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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:20 am 
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Having been talking to schools recently (both state and independent) it seems that there is growing feeling that those who have been 'over tutored' are undesirable and unsuitable for a selective school environment. The type that have been drilled are apparently doing less well at work and costing companies lots of money as employers are increasingly forced to deliver training to encourage soft skills.

Many of the leading public schools ask you to declare if your child has been tutored etc in advance of exams at 11 and 13.

I've heard it mooted the best prep schools should & do ideally concentrate their resources on creating rounded individuals rather than prepping children for tests. Only those identified as naturally bright early on (around 7 years old) really being suitable for selective schools. I think this is quite a sea change or perhaps it's always been the mindset for most of them?

Eventually I think CAT type tests will be rolled out for all and the playing field will be more level in the eyes of most. As an aside the majority it seems believe that VR and NVR judge innate ability and can't be prepared for. I suspect that VR and NVR will be phased out in the way we recognise them today so that this indeed becomes the reality. They'll come up with a system that is totally unpredictable and can't be prepped for in the end.

What do others think?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:36 am 
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I agree with the sentiment that an "untutorable" test is desirable. I do have a problem with:

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Only those identified as naturally bright early on (around 7 years old) really being suitable for selective schools.


Children develop at different rates - my DD was young in her year and very much overlooked at the age of 7. At the age of 10 she did not pass the 11 plus, although at the school she went to she was identified as "G&T". She moved to a GS at 14 and is thriving. It would (and was) unfair to write her off as unsuitable for GS at the age of 7 or 11. I would welcome a system where there was flexibility to move children if they are in the "wrong" school, as I believe happened in the original grammar school system, where movement occurred in both direction.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:07 am 
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Interesting. Was there really movement in the original grammar school system? I thought so much of the criticism was about your trajectory being essentially set in stone at 11.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:29 am 
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I think (in some areas at least) there was. Or at least that was the theory, but yes, I think the complaint was that people were set of on a grammar or non-grammar path at 11. Not as bad as at 7 though!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:40 am 
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Cranleigh wrote:
Only those identified as naturally bright early on (around 7 years old) really being suitable for selective schools. I think this is quite a sea change or perhaps it's always been the mindset for most of them?
What do others think?
I think it is utterly terrifying and any discussion about how to recognise 'naturally bright' people and distinguish them from 'naturally dull' people only hardens my opposition to selective schooling. Why are the English so exercised with separating off 'bright' children and treating them differently from 'not so bright' ones? There isn't special bright people's world for them to live in afterwards, away from all the thickies. 'Innate ability' seems to increase depending on how much money your parents have to help you develop it. And the thought of children being consigned to a lesser set of opportunities at 7, when in most countries where they aren't so obsessed with setting and streaming and selecting that they would only just be at school, feels like one in the eye for any kind of social justice agenda. Ghastly. You could just select by class and the same effects would be achieved - it would cost less and at least it would be honest.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:42 am 
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My mother taught in a - generally well regarded, I believe - secondary modern school in the '60s. There was definitely the opportunity for children doing better than expected academically to move to a GS at 13.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:51 am 
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I probably should have said that I don't really support selective education either (hypocrite, I know, I know), but if you have to have it, see above!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:58 pm 
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scary mum wrote:
I would welcome a system where there was flexibility to move children if they are in the "wrong" school, as I believe happened in the original grammar school system, where movement occurred in both direction.


I would welcome a proper comprehensive system where every child had the opportunity to reach their potential.

When I was at GS in the late 70s and 80s there was movement from GS to secondary (generally challenging pupils), but none the other way. Strangely much the same as now.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:19 pm 
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Cranleigh wrote:
Having been talking to schools recently (both state and independent) it seems that there is growing feeling that those who have been 'over tutored' are undesirable and unsuitable for a selective school environment. The type that have been drilled are apparently doing less well at work and costing companies lots of money as employers are increasingly forced to deliver training to encourage soft skills.



What do schools know about employers ? Not much ,if they think employers are wasting money retraining staff when they can easily make them redundant,sack them for being incompetent or not hire them in the first place based on the interview/selection process.

Have you got any facts to back up what these schools are supposedly saying ?

Most children attending selective schools have been tutored (either by their parents or tutors). Selective schools aren't moaning about the quality of their intake,their results are good and they get kids into Oxbridge and Medical Schools.

NVR,VR test inate intellect- as after a certain amount of coaching you can't improve your scores significantly.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:38 pm 
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St Paul's and other leading independent schools have said you should declare tutoring & they don't believe the over coached will thrive.

As to the comments re: employers - yes I have evidence. I agree re: your comments on VR & NVR but that's not the official line.


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