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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 9:10 am 
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/85 ... ldren.html

Wonder if this will have any effect on the grammar schools which are now academies and their usual intake in the subsequent years?
Chelt_Dad


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 8:52 pm 
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Having just read the article I am shocked to say the least. Surely you'd still have to pass the exam to get into the GS? How would it work? I can't believe you'd have to state your income on the application form but without this I can't see how they would discriminate between each child. As the local authority has no access to your tax records what's to stop people lying about their income if they need to? Or maybe I'm just being cynical! :roll:


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 9:15 pm 
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I'm sure you would still have to pass the exam to get in - I think what the article is saying is that whereas at the moment a grammar school must give priority to Looked After Children and those with an SEN statement naming the school who have passed the test, in future schools will also have to give priority to children from low income families - i.e. those who get free school meals. (So yes, the LEA does already know about them.)

I would guess that the difference this makes to grammar schools might be small. At most it means DC from low income families who scraped a pass will get a place over DC from higher income families. I believe the percentages of kids from low income families that even sit the exam is lower than ideal - after all, it is exactly these children that grammar schools were intended for.


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 9:22 am 
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No it isn't.
Grammar schools are and always were intended for the brightest. This category USED to include a lot of poor children but after many decades of equal opportunities I do not know if it still does.


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 11:49 am 
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Yes it is!

Grammar schools were intended to raise the social status of poor but bright children who would have found it difficult to better themselves otherwise.

I think the problem has become that although there are still many bright children from low income families, now that the test is optional in some areas, those familes don't even consider entering their kids, and in areas where all the children sit the test, poorer children are the ones not getting tutoring or extra help at home and so are less likely to pass anyway.


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 12:55 pm 
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Free school meals are only given to families on income support or jobseekers allowance - not to low income families (the labour scheme to widen free meals to those families earning under 16k was abandoned by the tories). So, a very narrow group indeed.


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 1:50 pm 
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You don't have to be on those benefits to claim FSMs. They can also be claimed by anyone on child tax credit (but not also working tax credit) with an income lower than £16k.

Consequently, as maintenance from an ex-partner does not count as "income", non-working divorced mums qualify, no matter how much maintenance they get.

As does anyone who is so rich they don't need to work (so no "income") and lives off capital instead. :roll:

Or indeed let's say someone who works fewer than 16 hrs a week (so not eligible for working tax credit) and puts 100% of their earnings into their pension scheme (thus reducing their "income" to zero). :roll: :roll:

I've no idea how many people fall into those categories - but just pointing out that you don't need to be impoverished to be claiming FSMs.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:29 pm 
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Glos LEA have posted this on their website:
http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/utili ... iaid=37607
Page 6 Changes to the Published Admission Number (PAN)
Page 8 Giving admissions priority to children attracting the Pupil
Premium
Page 10 Changes to the Appeals Code
Would be interesting to see what you all think......


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:34 pm 
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"Grammar schools were intended to raise the social status of poor but bright children who would have found it difficult to better themselves otherwise."

That may have been the intent at one point, and it may have been the effect in some cases, but it probably wasn't the case post the '44 Act. The Golden Age that's usually invoked to justify selection as an engine of social mobility starts with the post-war generation who went to university in the 1950s on the back of the '44 Act, who would have been lucky to have had a complete secondary education, never mind a university education, a generation earlier, and ends in DES circular 10/65 which brings in comprehensives in the light of the Leicester experiment. The trailing edge of that generation is David Frost and TW3, the leading edge of that generation is my parents (cards on the table: my parents passed the 11+ in 1946 in the immediate aftermath of the war and the '44 Act, so I'm an indirect beneficiary.

The problem is, in all the post-war reconstruction, the idea that grammar schools might offer social mobility was handily glossed over. If you look at a map of a city with substantial post-war rebuilding, either as a result of bombing or slum clearance or both, you'll find that the schools built after the war on new social housing developments were mostly secondary moderns; the idea that the working classes (who were the main inhabitants of those new developments) might pass the 11+ was almost alien to the planning. I looked at the rates as part of my 16+ (GCSE pilot) History project in 1981 of which I unfortunately don't have a copy, but my memory is that the proportion of grammar school places in newly developed parts of Birmingham was about a third that in leafier areas, and it is routine to hear of people today whose parents passed the 11+ but went to the local secondary modern because the grammar school was logistically impossible.

If you know Birmingham, look at the housing centred on the former Longbridge factory, and consider where the nearest grammar school was to there --- in 1955 the answer is Kings Norton Boys (Five Ways was still at Five Ways). That's why the policy arose until the abolition of the 11+ in 1974 that if you passed the 11+ you could go either your local grammar (of which there may not have been one) or the nearest of the prototype comps. The early comps (Great Barr, Shenley Court) had stellar results --- multiple Oxbridge each year --- up until 1981 (ie, the departure of the last cohort to take the 11+) and were seen to "fail" later because it was only after 1981 that they had comprehensive intakes emerging at 18. Some grammars were of course built after the war, and some were around new-ish housing (Bartley Green Girls, now Hillcrest, for example) but they are few and far between compared to the secondary moderns.

My impression is the same goes for most other big cities: the pre-war grammars persisted, usually in affluent areas, while the new housing built to replace either war damage or demolished slums was built pretty much exclusively with secondary moderns. Few authorities were willing to put up three schools to support the tri-partite system, so they put up one, which was inevitably a secondary modern (and funded as such, and lacking as sixth form as such). There were some honourable exceptions --- the reason early Birmingham comps have lower, middle and upper schools as separate buildings, with a distinct workshop block and lots of halls and gyms was so that if comprehensive schooling failed, they could be converted to tri-lateral schools on one site. And Arthur Terry was built by Warwickshire as a bilateral, combined but separate-ish secondary modern and grammar on one site, and wasn't alone in that. But in general, the rate of building secondary modern places far outweighed grammar places, and disproportionately so in areas of deprivation, so the grammar schools became progressively less egalitarian unless people were motivated and able to send their children a long way to school (this pre mass car ownership, of course), which is pretty much a self-selecting group.

I haven't looked in recent years, but I recall seeing studies of the social make-up of grammars in the 1950s and 1960s, and they were distinctly right-slewed compared to the secondary moderns. And the pass mark was lower in more affluent areas, because of different proportions in the provision. It wasn't a golden age.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:42 pm 
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lmd wrote:
You don't have to be on those benefits to claim FSMs. They can also be claimed by anyone on child tax credit (but not also working tax credit) with an income lower than £16k.

(...)

As does anyone who is so rich they don't need to work (so no "income") and lives off capital instead. :roll:


Firstly, that's not really true today. In order to do that you would have to be living off the capital itself, not off the income on it: all investment income over £300 is classed as income for the purposes of assessing tax credits. So if you're spending your savings, fine, but not if you're drawing an income off them.

Secondly, it won't be true at all fairly soon. All credits will be replaced by universal benefit, and that has explicit rules for excluding people with significant savings. You can read the gory details heres: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/ucpbn-3-capital.pdf --- people who have substantial savings will not be able to claim FSM because they won't be able to claim any of the qualifying benefits.


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