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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:49 am 
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Just thought I'd post an opinion piece about the unfairness of grammar system.

I've always been an advocate of education as a promotion for social mobility, but as the results came out yesterday I saw first-hand the reality that those with greater resources (tutors, books, mock exams) ultimately had the advantage.

It just made a little sad yesterday when parents and DCs we know got their scores yesterday, and to me there were very little surprises.

The KE foundation's admission criteria is certainly fairer, and goes some way towards addressing this. But I don't think a complete solution exists..


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:24 am 
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what would be your solution? It used to be said in Solihull decades ago that every middle class child who didn't get into the GS was two more votes for the comprehensive system (which they got in 1974)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:46 am 
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I don't have a solution and possibly one doesn't exist. The postcode lottery is just unfair period.

I already knew this, I just have a greater degree of understanding / empathy that I'm this increasingly competitive system, those with limited resources are (and will be) continually at a disadvantage.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:49 am 
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I agree - there is no ideal system - only have to look at house prices near the "best" comprehensives. Harrogate for example -

Grade 5+ in Eng and Maths

Harrogate Grammar = 61%

Harrogate High = 35%

they are both non-selective (despite the names) and fairly near each other - trying to buy a house in HGS area is eyewatering


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:57 am 
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Feelings will be raw, so soon after the results, so we need to try to be kind to all at such a time.

I also haven’t seen any ‘surprises’ in yesterday’s results. However, my experience/observations don’t match yours when you say:

double_aces wrote:
as the results came out yesterday I saw first-hand the reality that those with greater resources (tutors, books, mock exams) ultimately had the advantage.

What I have seen (anecdotally, from my DC’s class and other friends) has been that the brightest children got in, with the highest scores. Not the heavily tutored. The marks seem to reflect the relative intelligence of the children.

Two children in my DC’s class are just ‘known’ to be bright, always considered by others to be a ‘shoo-in’ for grammar. These are the children that pick up concepts quickly, just seem effortlessly to get good marks in everything.

These two children were not heavily tutored. They had access to workbooks though, and received encouragement and support from their families, which of course counts for a great deal.

Other children, considered less ‘bright’ but heavily tutored, got borderline scores.

It felt, to me, as though the results have, broadly speaking, reflected the innate ability of the children, which is what should happen.

Of course, there will be some very bright children that come from unsupportive backgrounds, who will be disadvantaged by lack of preparation, and it’s very difficult to overcome that completely.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2020 2:15 pm
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Location: Trafford
double_aces wrote:
Just thought I'd post an opinion piece about the unfairness of grammar system.

I've always been an advocate of education as a promotion for social mobility, but as the results came out yesterday I saw first-hand the reality that those with greater resources (tutors, books, mock exams) ultimately had the advantage.

It just made a little sad yesterday when parents and DCs we know got their scores yesterday, and to me there were very little surprises.

The KE foundation's admission criteria is certainly fairer, and goes some way towards addressing this. But I don't think a complete solution exists..

How big is your sample size?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:37 pm
Posts: 94
I am not from this area though, but thought to chip in. I agree fully that entire 11 plus system is faulty. If we say KS1 AND KS2 exams are too much for the kids, how we then go for the 11 plus? In ideal world, kids should not go for separate tutoring at all for 11 plus. Exam should be based on their knowledge and skills acquired purely from their primary school. Children who are keen learners and innate academic would naturally show higher vocabulary, better maths skills. Grammar schools really should be for those self motivated keen academic kids. What ever is the family background, these kids automatically come out. My Mother in law used to sit in the stairs under dim light and finish books after books, from a very tender age. I have seen my very academic cousin really spending 24/7 solving maths puzzles without any parents pushing at all. My husband would get into a local book shop to just read books. The shop owner knew his interest and would let him read his heart out. Ofcourse in this day and age resource for many of us is not an issue. We ( me included) push these kids to the limit. We forget completely the more tutoring we will do, the more competitive the exam will become. I have heard one of the councils starting negative marking for wrong answers :| It is bit like race to the bottom. Sincere apology if my comment hurt anyone. We are all parents trying to do best for our kids. This is my second time in this race. If I could not spare my little one from this madness, I cannot expect anyone sparing as well.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:47 pm 
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My sample isn't particularly big, just friends, family and associates.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:05 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2020 2:15 pm
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Location: Trafford
Me and my friends have been sharing our resources.
We buy books and share them. We teach each others kids. We (parents) have the added disadvantage that English is a second language.
A few in our group (myself included have a tutor), but from past years results from others doing the same thing, I'm not sure a tutor is the most important thing.
I don't know my DCs results yet, but I'm sure more money wouldn't have helped his score. We have many books we didn't use.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2021 4:56 pm
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JustOutside wrote:
Feelings will be raw, so soon after the results, so we need to try to be kind to all at such a time.

I also haven’t seen any ‘surprises’ in yesterday’s results. However, my experience/observations don’t match yours when you say:

double_aces wrote:
as the results came out yesterday I saw first-hand the reality that those with greater resources (tutors, books, mock exams) ultimately had the advantage.

What I have seen (anecdotally, from my DC’s class and other friends) has been that the brightest children got in, with the highest scores. Not the heavily tutored. The marks seem to reflect the relative intelligence of the children.

Two children in my DC’s class are just ‘known’ to be bright, always considered by others to be a ‘shoo-in’ for grammar. These are the children that pick up concepts quickly, just seem effortlessly to get good marks in everything.

These two children were not heavily tutored. They had access to workbooks though, and received encouragement and support from their families, which of course counts for a great deal.

Other children, considered less ‘bright’ but heavily tutored, got borderline scores.

It felt, to me, as though the results have, broadly speaking, reflected the innate ability of the children, which is what should happen.

Of course, there will be some very bright children that come from unsupportive backgrounds, who will be disadvantaged by lack of preparation, and it’s very difficult to overcome that completely.



My nephew has passed with a fairly high score for Birmingham grammars. Higher than the score of 224 required even though as supported he only needed 205. He didn’t have professional tutoring, just encouragement to go through the CEM test books I bought for him. I also paid for 2 mock exams to acclimatise and for him to know how to navigate the test papers. On both occasions he came 1st in the mocks with children who had received up to 2 years of professional tutoring. Could he have done better with professional tutoring? Probably, but because he did this under his own steam, IF he’s offered a place he’ll be able to keep up with the work set.

[color=#FF0000][/color]


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