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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:38 am 
Most parents with kids at independent schools already know this!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... hools.html

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/99682206-4f0b ... abdc0.html


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:03 am 
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Not a surprise as far as minorities go, you only have to go on an open day to see that (although the figure for "minorities" in the Birmingham grammars is far higher, more than 50% - which makes the use of the word begin to seem somewhat surreal). I will be interested to see what their definition of "poor" is though... :wink:

Mike


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:18 am 
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I think this is very mis-leading as Indies might have a greater ethnic minority than GS or Comps, but how many of those are residents and how many are boarders.

Also as mike1880 says, what is their definition of 'poor', in the state sector it is normally classified as receiving free school meals, and it is quite difficult to qualify for this.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:20 pm 
Well it states in one of the articles that the % of ethnic minorities at day schools is higher than the % of ethnic minority boarders, and that this figure is above the % at GS and top comps.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:34 pm 
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I can only speak from my own experience. My DD is in what is known as a super selective grammar and my other will start there in Sept.

It has been my experience that there is not a social mix in the school.(children from lower income families) I read on the indie section sometimes about parents feeling awkward about their small house and lack of foreign holidays etc in comparison to their children's peers.Well we have the same experience in a state school although I don't let it worry me !
I think it may be because of the" super selective" nature of the school, ie no catchment, no sibling priority etc ,that those bright children with good preparation, whether indep prep schools (many do timetable VR from year 3) or paying for tuition are likely to stand a better chance of getting in.This does operate as a form of social selection .(unfortunately)

My eldest is in a class where over two thirds entered from prep schools and are the sking set, on the whole. (I know that's not everyone who sends their child private btw) Even the last OFSTED noted the extremely high intake from private preps.
Therefore I would wager that in my DD's class, there are no children from truly low income families as there would be in non selective schools. However there are private schools in the county that would offer full bursaries to genuinely low income families.So one would expect at least a few lower income families to be in the indep schools .

Where we used to live, before becoming Essex folk, there were many grammars of different varieties. Some were super selective and others saved two thirds of places for local children who simply "passed" the exams.Some also gave a lower pass mark for siblings.This had the affect of allowing more of the able but not heavily prepped children in, and prevented academic selection having a by product of social selection.Therefore some grammars have a wide socio economic mix.

I would also question what is meant by" poor".We may not be the sking set but we aren't poor.To qualify for free school meals, you have to have a joint family income of just under 16, 500 a year.(joint!) Most independents locally set their full bursary income levels a lot higher than that.

Sadly I think it is the case that it is hard for the truly poor to access high performing grammars or have the information to access independent schools.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:32 pm 
Your views are always very balanced CM. :)

I posted this topic because I've heard people comment before that they wouldn't send DC to and independent but rather a GS because at GS your child is living in the "real world". Clearly NOT! Neither do I think independent schools are living in the real world but probably have all echelons of society, even if some are in very small numbers.

Regarding poor: I don't know what they mean but I know Brighton and Eton College have a policy of taking students from inner city London estates i.e. deprived!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:06 pm 
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there was an excellent C4 prog a few years back, a Cutting Edge, I think, and I'm going to diminish my argument further by being hazy on detail, but the boy in question was plucked from an inner city high rise (Hackney springs to mind) and dropped into Eton or Harrow (??which?) He flourished and did well, until it came to going home again when the difference between what he had been and what he was becoming was too marked. This isn't meant to sound patronising but it's either a sad indictment maybe of the lure of the peer group, or a basic practicality of the difficulty in trying to change a steamer's direction half way across the ocean. Not that re-steering should be deemed impossible.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:10 pm 
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T.i.p.s.y wrote:
Your views are always very balanced CM. :)

I posted this topic because I've heard people comment before that they wouldn't send DC to and independent but rather a GS because at GS your child is living in the "real world". Clearly NOT! !


I suppose that is why I drew a distinction between the different kinds of grammars.The ones that give priority to local children or siblings do
have a much wider social mix.
In Essex, KEGS, CCHS, CRGS and Colchester girls just take the top scorers.The Southend schools have a catchment pass mark.This makes for a more varied social mix and would be more the "real world".I suspect this is true in Bucks and was true of some of the grammar schools in the L.Bs of Sutton &Kingston depending on admissions policy.
So I agree that the top performing grammars have far less of that " real world " social mix and, for me, that is a negative.
Small numbers of disadvantaged children at indep schools is better than none at all.
I do wonder how they fare there though but that's probably a whole other thread.... :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:20 pm 
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My guess, based on a cursory look at the numbers for KES in Birmingham, would be that there might be a very uneven parental earnings profile in the independent sector, with the least wealthy surprisingly (?) well represented and the comfortably-off very well represented but with something of a hole in the middle brackets.

Mike


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:25 pm 
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Oh t.i.p.s.y., your comment re Grammars & the 'real world' struck a chord! Some 16 years ago my niece went from being Head of Maths at a small private school, to Senior Teacher at a 'super-selective' Grammar. Wow! Did she have a culture shock! She was ostracised, snubbed,her life made a misery - because, the snooty staff told her, 'You've come from a privilieged little babies school, you don't know anything about REAL schools like this one...'

Well, ha ha - just wish she'd told me at the time and not years later! The school in question is in a leafy suburb, and the vast majority of pupils are delivered to the door in latest-reg. BMW type cars - about 3/4 of them came from private preps or were intensively tutored. It's fascinating as a social study because one way lies the poorer housing, the other the £2 million + housing - at the end of the school day, a measly little trickle - maybe 100 + /- pupils? heads off for the 'poor' area - but the vast majority of the 900 head for the acreage of Epsom or the Victoriana of Richmond. Grammar schools socially inclusive? They must be kidding.


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