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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:56 pm 
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Location: Birmingham
Wondered if anyone had seen the article in the telegraph yesterday about the government proposals to give pupils from disadvantaged families a 2 grade head start for University Offers.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/universityeducation/5999959/Poor-pupils-could-get-two-grade-head-start-when-applying-to-university.html

Might well impact the proportion of places available to Independent Schools. e.g. An Oxford Medicine Offer would switch for those eligible from AAA to ABB

Interesting


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:05 pm 
KenR wrote:
Wondered if anyone had seen the article in the telegraph yesterday about the government proposals to give pupils from disadvantaged families a 2 grade head start for University Offers.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/universityeducation/5999959/Poor-pupils-could-get-two-grade-head-start-when-applying-to-university.html

Might well impact the proportion of places available to Independent Schools. e.g. An Oxford Medicine Offer would switch for those eligible from AAA to ABB

Interesting

Well Ken, I've read the same report a couple of nights back but not from The Telegraph.

I was just wondering, why bother - the government may just as well build a new medical school admitting only students from "poor backgrounds" with a 'D' and two 'E's at A-level. That will sure facilitate social mobility at breakneck-speed! :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:27 pm 
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Hi Flamenco

This raises a couple interesting question:-

1. Is this only going to be poor families from any school (State or Independent)?

2. Would this reduced criteria apply equally to children whose "disadvantaged" parents were on say full scholarship or bursary at top Independent schools?

You might argue that as a result of the new generous burasry schemes offered by many top Independent schools the children are not "disadvantaged" academically although the parents may be!

This sounds like a another government "Can of Worms". No doubt they will have to create another Quango to set the rules an evaluate the application of the criteria. Together with an Appeals procedure and ombudsman! :)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:55 pm 
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Location: Warwickshire.
I shall definitely be following any developments with a personal interest.

I do wonder how my son will be affected becuase of the huge bursary which allows him to attend Rugby. We have degrees but earn low incomes - I don't feel that he is disadvantaged, in fact he is incredibly fortunate! Neither myself or my husband have been disadvantaged educationally and my husband comes from a very good privately educated background.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:24 pm 
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Hello all,
I am going to say some things that probably will not "go down well".

I have not read all the articles on this.However I have very mixed feelings about it all.Both my older two girls, as some of you may know, are fortunate enough to attend one of the best state schools in the country.They have very supportive and relatively educated parents.In those ways they have all the advantages.

I did not. I still did well, going to a Russell group uni and achieving what I wanted to, but there was a large element of "good luck" ( blessing ) in that having attended a very poor school and having parents with no education, who were unable to advise/ support me.I was the only of several siblings to do this.
If we are only talking about a small lowering of grades to allow children from low achieving schools a helping hand, then I have no problem with it.I achieved 3 As at A level but genuinely believe I could have achieved 4.As a grown up too close to forty :cry: with 3 kids, this is not a big deal but merely an example to use in this debate.
A quality school would not have allowed / even had the problem of an endless run of supply teachers all through A level.Children in bad schools/ poor areas are disadvantaged, not through lack of ability but poor standards of education.
I know my own children may be disadvantaged by such policies but I know they have enough other factors in their favour that they will suceed.Poorer children do not have these"other factors" and so if they have a little head start for Uni.... so be it in the intersts of social justice.



I will now take cover! :?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:49 pm 
KenR wrote:
Hi Flamenco

This raises a couple interesting question:-

1. Is this only going to be poor families from any school (State or Independent)?

2. Would this reduced criteria apply equally to children whose "disadvantaged" parents were on say full scholarship or bursary at top Independent schools?

You might argue that as a result of the new generous burasry schemes offered by many top Independent schools the children are not "disadvantaged" academically although the parents may be!

This sounds like a another government "Can of Worms". No doubt they will have to create another Quango to set the rules an evaluate the application of the criteria. Together with an Appeals procedure and ombudsman! :)

From the sound of it Ken, it seems to me that Big Brother only has those literally ‘disadvantaged’ pupils in mind, i.e. those from state comprehensives. I am not too sure even if grammar school pupils fall into this category. Needless to say, this hardly applies to those from poor families who got big scholarships and or bursaries at independent schools as they are not exactly seen to be ‘disadvantaged’.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8192234.stm

In fact, this same question has been playing on my mind for quite a while now. How would Oxbridge admissions tutors view a candidate from (say) an inner city council estate but has got a large scholarship to a top independent?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:17 pm 
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To me this is an open admission that there are state schools that are failing bright children. Begs the question then why aren't they doing something more constructive towards stopping this happening?

I would dearly love to know how many children from a seriously diadvantaged background (IMHO that means living on sink estates with very little educational support from parents, who are also on very low incomes if any) manage to get A levels?

My instinct is that it will be unworkable and the pupils getting the inflated grades will not ultimately be the ones that need social mobility. Those will still be stuck in their sink estates with no hope of further education of any kind.

p.s if they then expect them to go back to the areas they came from to work that hardly makes them socially mobile, what a farce they are relying on them NOT being socially mobile.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:48 pm 
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Here's the reality - this is from the prospectus of our local comp:

Quote:
Key stage 4 students will be taught a core of: English and adult certificate in literacy, maths and adult certificate in numeracy, single or double award science, ICT, physical education, religious education, PSHE and citizenship. In addition to this, students are able to choose two further subjects from a range of certificated courses, such as GCSEs, BTECs, NVQs and NCFE. Some subjects are worth the equivalent of 1, 2 and even 4 GCSEs...a vocational studies centre which allows us to offer students in key stage 4 a wider learning experience. Areas of study include hair and beauty, catering, carpentry, plumbing, electrics, painting and decorating, bricklaying and motor vehicle mechanics. Students will be able to achieve qualifications in these subjects equivalent to GCSE


(Approximately one in eight or nine of the pupils leaves with 5 GCSEs including English and Maths.)

In other words, the school has no expectations of anyone doing A-levels, let alone going anywhere near a university. In no way are they remotely prepared for such a path.

Mike


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:58 pm 
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mike1880 wrote:
Here's the reality - this is from the prospectus of our local comp:


(Approximately one in eight or nine of the pupils leaves with 5 GCSEs including English and Maths.)

In other words, the school has no expectations of anyone doing A-levels, let alone going anywhere near a university.

Mike


And isn't that the point of this initiative?????
It is an admisssion that state schools are failing bright pupils.At least it is better than denying that!
Some truly disadvantaged pupils do get A'levels but not enough! The grades they get are affected by the poor quality of some (not all) of the schools they go to.A small allowance for this is not going to disadvantage children who have all other advantages.
I am afraid that I do believe that the child up the road to my own, who gets a B in a school just out of special measures may be worth an A in academic terms compared to the cosy grammar mine go to.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:03 am 
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Thanks Mike1880 my guess is that that is pretty much standard for many children from many areas.

My guess is that if this proposal goes through it well end up being pretty much what the Durham formular is (think that is what it is called) . Basically if you attend a school where the average grades are lower then you will be given advantage. IMHO the children who do well in those schools are often far from disadvantaged hence they do so well and common sense tells us that the average grades will be lower in a school that doesn't select for ability regardless of how good or bad that school is.

So if as a parent you allow your child to go to a school that produces high grades you will be penalised. But isn't that what they want. It is a great way to get rid of Grammar schools and acaddemic independents.


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