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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 11:36 am 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
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Location: Birmingham
I was thinking that here in Birmingham, we have such an increasing population of children that the already squeezed Grammar places are going to be like gold-dust in 6 years time - but this article was interesting:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/ed ... r-all.html

Would you welcome an increase in Grammar school places or not?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 3:44 pm 
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Location: Essex
A qualified yes. Without doubt there are children missing out on places at schools in which they would thrive. There are areas in the country where GS isn't even an option. What would be undesirable would be a situation where there were so many places that the standard of the intake dropped. A bit like the situation with universities at the moment.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:02 pm 
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Maybe it would be a good idea to take out the bottom 25% and send them to remedial schools.
Then they could get the extra help they need and the remaining 75% could go to schools where there were not all the problems of children holding back the rest of the class.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:47 pm 
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magwich2 wrote:
Maybe it would be a good idea to take out the bottom 25% and send them to remedial schools.
Then they could get the extra help they need and the remaining 75% could go to schools where there were not all the problems of children holding back the rest of the class.


Though I might argue with your terminology here magwich, the idea is more sensible than it might first appear, and arguably a much better use of state resources than taking the 'top' whatever percent and educating them separately.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:23 pm 
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I am not sure about 'bottom 25%' ability - would all children be tested? What about children who had English as an additional language - would they be classed 'bottom 25%' even if they were bright? What about those who were good at some subjects but weak in others?

I do agree however that there are children with disruptive behaviour who destroy other's chances of a good education - but that is different from simply being low ability.

One thing that my son has in all honesty really enjoyed about Grammar school is simply the fact that the teachers and the pupils seem able to really get going with teaching and learning without dealing with bad behaviour and disruption from pupils who do not want to be there. I know from having taught myself in the past, and having seen this happen at Primary school in one child's class, that when you have just one pupil like that, the learning experience of the entire class is impacted hugely. Not to mention that sometimes these disruptive pupils can be intimidating and bullying towards other children.

Then again, it is difficult to know exactly what to do - so nothing is done - and 29 children's education suffers in order to integrate one child who is clearly struggling with behavioural problems that a teacher with a full class to look after, cannot deal with.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:45 pm 
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In truth I do not really agree with selective education; but I can see no ideological difference between selecting which 'bright' children should be chosen to go to a special school for bright children; and selecting 'not so bright' ones to go to a special school for not so bright children. The pitfalls are the same - what if someone were branded not so bright when they were in fact bright - it's the same thing as the Appeals section on here is full of - only in reverse. Perhaps it has become acceptable to assume intelligence needs and deserves special treatment, whereas lower ability is to be tolerated and managed. The behavioural issues to which you refer are not, as you rightly suggest, the exclusive preserve of the less able, and in fact more able children often display challenging behaviour too. Perhaps your perception that they do not do so in a GS environment is proof that children in the right environment will learn to manage their behaviour accordingly; and maybe less able children could also benefit from such tailoring to their needs. As I say, I don't really support selective education - but I think magwich's point is a really interesting one - which children do you pick out for special treatment? Maybe it should actually be the 'invisible middle' which is now receiving quite a lot of attention in some schools - it would be such a hoot watching everyone trying to prove that their child was average.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 9:37 pm 
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Location: Maidstone
It feels like a child is a made into a second class citizen by not passing. I too would want a non selective school where my child is not interupted by those not wanting to learn and provided with a decent curriculum. I feel very sad now having to use my religion to get into a school miles away and doing a runner from those outside my doorstep. I dont have problems with selective education but the problem is the rest of the schools are made into some sort of vocational/remedial schools.

Kids are being let off too much, those displaying thugish behaviour should face corporal punishment. That will teach them a lesson or 2 than this cotton wrapping that is done and perhaps all schools will become schools again. While human rights are a good thing, how about those being disturbed. They too have a right to a decent education and instead of letting a few unruly pupils affect everyone the unruly ones should be delt in an appropriate manner.

All good schools come with selection. Some by testing 10 year olds, others by the religion card and the remaining by how much cash you have to live in catchment or even opting out of the whole state system.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:24 pm 
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I am sure your comment on corporal punishment in schools will leave either a stunned silence Sherry, or some critical posts. But it is worth talking about. While I am opposed to it as I like to think that there should be some better thought-out methods that would be more effective and have none of the potential downsides of corporal punishment, it would be quite interesting to hear people's thoughts on this one - people who went through schools where it was in use, or teachers who taught at schools before and after its abolition. Did it "work"? Did you see a rise in ill-discipline (of what sort) when it was banned in British state schools?

But maybe it's a different thread; but I don't want to be the one to start it!

Expansion of grammar school places .................. oh I don't know. In a county like Kent which has retained the system county-wide, it would kind of make sense if it was possible to expand grammar school places if ever the population rose to the point where there were insufficient places for the top 25%. But then on the other hand, there would be no harm to it just being a different cut-off for Kent grammars e.g. 20% of the population. It's academic!!

In other areas ........ oh just let them get more superselective if the population rises significantly. Again, does it matter what the cut-off is? As Magwich says you could cut off the bottom end instead. Or you could choose to be fully comprehensive. No-one will ever be able to prove definitively which method is better.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:38 pm 
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I think the best way to dealwith some of the bad behaviour would be to make it a legal requirement for a parent to accompany their child to school and sit with them all day (as far as space was concerned you could give the best behaved children time off to leave a spare seat!). The sheer embarrassment of it would be wonderful. An alternative would be a 4 day week for the able and hardworking with remedial day being friday - the latter would certainly motivate the Misses Magwich!

BUT you would have to get the school on side and it would probably be difficult - for example, we have just had a letter home from school about the sixth form dress code. The code is very simple and requires smart clothes, one piercing in each ear, hair of a natural hue etc etc - all perfectly sensible. What actually happens is that about 25% of the girls look like they are on the game. The school, however, states that they are sure none of these transgressions are "on purpose" and punishes no-one. As DD1 says"whateva!"

If schools could only accept that some childrens behaviour is vile and punish them relentlessly from reception onwards there might be some hope that they would improve but far too many teachers are woolly minded liberals and apologists for bad behaviour.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:48 pm 
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If schools could only accept that some childrens behaviour is vile and punish them relentlessly from reception onwards there might be some hope that they would improve but far too many teachers are woolly minded liberals and apologists for bad behaviour.[/quote]

But I don't think bad behaviour just comes out of the blue - these are often children with chaotic family lives, difficult circumstances etc, as well as medical problems - 'punish them relentlessly' seems a bit harsh... and I speak, as many parents do, from experience of being on the receiving end of this disruptive behaviour.
I suppose it isn't really that clear - is it?
But then, the quality of teaching and ethos of the school counts for a lot. I had a child who used to be dragged kicking and screaming into school (there were 2 teachers each morning to hold him and take him in) yet when he moved to a school with a different ethos, part way through Year 1, he settled down and was absolutely fine.
Perhaps the 'pupil premium' shouldn't just be aimed at helping children from very poor backgrounds - but should be providing money to help disruptive pupils (possibly separately) while allowing others to get on with their education...


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