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Oxford Uni Changes Admission Policy- biased to State Schools

Discussion and advice on University Education

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Post by katel »

It seems to me to be so sad to have Oxbridge aspirations for a 10 year old! Further/higher education aspirations, yes, I've got those, but Oxbridge?We have absolutely no idea what our children will be like in 7 years, and it seems to me that our job over the that time is to help them find their own way in life - Oxbridge, RADA, modern apprenticeship, hippy trail, whatever as fulfilled and happy confident individuals. Not clones of ourselves, or of our own unfulfilled ambitions. My own daughter can currently see no higher calling than a life spent mucking out horses. Of course, I would much rather that in adult life she has such a sucessful career so that the horses she mucks out are her own(!), but if they are other people's and she's happy, so be it!

Rant over!

Post by Guest »

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:01 pm Post subject:


I think, without being rude or insensitive, that you are living your dreams through your son. Your threads are all about what you want, with little evidence of sharing any info that helps other parents. Don't you think its a bit early to start thinking of Oxford/Cambridge.

I went to a local school in Solihull, studied 4 A levels, got a place at Exeter Collge Oxord University, did Maths.

Need I say anymore !

Post by guest00 »

I feel rather sorry for the kids which are only 11 years old and their parents are already considering/thinking about unis. Give these kids a chance to be kids, they have just spent the last year or two studying for the 11+, let them chill a bit.

I also feel sorry for the parents. It seems that some are just longing for things to worry about. First the 11+, then appeals and getting them in the right school and the unis. When do these parents stop and just let the kids have some fun.
Dr Jalal
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Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:03 pm
Location: Birmingham

Post by Dr Jalal »

Well I must say, this is the kind of discussion I wanted to provoke with my initial post. Thanks to all those who contributed, I'm sure there'll be many more posts to come on this issue.

I noticed some rather personal comments about us wanting to live our lives through our son, which I think were rather unfair. Like all parents we want the best for our children. It should be made clear that it was our son who wanted to apply to the KES (he'd sat the KE Grammar School test there) and he pestered us for weeks to put in an application.

Goals and ambition give us the drive and determination to succeed, which some, if not most, of the contibutors here appreciate. We have not discussed the issue of Oxbridge with our son and we don't intend to do so for a long time. Indeed, as some guest contributors have mentioned, he may not even want to go there or the course he chooses to pursue would be better suited elsewhere. However, as responsible parents we need to ensure that we provide the best opportunities that will allow our children to flourish and to fulfill their potential. Our concerns about the Oxford article were that maybe some doors were being closed rather unfairly.

We're all currently on cloud nine with our son's achievement and he can't wait to get started in September. In the meantime he'll enjoy the next 6-8 months like any other 11 year old.

The fact that this is an 11+ forum, suggests that most of you out there have, at some stage, thought about long-term goals for your children, whether they be getting into Oxbridge or just making it into your local Grammar School. So the condescending and rather judgmental tones in some of the posts smack a little of hypocrisy!! Nevertheless, I'm glad I managed to instigate a somewhat heated debate.
Dr Jalal

Post by Guest »

Exactly our thoughts ! I concur with all your sentiments above. See my post in the birmingham thread about looking out for the children from when they were little. This forum is for us parents to find a little support in our quest to look after our children. They are still kids and we do not burden them with our worries and doubts..we just go on researching and providing!

Well done to your son for knowing what he wants and good luck for his studies.

Post by Guest »

Dr Jalal

I agree that personal attacks should not happen on this forumand I notice that your latest thread agrees with many of the previous contributors threads. However, in your original post you did say that you had aspirations for your child to attend Oxbridge. This is very different from applying to grammar/independents at the age of 11 to pave the way for future educational opprtunities if that is the route your child wishes to persue. Parents on this forum want the best for their child and sometimes border on the neurotic (myself included) but that does not allow us to control their decision making into adulthood. I suspect that the dubious sentence in question was dashed off without too much thought and understandably has caused great debate - not all centred around the question you originally posed.

However, the question was around whether children who achieve lower GCSE/ A level results in a low achieving school deserve a place over children with higher results from a high achieving school. I think that grades are important but if a child shows a spark of brilliance despite poor educational opportunity then they deserve the chance to succeed. Although I'm not sure of how these children can be easily identified and I certainly don't think positive discrimation is the answer largely because its not fair on children in high achieving schools. Maybe an 18+ exam comprising NVR tests!!!! - I can picture all your faces right now!
Good luck with KES. I certainly know that if that opportunity were given to my child I would jump straight in.


Post by Guest1663 »

I have heard that the university application form now requires (or will soon require) applicants to state whether or not their parents attended higher education. Whilst this might be necessary for statistical purposes the cynic in me whispers that it represents yet another hurdle for a hard-working, well-educated child from a supportive family to jump over!

A tempting response in the case of our family might be: "Yes, my parents both have university degrees but NONE of my grandparents did. Despite being capable of it. Because in those days people with a working-class background didn't aspire to university. (Sound familiar?) Instead, they worked hard and made sacrifices so that their children could make the best of their education, little knowing that their children's academic achievements would eventually somehow be used against their grandchildren, i.e. me. Funny how things go full circle...." But that would probably result in yet another "middle-class" application form consigned to the wastebin.
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Post by Nou »

I seem to remember in my day, the forms asked for the parents occupation. Presumably this was for statistics - social class A/B/C1 etc. Don't know if it was used in the selection process, perhaps asking if the parents went to university is for a similar purpose. You can always lie if you think it is a disadvantage!

I also remember having to do a shortish test and an interview for each college I applied for. Even in those days (20+ years ago) many applicants had straight As. I think the main thing is to do some interesting things in your life not just be bogged down with school work. I am sure that helped me stand out from the others.

Post by Guest »

You can always lie if you think it is a disadvantage!
I admit it's tempting to be economical with the truth as better half has a whole string of impressive qualifications. Makes my humble BA pale into insignificance... :)

Thanks for the suggestion Nou - hopefully our girl will be OK as regards extra-curricular activities, as she is a keen musician and cartoon artist as well as being good academically. I just hope that our decision of a few years ago to send her to a grammar school over the county boundary doesn't count against her when the time comes for university applications, since I suspect that any perceived disadvantage for applicants from independendent schools would also apply to selective state schools. (In addition to having two graduate parents...!)

Post by Guest1663 »

Sorry - that last one was me - forgot to log in!
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