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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:01 pm 
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In today's Daily Mail:


Leading comprehensive schools are far more socially divisive than grammar schools, a ground-breaking study has found.
They have a much smaller proportion of pupils from deprived homes and ethnic minorities.
Despite repeated attempts to tighten up admissions to comprehensives, schools still have 'wriggle room' to engage in social selection, the report found.
Parents can use their wealth to buy homes close to the most desirable schools or 'take pains' to prove they are active members of a faith, giving them priority admission to church schools.
The study authors say that controversial admissions lotteries are needed to stamp out 'game playing' by middle-class families and give poorer children a fair chance to attend a good comprehensive.
These so-called 'ballots' involve picking names out of a hat when allocating school places and are certain to provoke furious opposition if tried on a large scale.
The study, by Professor Alan Smithers and Dr Pamela Robinson of Buckingham University, lends weight to claims that the comprehensive system has replaced selection by ability with selection by mortgage.


It says: 'Since it is now over 50 years since the country began to move towards a comprehensive system intended to bring equivalent opportunities to all children, it might be thought that the social differences between schools had largely disappeared or at least mainly reflected where they were. But this is far from the case.'

The study, commissioned by the Sutton Trust education charity, analysed the social background of children across all state secondary schools who took GCSEs in 2008.
At England's 164 most socially exclusive comprehensives, just 9.2 per cent of pupils came from families on benefits.
In contrast, the 164 remaining grammar schools, which selected purely on ability, allowed in 13.5 per cent of youngsters from poorer families.
Both types of school drew pupils from localities where, on average, about a fifth of children came from deprived homes.
The most exclusive comprehensive in the country had just one in 25 pupils - 4.2 per cent - coming from low-income homes.

The most socially deprived school had 68.6 per cent, prompting warnings that England's comprehensives are 'highly socially segregated'.
Of the 100 most 'socially selective' schools in the country, 91 were comprehensives, eight were grammars and one secondary modern, the report found.
At 18 grammars, fewer than half of pupils were white British, compared with just one socially selective comprehensive.
The study also uncovered tentative evidence that bright pupils were more likely to do well at school if they attended grammars rather than mixed-ability comprehensives.
The gap widened between the performance of pupils at grammars and those at comprehensives during their time at secondary school, the report found.



Full Story here:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1265197/Selection-mortgage-Top-comprehensives-far-fewer-poor-pupils-grammars-study-finds.html

They should have asked us, we could have told them quicker and cheaper!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:57 pm 
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I have worked in several low achieving comprehensives and the families were largely poor and unable to move to catchment areas of better schools. Hence families with money moved out leaving behind poorer families. Becomes a self selecting route to failure.

I have also worked in several excellent comprehensive schools and I know quite a few people moving into catchment just to get their kids into the better school. I also knew many parents who would rent a flat or house in catchment and use postal address for school application, while living out of catchment. I even knew of one house that had been organised into lots of postal boxes and these were rented to parents as mailing addresses to get kids into better school. This is selection by mortgage as earlier suggested.

Sadly these things have been going on for years. I have heard that some Local Authorities check up on this sort of thing, but I have never seen evidence of it myself.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:34 pm 
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Why is it "sadly"?
I would like my children to be educated amongst like -minded peers and parents.
I really do not see what is so wrong with that.
My husband and I do not work hard and attempt to bring our children up properly in order that our efforts should be sabotaged by riff-raff parents and riff-raff children.
If you do not like the phrase "riff-raff" then try "common", "proles", or "disadvantaged". We all know they amount to virtually the same thing.
If you really want to you can try to come up with alternative nomenclature.
Please do be aware that I do not think any of this has anything AT ALL to do with money or income!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:52 pm 
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magwich2 wrote:
I would like my children to be educated amongst like -minded peers and parents.


Sadly, we can't guarantee that no matter how hard we try. I am of the same opinion as you magwish2. I live in a nice area with really good schools, both private, grammars and comprehensives. But some of the kids I see around and the language I hear would put "rif raf" to shame.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:04 pm 
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I still think it would be a good idea to let political parties run schools.
If one allows faith schools then what on earth is so wrong with Tory or Labour schools?
I know which one I would want for my child bur I also accept that others would have different views - fair enough!
One would know that the Tory school would have Tory teachers and Tory parents and one could be so very happy!
Similarly if one wanted social engineering one could condemn (sorry " enter" ) one's child to the egalitarian Labour school.
My idea would really further a meaningful choice for parents so I cannot forsee any possible objections.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:39 am 
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Such a good idea to protect one's child from "riff raff". You don't want them mixing with common people or proles, do you?

It's going to make life so much easier for them in later life - their sense of entitlement and air of effortless superiority is going to make them eminently socially successful and hugely employable!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:40 am 
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Nicely put Katel...


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:51 am 
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Is it not every childs right to have a decent education? It is not always a child's fault that they are 'rif raff' or 'common'. If these children got the education that 'nice' people want for their children then may be the world would be a better place. I am proud that my children mix with all walks of life. It makes for a more rounded adult in future life.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:00 am 
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sharone wrote:
Nicely put Katel...


Absolutely! It is most pleasing to see Katel and magwich (and sharone and Loopyloulou) in total agreement!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:43 am 
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I do note that Magwich did not link behaviour to money or "class".However "riff raff" is obviously an unfortunate phrase and will usually be used by those who do make that connection.

The original post highlights that genuinely decent, hard working families whose children deserve the same life chances as those whose children go to indep/boarding schools, are "priced out" of good state schools, whether these are grammars or comps.If we aspire to be a decent and moral society then such social exclusion is unacceptable.


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