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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:22 pm 
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And if all the committed concerned parents don't let their children go to their local schools, the local schools have no chance to improve and the hideous social divide in this country will continue to get worse......




Just a thought.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:38 pm 
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Katel


Yes I agree, the good schools get better and inevitably the bad schools get worse.


We went to an open eve at our local comp,not a failing school, sought after in the area, and they were proud to tell us in the talk that 30% of their pupils got 9 A-C's in GCSE's I was flabbergasted, the school is in a very "decent" area, mostly surrounded fed by village primarys.The toilets were terrible, doors hanging off, tatty paint,something is going seriously wrong with our countries education system.

Taxes are SO high,but where does all this funding go?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:10 am 
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katel, you're quite right. Trouble is, just one of us sending one child to a 'bad' school isn't going to change anything. Even if we had a system whereby everyone went to their nearest school, one simple rule, some people would just move. I don't think what we have currently is fair, but as I can't change it, we have to do what we feel is best for us. I've reconciled myself to my daughter's application to the local grammar as it is actually our nearest school!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 2:22 am 
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Location: Berkshire
katel wrote:
And if all the committed concerned parents don't let their children go to their local schools, the local schools have no chance to improve and the hideous social divide in this country will continue to get worse......

Just a thought.


An admirable thought.

As to schools improving, I have been a school governor for over 7 years, at an infant school in a fairly poor area and now currently at a Junior school in a more affluent area. My experience of change to improve at both have been identical.
If anyone has ever heard the term 'the wheels of change turn slowly', personally I think this expression must have been written with schools in mind.
Resistance to change is prevalent in the belief that what the school currently does is 'great', 'wonderful' whatever word you choose to use. Coupled with governors requesting new and better processes, the LA sending down yet another new initiative to somehow fit in with the already busy timetable, and the ongoing running of the day to day life of the school, including enrichment programs, dealing with staff, children, parents, you get some idea as to why change to improve is difficult, and probably won't come about in time to affect the life of your child's schooling there.
I have witnessed many new governors (myself amongst them) coming in with immense enthusiasm to help make their school become the best it can be, only to face the reality, that change is actually a VERY slow and frustrating process.
Just my experience.

As to the social divide, as has already been pointed out by Pooodle, and with which I agree, there are friendships to contend with...
Pooodle wrote:
i think the other thing that they miss is the quality of friendships created at grammar/public/faith schools

i went to a very bog standard comp, and hung around with my council house kid friends - there were middle class kids there but we didnt mix!

and the quality of friendship from more middleclass families is better - more likely to want to socialse properly - not roam streets etc. which of course leads to useful contacts in later life.


And I would add, if you do try to socialize with other children in the comp not of your social class, you will more than likely find yourself dumbing down to try and fit in. Where does that leave an able child academically?

Until the powers that be embrace school systems, such as in Finland or the new highly successful 'small schools' initiative in America things will unfortunately remain the same.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:36 am 
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Agree bewildered. All the time that parents are given hoops to jump through in order to give their child the best education, they will jump., whether that means finding God, moving, paying, tutoring for selection or even renting for 6 months to be in catchment.

It may not feel "right" but then the system is not "right" either.

"Learn while you're young and not while you're old,
that a good education is better than gold,
for silver and gold will all melt away,
but a good education will never decay."

anon


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:44 pm 
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"and the quality of friendships from more middle class families is better


Says it all really!

Well, the grammar school system is now so unbalanced that the chances of having a "sub-standard" friendship with a working class child is practically zero, so no need to worry about that then!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:04 pm 
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I certainly hope no-one felt they were "dumbing down" to socialise with my "council house" brother and partner who both did very well at one of the regions best Independant schools.
I also hope we are not generalising into confusing "class" (however you define it) with intelligence.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:22 pm 
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Location: Berkshire
Notionpotion, I speak of my own personal experience having been educated in a comp. Having to 'dumb down', to be accepted within certain groups. I am not referring to Independant, grammar, faith schools, where I would imagine most parents would not allow their children to roam the streets with friends they have at school.

Not having a child at any of these schools, this is purely my assumption. Perhaps, anyone with a child at one of these would advise if this is this the case, or not. I am happy to be corrected. :D


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:23 pm 
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I'm sure they wouldn't let them wander the streets but then not all "working class" parents would let there kids either.
I also went to the local comp and have my own experiences but I try to be conscious of not over-generalising.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:59 pm 
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Ok, katel and np, i accept that i may have generalised too much - from my own experience we just used to get up to no good, brother used to run around with neighbour stealing car stereos, and my mum actually had a private education - but was single mum and found us tough to deal with - or maybe was naive as to what we were doing.

when i say better class of friendship, what i mean is, if your friends parents have money, they are more likely to take children to an activity- sports clubs etc - or will be more inclined to supervise them - which leads to less problems than if just roaming around


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