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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:07 am 
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Location: South Bucks
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/grammar-schools-do-not-boost-social-mobility-report-says-a6697401.html

Grammar schools do not boost social mobility, report finds
Exclusive: Findings come just after decision by Nicky Morgan to allow a 450-pupil grammar to be created

Grammar schools do not boost social mobility and a new “tutor-proof” test has done nothing to stop children from wealthier backgrounds being coached to win places at selective schools, according to a new report.

New figures from Buckinghamshire – which has a fully selective system, so all state school pupils are entered for an 11-plus exam – reveal that pupils from private schools are two-and-a-half times more likely to pass the 11-plus while the pass rate for children on free school meals is one-eighth of the average.

The findings come just after the decision by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan to allow a 450-pupil school to be created in Sevenoaks, Kent, as an “annexe” to an existing grammar 10 miles away. The decision has sparked fears that there will be a “wave” of applications from selective schools wanting to create satellite campuses.

A new, supposedly “tutor-proof” test was introduced in Buckinghamshire in 2013 to reduce the impact of coaching and be fairer to poorer children. But the campaign group Local Equal Excellent used Freedom of Information requests to reveal how 11-plus pass rates varied according to the type of schools pupils attended and where they lived.

The report suggests that the new test has failed to reduce the large achievement gap between children from the richest and poorest backgrounds. It says: “In addition to the growing body of research showing that grammar schools do not contribute to social mobility … there is now further compelling evidence that it is impossible to devise a fair test of ability to be used as the basis for education separation from age 11 which will not discriminate according to social background and prior opportunity.”

In 2014, only 4 per cent of children eligible for free school meals passed the 11-plus compared with an average of 30 per cent. Campaigners found that children in Bucks’ state primaries continued to perform worse than other children.

Overall, in 2015 one in three children passed the exam (which is open to pupils outside the county) compared with one in five in the county’s state schools – equivalent to 101 fewer local state school pupils and fewer than before the new test was introduced.

Meanwhile, the pass rate of Bucks’ private pupils increased by 5 per cent. These children were two-and-a-half times more likely to pass the test than a child at a local state primary school.

The group’s Rebecca Hickman said: “The claim that grammar schools will be an engine for social mobility is exposed as fallacious. It is absurd to maintain that they offer a route out of poverty when they routinely fail to offer places to children from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

“The evidence shows quite clearly that selection serves to reproduce and reinforce existing patterns of disadvantage. It’s like taking every inequality that has emerged in the first 10 years of a child’s life and then saying, ‘Right, let’s institutionalise that through a parallel schooling system.’”

A Buckinghamshire County Council spokeswoman declined to comment saying it merely administered the test.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:36 pm
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Location: High Wycombe
Not something that makes surprising reading to me. But very sad nonetheless.
Are you sure the Bucks spokesperson didn't say "I'm sorry I have to leave to go to a meeting to discuss the building of a number of grammar school annexes in the County".


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:09 pm 
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Who commissioned this Bucks report?

You cannot compare the 'opt-in' cohort of Private school students with the opt-out Year 6 cohort - that is flawed use of data.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:57 pm 
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Location: High Wycombe
It was "local, equal, excellent campaign group" Guest55.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:59 am
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Location: West Midlands
I am so sick of hearing this sort of thing. Firstly treating Bucks and the South-east as though they were representqtive of the whole country.

Second, what are they proposing as an alternative? Condemn the bright children of poorer families in less advantaged areas to schools which have to battle with a proportion of parents who don't value their children's education, teachers who have to teach to the median and so can't give their children what they need. Whilst children in wealthier, more advantaged areas get ahead with lovely schools of largely homogeneous intake of motivated children from aspirational backgrounds.

I am speaking from experience. I was one of those who battled against the odds and yes, I hope, I have moved up a little socially, because when I was growing up the people of my area didn't know what a grammar schools was and we all went to the local comps. Looking back it's amazing that any of us did well at all and many could have donebetter had we known the system.

I'm so sick of left-leaning media trotting out this sort of thing. Besides, why is social mobility the goal? That should mean some should go down and other go up. No! Don't we just want every child to develop their full potential and make a positive contribution to their community and society. If they're an ace plumber, let them be, and ace surgeon, let them be. Just let's give them the tools and the opportunity to discover and be that.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 4:03 pm 
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Aren't they anti-selection? How surprising the 'research' gets the results they wanted.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 4:18 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:59 am
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Location: West Midlands
Oh yes - and teachers who have to be social-workers and riot-police, dealing ith the behavioural issues and social fallout of the kids' environment, all of which detracts from the time in which quality education can be delivered and recieved.

Let alone the bullying and general "uncoolness" of being "clever."


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
I'm not aware of a "new" report from this campaign group, and no figures have been published for the current admissions round (2016 admission), so this surely isn't "news", but just the same report recycled from around 12 months ago?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:34 pm
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I have yet to see a report which shows how the grammar schools do boost social mobility.

Yes, this is an anti-selection group. However, among those pro-selection, where is the evidence to support that grammar schools do boost social mobility? Every article I have read actually points to the opposite and there has been a rash of them in recent days following the "extension" of the school in Kent.

In a county where a prep school can advertise over 80% success rate, and where some state schools have virtually 0% qualifying, there is something very obviously unequal.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:19 pm 
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Do all the students at that Prep school enter the test? I doubt it ...

There are Bucks state schools getting over 60% through so it is possible - my DS was in a cohort where 67% qualified under the old test - as I said it's hard to compare the cohorts as one is 'opt in' and the other 'opt out'.


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