Go to navigation
It is currently Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:00 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 10:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:35 pm
Posts: 32
May I ask for your thought on this argument? I copied this lengthy argument from a reader of The Times today. It seems very persuasive, so I would appreciate your opinions.

To summarize, the reader said "the quality of schooling makes little difference to our children’s academic outcomes".

If this is true, the implications are that the main benefits of private schooling are its reputation and its personal network. The reputation (Eton, Winchester, etc) would help you enter the Russell group and Oxbridge, which think you are better than another state school's student even though you achieve the same exam results. And the network - your connection with other well-off friends - would help you get better positions in life.

Below is his detailed argument. Pls let me know if you think he is right.

"there is now very strong evidence from the UK Government’s own university funding body that shows that in a developed, relatively socially mobile country such as the UK the quality of schooling makes little difference to our children’s academic outcomes. This is so anti-intuitive that most people simply won’t believe it. But lets look at how this may be true.

For at least 30 years genetic research has shown us that the main determiner of who and what we are is genetically pre-determined.

This was recently confirmed by yet another study from Kings College in London:

“The degree to which students’ GCSE exam scores differ owes more to their genes than to their teachers, schools or family”

This research confirms that up to 60% of our educational achievement is genetically predetermined. The rest is composed of a mixture of “nurture” type influences, such as parenting, schooling and peer group as well as a number of “random” life events, which are neither nature nor nurture. The existing genetic research seems to indicate that peer groups is the biggest of these nurture influences and parenting made surprisingly little difference by the time we reach the age of 35.

There is now new research by the UK Government’s university funding body based on the entire UK cohort who started university in 2007-08 (130,000 students) and graduated three years later. This huge study eliminates potential sampling biases and offers a robust and comprehensive examination of questions that smaller or institution-specific studies are unable to answer. The study looked at how likely these students were to achieve firsts or 2:1s, depending on their background, and controlling for different academic grades.

What did this research tell us?

1. Degree outcomes are not affected by the average performance of the school that a student attended. Specifically, a student from a low-performing school is not more likely to gain a higher degree classification than a student with the same prior educational attainment from a high-performing school. For example, regardless of ‘school type’, a student gaining AAB at A’ Level from a school in the highest 20 per cent of schools in the country has the same likelihood of gaining a first or upper second as a student gaining AAB from a school in the lowest 20 per cent of schools in the country. In both cases, the proportion gaining a first or upper second is 79 per cent.

2. Among students achieving A* and A grades at A’ Level, there was also no statistical difference in degree attainment according to school type.

These are the grades required by elite Russell Group University applicants and Oxbridge candidates. These data seem to back up the genetic theories that if a student is academically gifted the type of school he or she attends makes little difference to their academic achievement. Your genes win out – at least in in an advanced, relatively socially mobile country with a good, national, free State education system. It also seems to indicate that Oxbridge and Russell Group Universities should not be discriminating according to school type. If they do they will dilute their high academic standards.

3. At the maximum differential, students educated at state school, achieving A-level grades of around BBC were 7% to 8% more likely to achieve a good degree than their private school peers with the same grades.

This seems to indicate that at best the standard of schooling can improve the performance of more “average” ability A’ level candidates by up to 8%. This is much lower than I expected, considering the considerable perceived difference between good quality and poor quality schools. However this seems to confirm the importance of other nurture influences on education, such as peer group.

4. A much smaller study by Exeter University found that someone achieving AAB at A’ Level from a low-performing school or college had the same potential to succeed as someone achieving AAA at a high-performing school.

Assuming that the differential between pupils from good or even average state schools compared to “a high performing school” is even less, it seems that the maximum benefit from a very expensive private education is a single grade increase in only one of three A’ levels. In most cases it will be less than that. Again it proves the majority of the educational ability is inherent to the child and independent of schooling.

Conclusions in a relatively socially mobile, developed country such as the UK:

1. The type of schooling makes no difference at all for the brightest students.

2. Russell Group and Oxbridge universities should not discriminate according to school type.

3. Schooling makes a small difference (8%) for A’ level candidates of more average ability.

4. For those Universities making offers around BBB and CCC grades there is a good case for offering pupils from poor performing schools slightly lower grades (e.g. BCC or even CCC instead of BBC).

5. Parents should look at these statistics before spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on a private education. If their intention is to get significantly better A’ level results for their children they will be disappointed. This is poor value for money.

These research results seem to back up existing research that concluded that schooling has a limited influence on educational achievement. At best it makes up 8% of the 40% which is open to environmental influence. For the brightest students it makes no statistical difference. Peer group, parenting and random life events make up the rest of the 40%."


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 10:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3818
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Depends on the child.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 10:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:30 am
Posts: 2248
moved wrote:
Depends on the child.


Like. +1!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:39 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:59 am
Posts: 1663
I've known of similar research. What is true for a more academically advanced child is that being in an environment where he/she is challenged can make a big difference to their day to day life.

About private schools and the resulting networks. These may not work for all as it is more the families that are connected. If you are new to the social class you may struggle to be accepted, make friends or networks. In this case, your money may be wasted if networking was what made you go independent. Having said that, many pro independent school people talk about the confidence that students gain and how empowering this could be. I personally think giving your child confidence is one of the greatest life advantages a parent can give to a child. Easier said than done, though.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 8:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:04 pm
Posts: 1187
There is always a difference between a study which looks at the impact on a large population, and one which looks at the impact on an individual child. You can't really do blind studies on a child though.

I would agree thought that any parents who opts for private solely to buy A level grades is probably wasting their money.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:32 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:02 pm
Posts: 297
Location: S E London
My son has just moved to an independent school for the sixth form, having been at a grammar school. I will never know whether this will make a difference to his grades. What I do know is how different the quality of the education he is now receiving is compared to his old school (bearing in mind I am only comparing one school to one school, not every grammar to every independent) He is being challenged far more that before, made to think, and, most importantly, studying beyond the exam syllabus, in a much broader way than his friends who stayed at the grammar are doing. His maths teacher at the old school laughed at me when I suggested that maybe DS maths education could be expanded beyond what was in the exam syllabus - apparently that's not what education is about. And that's the issue - what is education about? If it's only exam results then maybe it doesn't matter where you went. If it's about a broad, challenging, inspiring education which broadens horizons and makes a student think, then in our experience the independent school is winning hands down.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 12:22 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:24 pm
Posts: 119
Location: West Essex
There is always a difference between a study which looks at the impact on a large population, and one which looks at the impact on an individual child. You can't really do blind studies on a child though.

I think this is an important insight, Ladymuck.

The study shows that 40% comes from peer group, random life events and parenting. I think parents who choose private school are, in part, trying to favourably influence peer group and random life events to some degree.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 8:09 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:59 am
Posts: 431
Location: N London
The author did acknowledge that schooling can make a little difference though, and that little could amount to a grade which makes all the difference in the long run. I am a resistant convert to independent schools, having resisted DH for quite some time on the point..... The difference for me is the broader education, The head at DS' school says they will teach the DC what they think they should know as well as what they need to know for exams. The consequent approach is very liberating. Also the commitment to extra stuff - inter form debating, chess, etc etc etc, not just clubs that you can choose to do or not. Oh and the sport for all - four football teams per year and so on. That may all be available in some areas in some state schools, it's not round here. In the long run all of this is far from essential, I managed without it myself, but it's nice to have.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:47 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:19 pm
Posts: 517
Location: bucks
To the OP

Do you have any links to the research quoted by your reader ??

It seems contrary to previous data :

http://www.theguardian.com/education/20 ... te-schools


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:35 pm
Posts: 32
Tree wrote:
To the OP

Do you have any links to the research quoted by your reader ??

It seems contrary to previous data :

http://www.theguardian.com/education/20 ... te-schools


Here is the research:

http://www.kcl.ac.uk/ioppn/news/records ... nment.aspx


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
CALL 020 8204 5060
   
Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright © 2004 – 2016