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Betrayal as Tories abandon grammar schools

spirespire Posts: 4,077
edited June 2007 in Campaign
I am truly appalled that the Tories are to abandon their support for grammar schools.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6658613.stm

The argument about free school dinners is a nonsense.

On average I bet those receiving free school dinners are of lower intelligence anyway.

The aspirant working class have always managed to earn enough to feed their families.
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  • Jon GJon G Posts: 281
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by spire</i>

    I am truly appalled that the Tories are to abandon their support for grammar schools.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Why is it that supporters of the old tripartite school system always refer to this as 'supporting grammar schools'? Given that under it most children went to Secondary Modern schools, it would make more sense to refer to 'supporting Secondary Moderns' if the system is to be known by the name of any one of it's three parts.

    As for the Tories, that is nothing new: it was really them who dismantalled the tripartite system during the late 70's. While Conservative Central Office was making a lot of hot air about supporting the system, Conservative-controlled LEA's were quietly going comprehensive all round the country (in fact generally quicker than Labour-controlled ones did).

    The reason was simple practical politics. Under the tripartite system 75% of children went to Sec. Moderns, but very few parents actually prefered their children going there. So that meant nearly 75% of parents were unhappy with the system - and they all had votes. No councillors of any political colour were going to maintain a school system which annoyed most of their potential supporters.

    The tripartite system has hung on in a few areas where due to;
    - unusually low proportion of school-age parents in the area.
    - unusually high proportion of children not in state education.
    - unusually high proportion of children passing the selection test
    it is less of an electoral liability.

    Jon
  • A comprehensive (sic) critique, Jon!

    In simpler terms, in reality for most children, "grammar schools" ceased to be an option over 30 years ago. Little point in holding on to a mantra that demonstrably has no meaning any longer.

    d.j.
    "Like a true nature's child,
    We were born,
    Born to drink mild"
  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    i thought it was obvious to all that the Tory is driven by one thing - unprincipled and corrupting greed. Cameron and Willetts, in common with every other bourgeois politician, will do anything to grasp on to the reigns of parliamentary office. Ditching a lifetimes support for a disgustingly elitist education system is easy by comparison to remaining the ineffectual spectacles that Conservative Party supporters so obviously are.

    One really does have to laugh.

    <font size="1">please look up to the stars.. </font id="size1"><font size="6"><font color="red">***</font id="red"></font id="size6">
    <font size="1">please look up to the stars.. </font id="size1"><font size="6"><font color="red">***</font id="red"></font id="size6">
  • stelviostelvio Posts: 1,422
    More good news for the Private Schools then.
  • spirespire Posts: 4,077
    Grammar schools were the route from the bottom to the top for the aspirant working class.

    The middle middle-class manipulate the system, and the affluent upper middle-class buy their way out.

    This decision is a betrayal of core Tory values and a pathetic sop to the 'prizes for everybody' brigade.
  • ankev1ankev1 Posts: 3,686
    It's far more than a betrayal of Tory values, it's a betrayal of common sense. It's good for the whole country if the best are siphoned off for high level education so that they can put their abilities to maximum use in the work place. People have no problem accepting this (even the thickest realise that you only select the most able for a sports team) and would only have a problem if it were administered unfairly. The tories are being very, very stupid.
  • VironqVironq Posts: 4
    The tories are turning into far right
    next they will advocate for mass deportations of non whites
    i think they are working for BNP[:(]
  • ransosransos Posts: 380
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by ankev1</i>

    It's far more than a betrayal of Tory values, it's a betrayal of common sense. It's good for the whole country if the best are siphoned off for high level education so that they can put their abilities to maximum use in the work place. People have no problem accepting this (even the thickest realise that you only select the most able for a sports team) and would only have a problem if it were administered unfairly. The tories are being very, very stupid.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    So do you believe that we can effectively identify "the best" by an arbitary test at 11 years old? What's wrong with setting by ability within comprehensive schools?
  • cookiemonstercpcookiemonstercp Posts: 1,050
    <i>Originally posted by spire</i>

    I am truly appalled that the Tories are to abandon their support for grammar schools.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6658613.stm

    The argument about free school dinners is a nonsense.

    <b><font color="red">On average I bet those receiving free school dinners are of lower intelligence anyway.</font id="red"></b>

    <b><font color="blue"><font face="Comic Sans MS">I want to pick you up on this. I had free school meals when i was a kid. Didn't have a family. I'm not lower intelligence as I'm about to start studying at Aberdeen University. So, quit the insults. [:(!][:(!] Not everyone who is entitled to free school meals is thick.</font id="Comic Sans MS"></font id="blue"></b>







    If I had a baby elephant it would keep my baby giraffe company.
    Yeah but no but yeah but......
  • spirespire Posts: 4,077
    And of course this will lead to more figure-fiddling to show it's been a success: grade inflation will continue and the bar will be lowered again for entry into university.

    It's a sad, sad day for opportunity and high standards.
  • spirespire Posts: 4,077
    CM

    Do you understand what 'on average' means?
  • peterbrpeterbr Posts: 2,076
    I went to a grammar school - I left the 6th form in 1989. It was located in a road of mixed private and council housing and the area as a whole was pretty much working and lower-middle class and that was reflected in the population of the school. My mother worked in a typing pool and my father was an electrician/labourer and van driver. My best friend at that school had only a mother at home who stitched clothes and bags. Others were typically the children of shop and office workers.

    Elitist?

    What disturbs me are the reasons given for this. Apparently it's divisive. Yet we have a government who positively advocate faith schools (I doubt the Tories will change this) and the reality on the ground is that areas with good schools tend to be more expensive to live in.

    So, it's alright that parental prejudice or the ability to lie and/or bully your way into a good "faith school" is OK as is being wealthy enough to afford to live in an area with a good school yet apparently a neutral method of selection based on academic ability is somehow wrong?

    It's says all you need to know about politics in this country and why we are being weeed upon academically by countries who ironically based their education system on the one we discarded. It also should be noted the grammar school system probably did more to break the Eton/Harrow and Oxford/Cambridge stranglehold on the wheels of power in politics, industry and the civil service than anything in the last century, including the foundation of the Labour party and the union movement.

    Indeed with Blair and Cameron, I think the country is going backward and they are raising the ladder. They are both products of public school and Oxbridge, whereas in the very recent past we had Thatcher, Heath and Major, who all went to grammer schools and Callaghan who went to a secondary school. (not sure about Harold Wilson).

    Looks like the elite have struck back with the usual braying chorus of "useful idiots" in support.

    <hr noshade size="1">
    Guaranteed elephant free since 1971.
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    "Europe\'s nations should be guided towards a superstate without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation"
    Jean Monnet, founding father of the EU.
  • cookiemonstercpcookiemonstercp Posts: 1,050
    <font color="blue"><font face="Comic Sans MS">There is one thing about the 11+ I hope someone can answer. How can you find the best with an exam at 11 years old? Does that mean that a child has to accept a lower standard of education as they failed an 11+? What if they're late developers? From what I know about this, the 11+ is very unfair to the majority of kids.</font id="Comic Sans MS"></font id="blue">

    If I had a baby elephant it would keep my baby giraffe company.
    Yeah but no but yeah but......
  • stelviostelvio Posts: 1,422
    Actually the Tories may be more cunning than so far credited.
    The present system ( state funded,state controlled, mostly mediocre or censored , but with some better schools )survives because the middle classes believe they can usually manipulate their children into the better schools - either through selection or house purchase.
    If the remaining grammar schools go, more middle class kids will be faced with the choice between Private schools (fee-paying) or not-very-good state schools. Many more will choose private schools.
    As more and more parents opt out of state education, more and more parents will question why they are paying taxes foe a system that does not benefit them.
    Cue the the privatisation of education.
    Genius.
  • Flying_MonkeyFlying_Monkey Posts: 8,708
    Very cunning. Perhaps more cunning than seems likely from Cameron (but actually Willets is supposed to be very clever)... but, definitely worth considering. Of course, we shouldn't forget that privatisation of education is already taking place at the bottom and has been New Labour policy. So this could certainly create greater pressure to privatise the lot...

    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety

    Now I guess I'll have to tell 'em
    That I got no cerebellum
  • ankev1ankev1 Posts: 3,686
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by ransos</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by ankev1</i>

    It's far more than a betrayal of Tory values, it's a betrayal of common sense. It's good for the whole country if the best are siphoned off for high level education so that they can put their abilities to maximum use in the work place. People have no problem accepting this (even the thickest realise that you only select the most able for a sports team) and would only have a problem if it were administered unfairly. The tories are being very, very stupid.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    So do you believe that we can effectively identify "the best" by an arbitary test at 11 years old? What's wrong with setting by ability within comprehensive schools?
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Definitely. That was the system through which I went and it was obvious from very early on in primary school (and all the kids were working class in my primary school) which ones were going to pass and which weren't. To counter the arguments that there might be late developers, it might be an idea to offer second and third chance exams to kids in Comps so that they have the chance to transfer if up to it.

    If you accept streaming within comps, you've accepted the principle of streaming which leads to grammar schools. A grammar school has to be better because it can be a true centre of excellence (as was the case) where the entire school was dedicated to doing as well as possible. I just don't think you could achieve that "culture" in a comp if only cos the brainier kids would be instant targets for bullying from some of the problem kids which you would inevitably get in comps.

    Bottom line is: the grammar school system worked for kids who had the ability. Comps, which were created for ideological not educational reasons have been a relative failure. This is one area in which we must have the guts to turn back the clock.
  • The problem was not the quality of the grammar schools, the standard of which tended to be extremely high, but the fact that the secondary moderns were often pretty dreadful. And three quarters of voters were having their children go to dreadful schools.
  • ransosransos Posts: 380
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by ankev1</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by ransos</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by ankev1</i>

    It's far more than a betrayal of Tory values, it's a betrayal of common sense. It's good for the whole country if the best are siphoned off for high level education so that they can put their abilities to maximum use in the work place. People have no problem accepting this (even the thickest realise that you only select the most able for a sports team) and would only have a problem if it were administered unfairly. The tories are being very, very stupid.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    So do you believe that we can effectively identify "the best" by an arbitary test at 11 years old? What's wrong with setting by ability within comprehensive schools?
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Definitely. That was the system through which I went and it was obvious from very early on in primary school (and all the kids were working class in my primary school) which ones were going to pass and which weren't. To counter the arguments that there might be late developers, it might be an idea to offer second and third chance exams to kids in Comps so that they have the chance to transfer if up to it.

    If you accept streaming within comps, you've accepted the principle of streaming which leads to grammar schools. A grammar school has to be better because it can be a true centre of excellence (as was the case) where the entire school was dedicated to doing as well as possible. I just don't think you could achieve that "culture" in a comp if only cos the brainier kids would be instant targets for bullying from some of the problem kids which you would inevitably get in comps.

    Bottom line is: the grammar school system worked for kids who had the ability. Comps, which were created for ideological not educational reasons have been a relative failure. This is one area in which we must have the guts to turn back the clock.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    Don't agree with this at all. Comps who stream allow opportunities to move up or down every year, rather than deciding a kid's future at 11. It's also entirely compatible with being a centre of excellence, as the teaching for each level of ability can be tailored as appropriate to the needs and abilities of the students. Whether this happens or not is not a failure of the model. And speaking as someone who went to a local comp with streaming, I didn't see much evidence of kids being bullied just because they were clever, so from personal experience I reject your claim that this is inevitable.
    I don't understand your claim that comps have been a failure. What is your evidence for this?
  • Flying_MonkeyFlying_Monkey Posts: 8,708
    There are two questions then - is excellence for 25% 'enough' to justify the poor standards for 75%, and secondly, were the poor standards innevitable in such a system, given limited resources?

    However much I agree with identifying talented people and pushing them (whatever their talents), I could never say that this justifies forgetting about or underproviding for those who do not benefit this way. I can't see that you can justofy this in ethical terms at all, only in some versions of economic theory.

    The second question then is vital - supporters of grammar schools have to show that this kind of system could operate without meaning that rest of society basically getting poor schooling.

    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety

    Now I guess I'll have to tell 'em
    That I got no cerebellum
  • spirespire Posts: 4,077
    For those who love the comps, i say keep them! So long you let us have grammar schools as well!

    If both types of school have equal funding and equal facilities, what's the problem?
  • ankev1ankev1 Posts: 3,686
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Patrick Stevens</i>

    The problem was not the quality of the grammar schools, the standard of which tended to be extremely high, but the fact that the secondary moderns were often pretty dreadful. And three quarters of voters were having their children go to dreadful schools.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Granted. It was a political/management failure that the sec mods were so bad. The wrong answer was of course chosen: eliminate the best so that the failures don't look so bad as opposed to doing the hard work of getting some sort of standards in sec mod education which was sorely needed. Kids should not be abandoned just because they are less academically gifted, they should be educated in such a way that they can get the best out of themselves as well. Comps were no answer to this problem and the whole thing has since been compounded by lowering A level standards and pretending that half of kids will benefit from tertiary education (which is a seperate but similar debate).
  • spirespire Posts: 4,077
    Agree, ankev.

    The sickening approach of this government has to devalue the best so the worst don't look as bad - and it looks as if the Tories plan to go the same way.
  • "To counter the arguments that there might be late developers, it might be an idea to offer second and third chance exams to kids in Comps so that they have the chance to transfer if up to it."

    Indeed: back in the '60s there was in some LEA areas at least a "13+", for those in Secondary Moderns (bit of a misnomer!) who for what ever reason were "late developers".


    d.j.
    "Like a true nature's child,
    We were born,
    Born to drink mild"
  • ransosransos Posts: 380
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by spire</i>

    For those who love the comps, i say keep them! So long you let us have grammar schools as well!

    If both types of school have equal funding and equal facilities, what's the problem?




    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    The problem is that middle class parents do whatever they can to get their kids into the grammar so the comp inevitably ends up as a sink, unable to attract decent teachers or bright kids.
  • spirespire Posts: 4,077
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">The problem is that middle class parents do whatever they can to get their kids into the grammar so the comp inevitably ends up as a sink, unable to attract decent teachers or bright kids.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    No. Just the opposite can be made to apply.

    With proper testing, the determinant is intelligence and application, not class.
  • peterbrpeterbr Posts: 2,076
    I went to the grammar school and my brother went to the secondary modern school. We both did OK and he had the opportunities to do the same exams and go on to the 6th form exactly like I did. The main difference was it offered additional opportunities for vocational learning and (if they still existed) a bridge to an apprenticeship. Grammar schools also could offer Latin and an enhanced curriculum in things like History.

    I'd argue that secondary schools could be in fact advantageous as they could be targetted with more resources. A grammar school full of pupils of similar ability and a willing to learn a more academic set of skills would require far, far fewer resources. Even as late as I attended, we didn't really use computers and lessons largely needed only a room, a teacher, a book and a black-board.

    The reality is with the comprehensive system we've created is, that educational standards have fallen overall when measured in terms of the basic functions of numeracy and literacy. Universities and employers now, often no longer trust the examination system and set their own entrance tests. Social mobility has also decreased overall since the high-water mark of the Thatcher and Major era (boy must that FACT annoy you lefties). I'll say it again - those nations who copied our previous school system are now leaving us behind - does that not suggest something to you??

    <hr noshade size="1">
    Guaranteed elephant free since 1971.
    <hr noshade size="1">
    "Europe\'s nations should be guided towards a superstate without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation"
    Jean Monnet, founding father of the EU.
  • spirespire Posts: 4,077
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">I'd argue that secondary schools could be in fact advantageous as they could be targetted with more resources.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    A fascinating (and very good) proposal. I wonder what reason the lefties will come up with to say it's still unfair! [:D]
  • peterbrpeterbr Posts: 2,076
    Spire, this is the problem with the social engineers of the left, leaving aside the laws of unintended consequences regarding the current lack of social mobility.

    Middle class kids do well because on the whole, middle-class parents spend more time and resources supporting their kids both before and during school. Middle class families also tend to be more stable. It isn't some magical, innate ability of middle-classness to be able to pass an 11+.

    So instead of targetting parents to help their kids achieve more, they effectively punish those families who took an interest in their kids.

    Now instead of merit, the only option is to buy yourself a better education either directly (fee paying school) or indirectly (move somewhere nice). Therefore those kids who with targetted help cold have gone on to a better education now have no hope as they are genuinely socially excluded.

    As Paul Merton used to say "you've just got to admire stupidity like that."

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by spire</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">The problem is that middle class parents do whatever they can to get their kids into the grammar so the comp inevitably ends up as a sink, unable to attract decent teachers or bright kids.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    No. Just the opposite can be made to apply.

    With proper testing, the determinant is intelligence and application, not class.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    <hr noshade size="1">
    Guaranteed elephant free since 1971.
    <hr noshade size="1">
    "Europe\'s nations should be guided towards a superstate without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation"
    Jean Monnet, founding father of the EU.
  • "For those who love the comps, i say keep them! So long you let us have grammar schools as well!"

    The ENTIRE point of comprehensives was that they were to be the SOLE school. Once the politicoes bottled closure of all other schools, comps were of course doomed to (hoped for and planned) failure. Comps were intended to end the social and economic divisions inherent in a 2 tier (the tripartite including Tech Schools never actually happened in most places) system. Society as a whole is now paying the price for the failure of nerve.


    d.j.
    "Like a true nature's child,
    We were born,
    Born to drink mild"
  • gillan1969gillan1969 Posts: 3,119
    spire

    what makes your rantings unbeliveable is that you seem to be suggesting thast the tory party policy on grammer schools MOST benefits the poor

    surely shome mishtake

    "Tories in helping poor shock"

    seeing as their raison d'etre is to maintain the hegemony of the landed class you will forgive my scepticism[:)][:)]

    www.squadraporcini.com
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