Toff gets Tough on Grammars

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by Potential_Officer, May 16, 2007.

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  1. As I am sure that many of you will have guessed, I am a Tory voter, shock and horror there. However I think that Eton Boy Cameron has seriously overstepped the mark in supporting the City [Enter Company Name Here] Acadamies, at the expense of the Grammars. This is despite the fact that City Acadamies are yet to yield a result and Grammar Schools are proven to improve the results of the brightest, more than if they had been in a Comprehensive. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6539721.stm

    I'm not expecting to change any opinions here, I am sure many are against the Grammar system, but they give a very good Academic education for the most Academic able, regardless of parents economic background. Look at Germany's "Gymnasium" schools, and you can see that both Grammars and "Hauptschule" can work to get good results.

    Surely if David Cameron wants to improve the gap between Rich and Poor, he should start by making all schools as good as Private Schools (like the one he attended), rather than attacking a system that gets good results regardless of economic background.

    Before people say that most middle-class students get in to grammars over lower-class students, unfortunatly even at Comprehensives Middle-Class students do better, the answer to this is not Comprehensives for all, but finding a way of encouraging all children from all backgrounds to learn.

    And the 11plus fail does not mean that that child is a failure in life, it means that their skills do not lie in academic fields, if I failed to get into an Art School I would accept that I was not arty, not a failure in life.
     
  2. I doubt the taxpayer would be willing to fund typical class sizes of 10 pupils, as one finds at Eton. Council tax would need to at least double!

    Regarding your comments on the 11 Plus. Actually those of us who failed it at the age of 11 were classed as educational failures. I was lucky in that the school I went to became a Comprehensive the year I joined, having been a Secondary Modern. Your suggestion that those of us who failed the 11 Plus were unsuited to academia is also wide of the mark. Some of us just happened to be late developers. The subjects I was best at and scored regular A grades for at school were the science subjects. I was also capable of learning Latin & Sanskrit, despite getting a D grade in my 11 Plus. To go to the local Grammar school you had to get an A grade. :x :x :x
     
  3. What'd'ya'mean PO? I sez nothing, except for me girlfriend...?
    Web Cameron is basing himself on an early TB....oops....where did that get him again???
     
  4. Well ten years as President is clearly a failure........
     
  5. I feel that the problem is not that we do not concentrate on the high achievers as PO seems to suggest, rather that we have not done enough for the low achievers. I would agree that whilst the compreshensive system, which was introduced by the 'milk snatcher' has failed to deliver what was hoped that does not mean that the concept of not having a rigid pass/fail at 11 is in itself wrong. The city academies have some merit but I believe we do need to have a far more radical review of secondary education that will make it effective for those who do not fit the traditional academic model. Yes we need to have a high proportion of our youngsters achieving educational standards that can lead to university, but it does appear that the present system then discards those who fail to meet this objective just as effectively as the old 11+ did but now offers no satisfactory alternative.
     
  6. Being of an age when grammar schools and secondary moderns were the norm I would like to see a return to that system. At 11 years of age all pupils took the 11+ those who were in the top 10% or so were offered places at the grammar school, irrespective of social background or parents earnings. I lived in Perterlee which did not have a grammar school so pupils were had to catch the bus to one of three, these were in Rhope, Hartlepool and Wingate. Standards of education in these places was high. Going to grammar school was seen as a privilege, any one not behaving would be expelled and sent to the secondary modern. Secondary moderns gave a far lower standard of education, however I cannot remember anyone leaving who was not at least numerate and literate.
    This education system worked though the secondary modern should have taught to a higher standard than it did, the reason it did not was probably because of student apathy and behaviour.
    Now for the last bit,

    Question
    Did I enjoy my time in the grammar school system




    Answer

    Unfortunately not, at 11 years of age I did not pass the examination and therefore attended a secondary mod leaving at 15.
     
  7. Slim

    So you agree with me it is not the Gramar schools that need improving but all the rest.
     
  8. 100% Peter.
    The old system was great for the 10% however it did neglect to some extent the 90%. In my secondary mod (Peterlee now closed) there was a certain disruptive element who wrecked many lessons, this contributed to the low standard of education in for many students. But we did have some teachers who today would probably not be employable. Leaving school at 15 with few qualifications (local ones) did not bother me as I hated school. I restarted my education when I joined the RN.
    However I must stress that I never met anyone from my school who was unable to read and write and do enough sums to be able to check his pay slip and bills.
     
  9. In my day, Stockport CBC Education Committee had selection for the Town's four Grammar schools (2 for boys and 2 for girls) and its single Secondary Technical (boys only) school. It was phased, though. The 11 Plus exam provided the core of the schools but we had a 13 Plus that increased the schools' population later. This recognised that some children were late developers. I confess to suspecting that many borderliners were held back to re-compete at 13.

    Like many of you, I think Grammar (and similar) schools worked well but were guilty of offending Socialist dogma
     
  10. Academic selection on a school-wide basis is unnecessary for good teaching - what you really need to do is make sure that individual subject classes are set by academic ability. Selection at 11 is far too rigid and even the Tories realise that. There are some benefits to having a whole-school academic ethos, but imagine the corresponding effect with the other 90% that are forced into a non-academic ethos. 10% is also far too small now that we are in an era when 50% of kids are expected to go to university.

    The whole idea of the comprehensive school was that you would have academic setting within the school. That would cater for late developers, people who are good in humanities but crap in the sciences, etc. Sadly, the whole project was ruined by trendy teaching methods and the death of discipline in schools. Also, a comprehensive in an area with a grammar school is nothing more than a rebranded secondary modern.
     
  11. 'Call me Dave' Camoron is seriously getting on my tits! He seems to have turned the Conservative Party into some sort of über Liberal Tree Hugging Green Party…

    **** it… I think I'll vote Labour at least they have some sort of agenda that lasts longer than a week.
     
  12. I think different education authorities had different policies. When I took the 11+ only the top 1% went to grammar schools, which was just as it had been when my mother won a scholarship to Manchester's Hulme Grammar School for Girls in the late 1930s and when my father went to Roundhay School in Leeds in the early 40s. I belonged to the 99% who were classed as failures. That said, one of my former classmates is now a millionaire, running his own practice in Harley Street. He was the most brilliant of the lot of us in science (and also studied Sanskrit).

    Personally I believe in selection at 18 for higher education, but believe testing at 11 is too young. For example the Common Entrance Exam (used to be) was taken at 13, a better age for ascertaining academic prowess, or otherwise (bearing in mind that prep school starts (or started in the 60s) at the age of 8.
     
  13. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Potential Officer with Conservative leanings? You'll go a long way... :twisted: :wink:
     

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