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Poorer students to get two grade "head start"! watch

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    I don’t understand why they’ve gone for messing around with grades. All they need to do is create a statuary obligation that forces every university in the country to have say 1/3 working class students 1/3 Middle Class and 1/3 International it’s really not rocket science. Why bother with inflating grades when they could just set a minimum % for students from the UK from different backgrounds? Such a measure would hardly provoke the reactions we’ve seen.


    Undiscovery

    : Faced with the reality of China producing more graduates than all of europe combined how can we afford not to increase the social mix?
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    (Original post by Ezekiel)
    I don’t understand why they’ve gone for messing around with grades. All they need to do is create a statuary obligation that forces every university in the country to have say 1/3 working class students 1/3 Middle Class and 1/3 International it’s really not rocket science. Why bother with inflating grades when they could just set a minimum % for students from the UK from different backgrounds? Such a measure would hardly provoke the reactions we’ve seen.
    Are you joking?
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    I'll be honest and say that I don't know what the answer to securing universal social mobility is. It's a tough one. What I do know is that we currently have too many students going into University which is unilaterally devaluing the quality and importance of a degree. Whilst we need skilled people in our society, I think it's important for the government to remember that academic study at university is not the best policy for a number of subjects. A more career-focused, vocational approach would be much better in replacing some courses, in my view.

    I don't think there should be tuition fees on most courses. However, I think we all know that some degrees are pursued more for personal reasons than for career ones. If there was a way of giving a points-based system, so that the degrees in most demand by employers were fully funded by the government, and others, in less demand, were not, that would be an option. Of course the problem there is that you are further narrowing access for those who can't afford to self-fund. I do think though that the taxpayer should not subsidize university courses that are merely academic. Whilst academia must have a place in society, I believe that the small pot of money could be utilised much more efficiently -not all degrees are of equal value and I think it's about time the fees reflected that.

    The number one constraint to many in accessing HE is money. Solve that, and you're a long way to solving the problem.

    Of course, the problem always comes back to how one creates a sort of league table of degrees. Also, if we're not careful, we could end up with further entrenching the middle-class bias in the university system.
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    (Original post by Ezekiel)
    Why bother with inflating grades when they could just set a minimum % for students from the UK from different backgrounds? Such a measure would hardly provoke the reactions we’ve seen.
    Because in my view, recruitment to university courses should be done on merit, not on social class. Why should there be equal (or weighted according to percentage of each) people from each class? If, say 1/3 working and 1/3 middle were recruited by law, what happens if some more capable students got turned away because of the quota? It's the same argument I use against "positive discrimination" (an oxymoron) -you must have the BEST candidate for the job, regardless of their ethnicity.

    Those who support the government on this would question what I mean by "merit" -how do you measure ability given that the starting point (A-Levels) is not equal? I don't think there's a perfect answer to this question, unfortunately -no silver bullet. But a bare faced quota of students would be far far far too oversimplified and could lead to talent being wasted. In my view, the A level system is a fair judge, maybe combined with reintroducing interviews for admittance. I don't think any of us have an automatic right to a university education. I certainly regard myself as privileged to attend university. I see so many students waste their first year dossing around because "it doesn't count" -what a waste of taxpayers money when there is a queue of people who are willing to work.

    The short answer is that I think the whole education system, from Early Years right through to further education needs a grass-roots review. It's time we began to instil values of hard work and conscientiousness into our students. There needs to be more regard given to relative progress as opposed to bottom line results, and there also needs to be more means of measuring a person's potential, and how close they are to achieving that potential. However it's done, students who don't work at university don't deserve to be there, and certainly don't deserve any grant or loan either. Equally, those who get bursaries and go and spend it down at the pub/club do not deserve to have those bursaries. We moan about MP's expenses: I bet if people looked at the average student's net expenditure across the year, they'd realise that a significant percentage is spent not on food or accommodation, nor on books, but on partying. Whilst I enjoy going out as much as the next person, people who are on here saying that access to finance once at university is poor could actually see what a great number of those of us with bursaries of one form or another actually spend the money on, they'd think again.
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    (Original post by Undiscovery)
    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.
    I could not agree more with everything you say in your post.
    :yes: :yes: :yes:

    I'm getting a bit fed up of being expected to feel guilty for being 'middle class' whatever that means. Yes, of course social mobility is an issue, but this is just not the way to achieve a better balance.
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    Have to agree that it seems a to be a pretty bad idea... People who really care about their education will work regardless of their background without any kind of positive handicap in their favour. University places are there to be earnt, not given. :-/
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    It's official, the government thinks working-class kids are stupid.
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    (Original post by Undiscovery)
    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.
    Really?
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    a 'two grade head start' turns BCC into BBB or CDD into CCC hardly ground breaking , and hardly ' they won'tt be able to keep up' ... far too many TSR readers don't actually understand life outside hteir middle class bubble...

    schools being torched, vacnacies going unfilled and staff leaving because the lower school and ks 4 are such utter little turds ...

    abandoning selection has harmed mobility as has 'all ability teaching' in teaching rather than setting by ability...

    attending a comp in a selective county is interesting - an island around the county town of about 8 or 9 comps, one RC comp and an early CTC with the rest of county selective ... the interesting fact was that the more rural comps had a 'grammar' cohort which in percentage terms was larger than the intake for the grammars ... despite having a pretty similar mix of pupils to the selective areas ... ( the comps in town struggled a bit with the council estate kids at times which dragged their results down for the usual reason urban kids from council estates get poorer results )
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    (Original post by iamorgan)
    Because in my view, recruitment to university courses should be done on merit, not on social class. Why should there be equal (or weighted according to percentage of each) people from each class? If, say 1/3 working and 1/3 middle were recruited by law, what happens if some more capable students got turned away because of the quota? It's the same argument I use against "positive discrimination" (an oxymoron) -you must have the BEST candidate for the job, regardless of their ethnicity.

    Those who support the government on this would question what I mean by "merit" -how do you measure ability given that the starting point (A-Levels) is not equal? I don't think there's a perfect answer to this question, unfortunately -no silver bullet. But a bare faced quota of students would be far far far too oversimplified and could lead to talent being wasted. In my view, the A level system is a fair judge, maybe combined with reintroducing interviews for admittance. I don't think any of us have an automatic right to a university education. I certainly regard myself as privileged to attend university. I see so many students waste their first year dossing around because "it doesn't count" -what a waste of taxpayers money when there is a queue of people who are willing to work.

    The short answer is that I think the whole education system, from Early Years right through to further education needs a grass-roots review. It's time we began to instil values of hard work and conscientiousness into our students. There needs to be more regard given to relative progress as opposed to bottom line results, and there also needs to be more means of measuring a person's potential, and how close they are to achieving that potential. However it's done, students who don't work at university don't deserve to be there, and certainly don't deserve any grant or loan either. Equally, those who get bursaries and go and spend it down at the pub/club do not deserve to have those bursaries. We moan about MP's expenses: I bet if people looked at the average student's net expenditure across the year, they'd realise that a significant percentage is spent not on food or accommodation, nor on books, but on partying. Whilst I enjoy going out as much as the next person, people who are on here saying that access to finance once at university is poor could actually see what a great number of those of us with bursaries of one form or another actually spend the money on, they'd think again.

    Do you not believe in society, in any sort of cohesion? What do you think it does to minority group to see people from their walk of life always on the loosing team, never being able to fulfil their potential? That is why we have high levels of truancy, teen pregnancy and social break down. Too many people are of the view that education isn’t for them. If you look to America, African Americans will raise their game precisely because of Barack Obama. Previously, the view that politics wasn’t for them, education wasn’t for them was central; all of that has been displaced, and if you read Dreams of My father you will see that he got where he was not only because of intelligence but because of positive discrimination.

    If you read back over what I said I didn’t once say that universities should favour “working class” students who were not of equal intelligence or promise. Are you suggesting that if there was a quota system universities would find it difficult to attract enough working class students of a high enough calibre? The system we have now is rotten, and the arguments I’ve read thus far are on balance hostile for fear that academic standards will be displaced by idiot working class students who don’t deserve to be there. Even if that were the case and I explained above why it wouldn’t be, the reverse is true at the moment, and not one of you has offered a single idea to redressed the current bias. Although bumping grades up is a bad idea, it would redress a current injustice. Those of you who are hostile against it would retain the status quo which is even worse than grade bumping.

    You talk about talent being wasted, what about the hordes of AAAAA candidates who apply to Oxbridge from working class backgrounds who cannot afford finishing schools, or Interview preparation class, or trips around the world to developing counties to build schools to show them how fabulous they are ? Not one of you has spoken about the wasted talent of those individuals lol. Universities select middle class students disproportionately because those said individuals though talented are able to secure extras through income which is not available to the vast majority.

    A-levels are not the sole material universities go on, the other benefits you can secure with money are crucial to acceptance, ranging from being a distinguished violinist to bilingual. Those sorts of things are secured by money, and universities go for students with those extras; extras which are lacking because of equality of opportunity to working class students. Reintroducing interviews wouldn’t change anything lol, we all know of the private Oxbridge companies who mentor you through the process, it would simply give middle class students another opportunity to use things secured by money against their working class competitors. They have every right to use their experiences to bolster their chances but that leads to a circumstance where universities are little more than a middle class finishing school which is not good for the country.

    I do not see why a quota wouldn’t work, it would be no more problematical to implement than a university bursary scheme. All arguments against it would retain the system we currently have which currently favours the middle class. If you want the best and the brightest fine, take an equal proportion from the two bands of society. All the arguments against what I have said seem to suggest that if a University has say 200 spaces that they couldn’t find 100 working class students who were as good as the other 100 middle class students. Which is utter rubbish, the reason there is a tiliting towards middle class students is because of the “extra” things about them.
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    tbh, if anything leave it as it is.

    if you aren't ****** to learn, you don't deserve a uni place.

    I mean, come on! you really think people these days are that interested to go to uni?
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    (Original post by im so academic)
    tbh, if anything leave it as it is.

    if you aren't ****** to learn, you don't deserve a uni place.

    I mean, come on! you really think people these days are that interested to go to uni?
    And again, you think only you can influence yourself.
    Do you know if I didn't hadn't had really good History and Physics teachers I'd be HATING those subjects right now, because I did, and would probably be taking something else for A level. Do you know 60 people in our school take physics/history/english for that reason, while in other schools it may be like 5 because of a crap teacher.
    In a private school the teachers are all inspirational, meaning OF COURSE EVERYONE WANTS TO LEARN, if I went to a 5% pass comp, I'd hate it all and probably drop out too, then you'd say 'oh dumb useless failure'.
    Please get your head round the FACT that most people get heavily influenced by your surroundings, and 'wanting to learn' is rarely based off genes but simply off environment.
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    (Original post by abstraction98)
    Really?
    Yes. Or are you one of those deluded Labourite sycophants that believes professionals should be burnt alive for daring to have something called disposable income?
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    Being from a poorer background is not an excuse for bad grades, I knew many people in my year who came from rich backgrounds and were absolute idiots as in G grade students. This idea is an insult, I'm not from the richest background and didn't exactly work my arse off and I'm still predicted pretty good GCSE grades, 2A*'s 6A's and 2B's.
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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.

    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.)
    You seem to assume that because I went to private school that my parents are wealthy. This is far from the truth and I got into the school on a scholarship and stayed on with the help of scholarships and bursaries. You keep saying that their are poor children that deserve it more than me when I worked hard and got myself up to that level and went to Private school because I was bright and worked hard. Now the government are trying to say that was all for waste and I would of been better off not going to private school and working hard to keep up my grades for my scholarship but would of been better off being so so in a bad school
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    (Original post by Ellsbells3032)
    You seem to assume that because I went to private school that my parents are wealthy. This is far from the truth and I got into the school on a scholarship and stayed on with the help of scholarships and bursaries. You keep saying that their are poor children that deserve it more than me when I worked hard and got myself up to that level and went to Private school because I was bright and worked hard. Now the government are trying to say that was all for waste and I would of been better off not going to private school and working hard to keep up my grades for my scholarship but would of been better off being so so in a bad school
    Well, really, that's not what I said at all.

    Anyway, I merely went by what you'd already said (I don't think I was 'presuming' because you actually said it yourself):

    (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.
    Of course, sending your child to private school doesn't mean you're necessarily wealthy; you could spend all your income on their education. But you never mentioned bursaries or scholarships in your original post; you said your parents worked hard for their money to send you to private school. In any case, only where I mentioned your example (or what I thought to be your example, in any case) actually referred to you. I don't think anybody 'deserves it more than you' nor did I say that, either...

    But the fact is, I'm sure there are many other intelligent children out there who would've benefited also from that place but not everybody can have a scholarship or bursary to private school. Just like not everybody can go to a grammar (I'm unsure on that particular debate). And that's why the current education system needs to be improved.

    Labour misses the point with this scheme (which I doubt will come about anyway; there'd be uproar) because, yes, it is discriminating against those who have had good education. But then the current system does little for those who've had a poor education either.
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    My parents did have to pay a little towards my education. it wasn't entirely free.

    And if you're very talented and work hard why couldn't you go to grammer school?
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    (Original post by Ellsbells3032)
    You seem to assume that because I went to private school that my parents are wealthy. This is far from the truth and I got into the school on a scholarship and stayed on with the help of scholarships and bursaries.
    This is another reason to be against private schools. They cream the best students off the estate to pretend they are being exclusive and the rest of the working class kids go to the sink school. Whilst this gave you the chance to go to a top school, what kind of education do you think everybody else got who you left behind? Private schools are good for the indiviudals who go to them and bad for everybody else.
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    I think what you're missing here is that its not the private school's fault for giving a good education but its state schools and government's fault for not giving a good enough education.

    Hows does me going to private school make anyone else suffer? that makes no sense. If you made all private school students go to state school then the government would have more people to support and bigger classes etc and it would lower the standard of education. Your logic that they are bad for the education system makes no sense whatsoever.

    Instead of blaming private schools for doing well then invest in the education system and improve them. if they were better than private schools then we wouldn't need them. Would you just prefer an entire society of badly educated people?

    Instead of increasing the quality of education we just bring the quality of the education down to encourage more people to go to university rather than encouraging them to reach their full potential first.
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    (Original post by Ellsbells3032)
    I think what you're missing here is that its not the private school's fault for giving a good education but its state schools and government's fault for not giving a good enough education.

    Hows does me going to private school make anyone else suffer? that makes no sense. If you made all private school students go to state school then the government would have more people to support and bigger classes etc and it would lower the standard of education. Your logic that they are bad for the education system makes no sense whatsoever.

    Instead of blaming private schools for doing well then invest in the education system and improve them. if they were better than private schools then we wouldn't need them. Would you just prefer an entire society of badly educated people?

    Instead of increasing the quality of education we just bring the quality of the education down to encourage more people to go to university rather than encouraging them to reach their full potential first.
    Actually the logic makes a lot of sense but just isn't practical. It wouldn't lower the standard of education but have the opposite effect, especially if you believe that schooling doesn't have that much of an effect as opposed to an individual student's willingness to learn.
 
 
 
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