted.

    I'm not against 'dossers' getting into Cambridge. I couldn't (if I'm honest) care less. It's up to the admissions team to decide who is worthy of a place etc.

    However, what I have a problem with, is that this SHOULDN'T be need. Additional years/courses shouldn't be needed if Labour ensured that the education was up to standards in the first place. It is this reason that parents get their children into private schools in the first place.

    I'm sure a student would be extremely appreciative of the opportunity, regardless of the additional year. However, it's not ideal. It wouldn't have even been needed if Labour tackled this problem from the roots. Instead of waiting for it to branch out then try to patch it up!
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    Sorry, can someone tell me when and why were grammer schools abolished in the first place? :s
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    (Original post by WhereIsMyMind)
    If the youngster is intellectually able, why aren't they able exercise that in their comprehensive? It's because Labour has long failed students, and simply won't admit to it.

    It's not about rich parents and poor parents. It's a simple case of doing what is in the best interest of your children, with whatever resources you have.

    It's a sad fact of life that not everyone will be able to have nice things in life. But what you've again failed to grasp is that the middle-classes haven't always been middle class.

    As is the case with Ellsbells3032, her parents didn't have nothing. But instead of sponging off the state for whatever they could get, and crying foul, they knew that the only way to further themselves and their children, is not by relying on Labour, but to invest in their children's future. It's something you have clearly dismissed.

    Is it a case with Labour now, that people aren't allowed to work that little bit extra, to give them something to their child that not every child has? It's a sad fact of life, you work and you get something. You don't work, you don't get.
    See, I agree with the fact that educational standards are the problem -- which Labour are failing to address here, and choosing instead to place pressure on Universities for some belated attempt at social engineering.

    And it's great for Ellsbells3032's parents that they worked hard and had the financial means to give her private education; yet some people have already been failed by the education system, and do not have the skills to earn x amount of money to do the same for their children. Often it's not the case of not wanting to (I'm sure many parents would love to send their children to an excellent school rather than an underperforming one), or often not working hard enough (I resent the line about 'sponging off the state' -- many people do not do this but still don't have the means for a private education) but probably that, in some jobs, there's only a certain amount of income you can achieve.

    Why should their children be punished for having hard-working parents who simply can't afford to buy them the best education? And 'whatever resources they might have' might simply be sending them to the local comprehensive, where x stabbed y and the school was falling to bits, or whatever. :P

    I just disagree that, as a general rule, bright children won't be disadvantaged by their educational backgrounds, if it's a poor one.

    Still, Labour's policy sort of grasps the idea that some people are disadvantaged (mainly due to their failing education system) but then fails to actually do anything meaningful about it. There's a surprise. (And, yes, I do agree with the fact that this is unfair to people who've had a good education, &c.; however, I just think many people are failing to understand how difficult it is for somebody to come from such a background to achieve straight A*s/As -- people who do aren't the norm, certainly.)
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    (Original post by WhereIsMyMind)
    I have read the article, and I noted what you quoted.

    I'm not against 'dossers' getting into Cambridge. I couldn't (if I'm honest) care less. It's up to the admissions team to decide who is worthy of a place etc.

    However, what I have a problem with, is that this SHOULDN'T be need. Additional years/courses shouldn't be needed if Labour ensured that the education was up to standards in the first place. It is this reason that parents get their children into private schools in the first place.

    I'm sure a student would be extremely appreciative of the opportunity, regardless of the additional year. However, it's not ideal. It wouldn't have even been needed if Labour tackled this problem from the roots. Instead of waiting for it to branch out then try to patch it up!
    Yeap, I agree that Labour has severely cocked up the quality of education, and that's the root of the problem, however any fix will take many many years. In the meantime this seems like a good short term solution until the main problem is resolved.
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    (Original post by jammythedodger)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8192234.stm

    I'm not sure if there is already a thread about this, but I am furious at the idea. I've just finished school at 18, but how is this right?

    They say it helps social mobility. It was the Labour Party who abolished grammar schools which actually helped social mobility (facts and figures I'm afraid, not just personal opinion). Some people are left behind, but the majority are do worse because they don't put the effort in or just simply are not acadmeic - neither of which are a reason to give them a "head start".
    They shoudl work on improving students grades through helping them actually do better on their own merits than just introducing state sactioned grade-cheating.

    Opinions? :p:



    To those who have disagreed with my analysis of selective education:
    A quote from a report of the LSE's social mobility report:

    "Reference to research by LSE that reveals that the ending of educational selection has actually reduced opportunities for the poor and widened the class gulf. The LSE report shows conclusively that the 11-plus was an 'escape route' and removing it has undermined social mobility."

    "New research by LSE has revealed grammar schools are the best way to improve a person's social and economic status."

    "Recent research from LSE demonstrates that the annihilation of the grammar schools severely reduced the opportunities for the poorest in society to work their way up. As a result, Britain now has lower social mobility than comparable western countries."
    I went to a school where i had 30 other students in my English Lit A level class, a flat mate of mine from uni had two other students in her class. No one can say that we both and the same quality of teaching. She got and A and i got a B, she got straight As at A level and because of this she got a huge bursary from the department because she was 'clever'. Despite the fact that her parents could afford to give her a hefty allowance while at uni, my parents couldn't afford to do this so i had to get a part time job, well actually two.

    I think students from more affluent backgrounds get a lot more opportunities than those of us from less affluent families, I wouldn't class my family as poor but my parents certainly didn't have thousands of pounds to spare every year to pay for my siblings and i to go through public school, or to support us through uni with a £100 per week allowance just for spending money. I was lucky if my parents sent me £50 a couple of times a term and paid for an online supermarket shop towards the end of term when finds were getting low.

    Another point to remember is that the labour government also abolished government bursaries for children from 'poorer' families so that they could attend public schools. The Tory's started that scheme and Tony Blair got rid of it.
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    (Original post by plopSDCSDC)
    Sorry, can someone tell me when and why were grammer schools abolished in the first place? :s
    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=grammar+school
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    (Original post by LurkerintheDark)
    With all of this, it might be said that your parents have indirectly 'bought' the sort of grades elite institutions like to see.
    A spectacular generalisation that fails to take into account those academically gifted students who go to private school on scholarship! Some people go to private school BECAUSE their local state schools are not set up to deal with them. I don't know what it's like now, but when I was in school many state school were just no equipped to deal with student who were academically gifted (and I mean to an unusual level!).

    A smarter kid than you, with bags of talent and potential, in some horrible, rough, failure of comprehensive school may achive an A-Level grade tally somewhat worse than yourself, but at the moment, you would be much more likely to secure the university place, even though this hypothetical student may have florished in a far more expansive way then yourself in the said university.
    Then sort the teaching standards out instead of penalising those who attended good schools!
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    (Original post by Ambielina)
    See, I agree with the fact that educational standards are the problem -- which Labour are failing to address here, and choosing instead to place pressure on Universities for some belated attempt at social engineering.
    I think that's what most have a problem with. It's a shame that Labour are opting to mask the true extent of the problem, with this idea that the middle-classes and their bottomless pits of money are to blame.

    (Original post by Ambielina)
    And it's great for Ellsbells3032's parents that they worked hard and had the financial means to give her private education; yet some people have already been failed by the education system, and do not have the skills to earn x amount of money to do the same for their children. Often it's not the case of not wanting to (I'm sure many parents would love to send their children to an excellent school rather than an underperforming one), or often not working hard enough (I resent the line about 'sponging off the state' -- many people do not do this but still don't have the means for a private education) but probably that, in some jobs, there's only a certain amount of income you can achieve.
    In Ellsbells3032, her parents didn't (or don't appear) to have the greatest education. However, it didn't stop them doing whatever it is they could, to ensure that she got into a private school. If anything, to me, it shows a lack of confidence in Labour and/or the educational system. I'm finding it rather worrying, that working-class families will end up supporting this idea, with the belief that the reason their children are failing and/or under-performing, is because of the higher boundaries placed by the middle-classes and their education. I agree to an extent that this may be a problem, however, I don't see how Labour is addressing this with this proposal. If Labour were to be honest, and stop masking problems, then the working-class will realise that Labour has failed them. Badgering for change.

    (Original post by Ambielina)
    Why should their children be punished for having hard-working parents who simply can't afford to buy them the best education? And 'whatever resources they might have' might simply be sending them to the local comprehensive, where x stabbed y and the school was falling to bits, or whatever. :P
    It's back to this argument which I hate. Unfortunately, we have this problem in the UK, where we are too easy on children and/or families. If you've ****** up, then you and your family are going to suffer. As harsh as it may sound, as it isn't fair on the children, however, parents need to consider these things. It's far too easy to rely on the government to provide us with what we need. I feel that if you want the nice luxuries, you pay for it. If you can't afford it, you go without.

    (Original post by Ambielina)
    I just disagree that, as a general rule, bright children won't be disadvantaged by their educational backgrounds, if it's a poor one.
    It's inevitable that certain students will be disadvantaged. However, it's about time we stop wrapping kids up in cotton-wool and we confess that life isn't all plain sailing. I appreciate that certain subjects, it would be near impossible to get ahead by self-teaching. However, for certain (a large bulk) it is most certainly possible. If you're prepared to put in the effort, anything is possible.

    (Original post by Ambielina)
    Still, Labour's policy sort of grasps the idea that some people are disadvantaged (mainly due to their failing education system) but then fails to actually do anything meaningful about it. There's a surprise. (And, yes, I do agree with the fact that this is unfair to people who've had a good education, &c.; however, I just think many people are failing to understand how difficult it is for somebody to come from such a background to achieve straight A*s/As -- people who do aren't the norm, certainly.)
    I guess that's Labour for you. But it's cleverly masking problems, to the extent it's blaming a whole group for the demise of another.
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    (Original post by _Hayko)
    Yeap, I agree that Labour has severely cocked up the quality of education, and that's the root of the problem, however any fix will take many many years. In the meantime this seems like a good short term solution until the main problem is resolved.
    I know any solution is better than no solution. :yes:

    It's how this solution is being proposed, and what it consists of is what I have a problem with. :mad:

    If Labour were to confess that certain actions they have taken have had a negative effect on the educational system, and they had xyz proposals to perhaps make changes and reforms to the system - then I would actively defend and encourage their changes.

    However, I doubt that's going to happen. Because it's easy to simply blame the middle-classes.
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    (Original post by Marsha2112)
    I don't think anyone really sees the problem, that if (to make a fair experiment) the 2 students are CLONES, with the same level of self motivation, the one in a private school is MORE LIKELY to do better than the one in disruptive classes. And to get the same grades, this identical student would have to work harder in a state school.
    And I'm in a fairly good school but (not blaming anyone, 100% my fault) I was capable of good grades, however if I was in a school where I wasn't allowed out till I finished my homework, I could have got about 5 more A*s, and that's reality for most people. For A levels, I'm guessing a bad school would ON AVERAGE disadvantage an AVERAGE student by 2 grades, so this boost makes sense. If you sent some Chavmaster to Eton, then they'd probably be able to get 2 better grades out of them. FORGET self motivation, it's a simple fact that for most people, your school affects your grades. Even a study showed borderline pupils in grammar schools were a year ahead than their state school friends with similar talent. It really does, I see it with my friends, average ones in good schools get pulled up while clever ones in bad schools get pulled down. That's why there's access schemes, etc. This is just another access scheme, which does make things more fair.
    Well, obviously! No **** sherlock. Of course the person with the better environment will do better than the one in disruptive classes. I mean, that's how the ball rolls, you can't control it.

    however I disagree on the next sentence "the state schooler would have to would have to work harder in the state school". hmm, not necessarily because 1) this could be due to the person - this person may work at a faster rate than the private schooler, 2) they are NOT identical - only in terms of looks. but in terms of academic ability, they're different.
    also it's pretty patronising to say that ALL PRIVATE SCHOOLERS WORK LESS FOR THE SAME GRADES AS A STATE SCHOOLER
    as there are some states that are better than some privates
    and tbh AT THE END OF THE DAY - they sit the same exam paper, i.e. there's this set amount of work in order to reach the A grade, but as humans we work at different paces due to the fact that we're different.
    though I do get what you mean, but the thing is, state schoolers aren't disadvantaged, is just the private schoolers are *advantaged* if you get what I mean.

    EDIT: "if I went to a different school to a different school I could have got 5 more A*s"

    1) this PROVES humans are "suited" to a teaching system. e.g. say you are suited to system A, but you got to system B school, so yeah, that would cause problems. going to system A school, yes, it would have helped as you are suited to that system - but only to a certain extent i.e.
    2) by saying you, you imply you were capable of getting better grades. did you do anything about it? no. you just accepted what you had and didn't do anything about it. because, tbh, by stating that, you are also saying there is a barrier to what you can get in a state school. are you saying it's impossible to get e.g. straight A*s if that was there potential. no! this is YOUR education - do something about it!
    3) but you know, I do get what you mean, i.e. a different school could push you to your potential. but that's life. it isn't fair. so you can't control what school you go to, but you can only control *yourself*.

    next sentence. ********. where's the ******* evidence to suggest "oh you are disadvantaged by 2 grades". then ask me this, why oh why do people still get AAA at state school. "they put in more work" - what are you trying to say - you aren't arsed to put in the extra work? what makes you think everyone should put in the same amount of work for the same amount of grades? "fairness". no! if you wanted that uni place you'd put in X amount of work to get there. like I ******* said before - you put in what YOU want to ******* get out of. ffs - life isn't fair, get used to it. if you aren't bothered to put in (to make it easier I'm using grams) 100g for AAA JUST because a private schooler puts in 60g, personally, you don't deserve the uni place if you aren't bothered to pull your weight.

    FFS unis take into account your background! and grades aren't ******* everything! what about PS, interview, reference, admission tests? FFS I got told off for agreeing with the fact "the AAAA private schooler should get in rather than the AAAB home schooler". (there were extra factors but I cba) and do you know what they replied - "maybe they prefer someone who has their own mind, rather than a spoonfed private schooler". FFS! look, at the end of the day, unis decide who they want. tbh if they REALLY wanted all private schoolers, they ******* say! look, the government gives you an education, it's up to YOU how you want to use it.

    no! a school affects e.g. the "tools" you use, e.g. the resources, but it's up to ******* you how you use them. "schools affects your grades". who sits the exam paper? the pupil.

    and obviously there are better schools! no ****! but why? because of the pupils, to the core of it. yes the school to a certain extent, but at the end of the day it's the pupil.

    take this overhyped situation:

    A = "best" school on earth
    B = "worst" school on earth

    both just opened. right so the better students go to A, worser students go to B.

    A = students take it in, but they aren't really bothered - i.e. no self-determination. 100% fails
    B = highly motivated pupils but even due to lack of teaching etc they pull their weight. 100% pass.

    which is the better school now? B. why? because of the pupils.

    yes this is a ******* generalisation, but LISTEN TO ME:

    the school affects the academic environment, but it is up to the individual how they want to perform.

    stick a chav into a good school, they don't give a **** - they fail
    stick a motivated pupil into a bad school, they give a **** - they pass.

    yes, there are access schemes, e.g. the CSAS, but this stupid proposal mandelson is proposing isn't. it SCREWS up the point of grades. don't you get that? they're basing grades on income which is ********.
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    Don't have much to say which hasn't really been said here but I think the idea of making lower offers automatically to students on the basis of being at a school with a lower average A-level score sets a very dangerous precedent.

    I agree private schools do have much better resources and are far better suited to able individuals than the state sector which pretty much deals with everyone on a "one size fits all" mechanism.This is a failing on the part of the state system tbh and trying to make up for it by shifting the goalposts is plain silly.

    Compulsory selection should be introduced at year 7 and year 10 and there should be three types of school teaching different syllabi.Have the grammars teach the extremely able students (top 15%) and vocational programmes for the less able (say bottom 25%).The others should be taught in a secondary school which combines academia with more vocational stuff.

    One more thing , progression shouldn't be guaranteed through the system either - if pupils do very badly then you should have to resit an entire year to help make sure they are good enough for the next stage.
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    [Les Ebdon, of university think tank Million+] added: "We have a real problem in this country. Our medical schools are full of very earnest young people from middle class backgrounds and then we find it very difficult to find , for example, GPs to go and work in working class areas.
    What a load rubbish. I was listening to a debate on Radio 4 last night about this. Why does the social mix have to be widened for the sake of widening it? It just reeks of naive socialist utopian ideals that fail again and again. How on earth is it a ''fairer system'' when young middle and upper middle class people are being punished by the government simply because they were fortunate enough to go to high achieving schools, or live in affluent areas.

    And the quote about GPs or doctors finding it ''very difficult'' to go and work in working class areas - nonsense. Doctors, even though they may work in nice areas, sometimes have to go on home visits to see patients - I know my dad used to have leave the surgery when working on call and go to some really rough areas of town. Honestly - does the think tank really believe doctors are childish enough to be frightened of venturing out into lower class areas?

    Overall, I am furious at the thought of the proposed idea. I went to a private school and I worked extremely hard to get the grades I achieved; the thought of somebody srpingboarding themselves into the realms of A*s just because they are from a different social background is absurd and totally unfair, in reality. I'm getting fed up of Labour endlessly going out of their way to punish the upper and middle class sector of society a.k.a those that generally contribute most to the economy. Ridiculous, stupid idea.
 
 
 
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