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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:31 pm 
My son takes 11 plus exams next year in hertfordshire so I chanced upon this website. My question to all the teaching professionals on this site: is 11 the right age to segregate children?

When I was at school I did not bloom until I was around 14 or 15 when I was inspired by my physics teacher. Since then my confidence shot up and was pretty much top of the class thereafter.

In my view 11 is far too young to start segregating.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 9:46 pm 
The question is very much academic, because we have a system that only allows for selection (segregation too emotive) on ability wihin a few LEAs at age 10-11.

There are many more LEAs that do not allow for selection anywhere within the system with a massive detrimental effect to bright children.

There has been a noticeable dumming down of education in this country both on an academic and vocational level for many years leading to higher levels of illiteracy and innumeracy in comparison to the western countries of the European Union.

In the academic professional sectors this country is becoming more reliant on the immigration of key workers into all aspects of the welfare state system because the government has failed to nurture the academic abilities of bright students who would aspire to such key roles.

There is good, and reasonable, argument for a form of selection to be made at the KS3 level (13-14 year olds) to identify those students who would be more suited to continued academic studies and those who would be best suited to vocational studies.

There should, I believe, always be centres to nurture the very brightest of our younger children. Far too much focus has been made on the "special needs" of children at the lower end of the academic scale where little prospect of significant progress can be made. Whereas relatively little focus has been given to the "special needs" of gifted or particularly bright children where there can be a greater prospect of real progress. Bright children are stifled by the education system in this country.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 10:58 pm 
Here HERE!!!!!!

In full agreement with your views Mike.

As a governor, I constantly see resources being pumped into SEN, at the lower end. Whilst SEN at the top end is left to teacher enthusiasm (at best). My sons teacher actually asked me what difference I thought a G&T policy would make?

A good teacher as the first poster clearly proved, can be the Golden Key to achieve success for many of our children.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2005 12:03 am 
One big problem with our state education is the focus on academic attainment rather than students achieving their potential.

It is fundamentally clear that some students are attuned to academic studies whilst others are more suited to vocational studies.

The problem becomes magnified when we look at the skills of the teaching workforce in this country that is predominantly academic focussed.

A further problem with placing students in current training environments is the poor numeracy and literacy skills of the trainers employed by training companies.

A few years ago my company was asked to carry out assesments on the training staff of a local engineering training company. Basically, training staff have to be competent at one level above the students they are assessing and most students enter at Key Skills level two. The majority of the trainers assessed needed additional training to reach level 2, some were found to be below level 1 and would have been identified as requiring basic skills training.

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