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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 7:50 pm 
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Concur with conclusion but still opt of grammar education while living in fragmented society

http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2012/06/ ... em-stupid/


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:21 am 
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The thrust and conclusions of this article are well known: middle class children do well in a system which was designed with their needs in mind. When Baker devised the national curriculum in the form he chose (modelled on Victorian traditions) and Labour shied away from abolishing selection, it was because of the political imperative of catering to the (voting) middle classes. England is one of the most unequal societies in the world, and educational outcomes reflect and perpetuate this. Only a truly comprehensive system would ever even begin to address this imbalance. We will never achieve it. :(


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:52 pm 
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I really don't think Britain is one of the most unequal countries in the world. Look at India and their cast system. If you can afford more than one child in China then you are allowed one. The corruption in most African countries. The poverty in the US. It may be unequal compared to some European countries but that is all.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:54 pm 
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I'm currently sitting in my mother's council flat in one of the most deprived areas of Scotland and yet my eldest is going to Eton and my youngest may end up at Winchester. There are few places in the world where one could start off so lowly and work their way up the economic ladder within a generation.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:09 pm 
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Location: Berkshire
To be honest, WFG there are not many like you....and one of my best friends is Chinese, the second of three children born in China, she and her family had to escape the regime as her parents could not afford the fine the second time round.(if it was a fine in those days, I think the punishment may have been incarceration) They lived in South America for some time, manged to get passports and enter Britain. They still can't return to their homeland some 30 years on, although they often visit friends in HK

This is no way for people to live.

Amber, I agree with you :D


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:24 pm 
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Not being like me is not the point. The point is that if someone from the underclass, with all the odds against them, can climb up the economic ladder and possibly social ladder, although I have no interest in class as I will always be the class I was born in to, then anyone can because this country allows it to happen.

How successful or free would the immigrants to this country be if they had remained in their own country? The fact that they came from such a low class in their own country and are so successful here is because this country allows anyone who is hardworking to achieve, regardless of their background.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:23 am 
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I kind of think WFG is right in some ways. It is very difficult, but it is theoretically possible, and involves some good luck along the way. A similar leap to that described by WFG took place between my grandmother's and mother's generation - from extremely poor working class (tiny rented house, outside toilet, no education beyond 14) to university (not Oxbridge, but the percentage attending university in her day was very low, so it would have placed her in the "educated elite" at that point in time).

These "divisions" we see in our fragmented society are a combination of "imposed" and "self-inflicted". It seems to be human-nature to divide up. I'm pretty sure my children get v. few invitations because our house is too big. The lovely outgoing groups of children that start school at 4 generally willing to play with anyone have turned into bitchy groups by age 6, with the divisions falling along the lines their mothers have adopted in the playground!

No-one's saying it is easy to "move up in the world" but with some hard graft and going against the flow it can certainly be possible. I don't think there's any easy solution (even true "comprehensiveness" of education) to make it more likely that we don't perpetuate old boundaries again and again. Maybe it's part of the English psyche as much as anything?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:45 am 
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WFG, it isn't my opinion that we are unequal, it is a fact. Something called the GINI coefficient is, as you may know, used to quantify inequality and in terms of developed nations, we do awfully badly. I don't think anyone would sensibly try to compare somewhere with a caste system to a developed nation.

UNICEF, in their report card 7 and subsequent scoping study, also noted this inequality and its effect on child happiness. They attributed this in large part (though not entirely) to the competitive nature of our education system.

Because some fortunate individuals manage to buck the trend does not in itself disprove a theory or an observation. From poverty to privilege isn't necessarily the maxim you would want to base a society on.

LFH, if you're interested, check out the Local Schools Network for some very highly informed debate on the subject of comprehensive education. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:12 am
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Location: Berkshire
Waiting_For_Godot wrote:
Not being like me is not the point. The point is that if someone from the underclass, with all the odds against them, can climb up the economic ladder and possibly social ladder, although I have no interest in class as I will always be the class I was born in to, then anyone can because this country allows it to happen.



I'm not denying this can happen, but I think it is more to do with the person or family rather than the education provided by the state.

I think what I'm really hoping for is that the opportunities are the same whether you come from a middle class background or a poor one, and whether your family is interested in your education or not.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:50 am 
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Location: Berkshire
Very interesting, Amber, I will have a read through this. Thank you :D


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