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CeeCeeUK
11th Jan 2017 15:01:02
3
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I was bright enough to pass the 11+ and attend a Grammar School but I was/am from a working class background; both my parents worked full-time and I was cared for by my Victorian (and very strict) grandmother. "Make do and mend" and "waste not want not" were very much golden rules of necessity for our family.

My teachers expected me to take my 'A' levels and then go on to University (which was a real achievement back then and not commonplace like now) but I had to leave at 16 and get a job to help my family financially. I left on the Friday and started full-time work on the following Monday. Being a Grammar school girl certainly helped me get a better job then, and I am very grateful for that.

I had to work hard at the Grammar School as the standards were initially very high, however, when our headmistress retired after 21 years of service, the replacement was appalling and the school went on a downward spiral. Many of the better teachers left and the handful of quality ones remaining did an excellent job against the odds in keeping most of us on track for a good education.

I'm not an expert on modern day education but I think that anything that encourages children to work hard to release their talents and put them on the correct path for success - be it academic or practical should be applauded.
Response from Wilf made on 11th Jan 2017 20:25:34
I was lucky enough to go to a grammar school as well at 16 having been in an appalling comprehensive with no discipline and little teaching. The difference is that 40 years on many of the guys at the grammar have done incredibly well...most of the comprehensive guys I still know have not. The system lets us down! We need to get the teaching standards up in the UK. Teachers are excellent by and large. They need more discipline and society needs to provide that in law. Too many girls are distracted by boys in class. If the boys do not want to learn discipline them or send them to special boys only schools
Response from Lionel made on 12th Jan 2017 00:07:45
I've kept out of this debate so far because I was privileged to have a London Public School education - not something I wanted, but it was required of me. Perhaps that disqualifies me from this thread. But I'll pitch in anyway.

Let's step back a moment away from the heat of yes or no debate and ask ourselves what we expect of education, both for ourselves and our families? Does anyone have an answer? Is one type of school better than another?

Surely, we expect schools to prepare people for life, to do for them what we cannot. They must end school literate, numerate and with a rounded view of the world they enter and life itself. It is about preparation for their workplace and for life.

But isn't the most important part of education to teach our youngsters how to think? How to silently perform a critical analysis of a TV advert, a salesman's pitch, or, indeed of another person? Is not the school's place to ensure pupils are literate, can communicate in standard English and be understood? Isn't education about widening a young mind's view beyond their environment and teaching them to look outward, to life in the raw and be prepared, before they enter that reality? I believe it is. In my rather humble opinion, if our education system, of whatever breed, comprehensive, grammar or otherwise, fails in these departments, or any others, then the kids have been failed.

Let's not be so hasty as to blame comprehensive schools - they were a Socialist dream, to make everyone the illiterate same; Let's not blame Grammar schools because they cleaved to standards then fast becoming unfashionable. And please, let's not sneer at public schools who do the job so many of us want from the State system.

Wilf, this evening I stand in admiration of you. From a difficult background you went on to beat the system and make good. Would it be patronising to say here, well done mate. If it is, I apologise. I too beat the system: always wanted to work on farms and in spite of my expensive education, did just that. A man from dirt poor families, only my father's greed for money made my education possible. But my education taught me how to think, how to smell a rat, and perhaps above all, how to live in a book I read. It taught me to silently analyse people, things whatever, and do mental arithmetic without moving my lips. It taught me to think!

I have four step grand children in the present State system. I find no recognisable identity between their education and mine. So, and I will get shot down in flames for this, ... instead of just re-creating Grammar schools, why not model the State system on an English Public school? Get real, tangible results from our money ... and include the disciplines of the same schools. Could be a shock to the snowflakes I have as step grand children! Yes, plan for and aim at the very best in education ... but it won't happen. Education is a political football.
Hateehc
16th Oct 2016 16:18:56
0
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Grammer schools are and always will be for middle class/upper class people. I didn't fail at school or pass the 11 plus because I was dull, I didn't pass the eleven plus because I was from a deprived back ground and back then the 11 plus was not geared towards intellect it was geared toward social back ground and knowledge. I failed at school because school failed me. Jpoined the Army at 16, took an IQ test and was found to have an IQ of 151.. so instead of being a car mechanic as I wished, was placed in the Intelligence Corps.. Like most things, in an ideal world, Grammer schools are a good idea, but in reality they are selective and unfair. EG 2 boys, one from a rich background with lots of money to buy books and have tuition, other from an abusive deprived background who is rarely fed and fears for his physical well being at home... the rich boy already has a head start, and the poor feral child, will despite every effort be regarded as inferior to the rich child
Response from Wilf made on 16th Oct 2016 16:50:32
I agree with most of what you say. We were very poor as kids but i was lucky enough to get enough o levels at 16 to go from a horrible comprehensive with 300 kids in a year to the local grammar school. 99% of the kids there came from rich families. i lived in jumble sale clothes by 17 some of them were driving in their own cars. My mum and dad weer too poor to have a car! BUT what it did show me was the education there was massively superior to the comprehensive school which was a joke. So the rich got educated and kept on being rich and the poor stayed the same. Not right! We MUST get all schools up to grammar school standard and fast.
Response from Hateehc made on 16th Oct 2016 16:56:16
I joined the Army at 16, I left school with 3 cse, 2 grade 3 1 grade 5... look at society today, look at the abuse that is still missed, look at the children living in poverty and in fear. Society says things to sound good, but effective actions are rarely implemented
Response from Wilf made on 11th Jan 2017 20:27:43
I think we need to get the education system up and bring all kids no matter how poor they are up to enjoy education. In many countries like China all kids are eager to learn...they know that getting an education will lift them out of poverty.
rc47
7th Nov 2016 10:13:46
0
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I attended a grammar school, taught in both grammar and comprehensive schools and find it horrendous that, without any research or evidence, the prime minister wants to bring back a system that failed the majority of our generation. The grammar school I taught in, for example, admitted about 25% of the local area boys and the rest went to three different secondary modern schools, all of which were larger than ours. Thus, three quarters went to a school which started with the premise you were failures for that was what you had in common. No pupil ever transferred to us from those schools and their curriculum was very different: more practical and less academic. In some ways they were prepared for working life better than we were, but only for work in trades and other manual work. That was the assumption about the boys made by the system; it was rigid and inflexible. Do we really want that form of selection at 11 back again?
Response from jeanmark made on 7th Nov 2016 11:07:21
I have no strong views on either grammar and comprehensive schools but was interested that you had concerns about the latter focusing on more practical rather than academic achievement. I don't disagree with this but why then say "...they were prepared for working life better than we were, but only for work in trades and other manual work". I would have thought society needs all of these people and working in 'trade' or 'manual labour' surely shouldn't be viewed negatively. My father was a carpenter and I was proud he had a skill that created something.
Response from rc47 made on 7th Nov 2016 11:48:56
Of course we need trades people, jeanmark, especially if they are skilled, qualified and reliable. I would never be negative towards them. But my point was that if you failed your 11+ you had no choice but to move towards manual work. My wife failed her 11+, went to a sec mod and from the age of 12/13 it was expected she would become a typist [I think she was rejected from cookery!]. It was 30 years later when she gained an Open University degree that she showed she was as clever academically as I was: she just was not given the chance at school.
On the other hand I went to a grammar school where we were divided into arts and science students at the age of 14 and so were limited in that academic way.
I believe children should be given as many and as varied opportunities as possible; thus restricting them before they are 15/16 is iniquitous, and that's what selective education does. It's NOT just the return of the grammar schools Teresa May is promoting, but the concomitant return of the "sink" schools for the rest ... she just cannot be seen to say that.
Response from jeanmark made on 7th Nov 2016 12:03:21
Point taken rc47. I failed the 11+, was in a 'B' stream throughout and constantly compared to my two brighter sisters - they were in 'A' streams - and asked why I couldn't be as good as them. Fortunately I'm stubborn and despite my teachers predictions (they didn't think I would be clever enough to be a typist) I obtained professional qualifications and a degree and went on to have a long and successful career albeit in nursing rather than in medicine - my choice. I agree there are a number of us who are 'late' starters but even the present educational system appears to try to slot children into specific roles. Having said all that I don't have children so maybe don't really know what I'm talking about but that doesn't usually stop me!
Hateehc
16th Oct 2016 16:21:59
1
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Rather than creating boundaries teachers these days create friendships with pupils, it doesn't work
celtwitch
11th Sep 2016 17:35:59
-3
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I woz edjukated in a secondry modern skool, wots rong wiv that?
Response from LittleMinx made on 16th Oct 2016 10:16:33
Yeah! well I carent understand why peple dont talk and spell like wot I do. ( is it a full stop or commer ere)?
Margaret Hart
9th Sep 2016 21:02:54
1
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Most of us on here will be of the age of those who were educated at either Grammar Schools or Secondary Modern Schools so we have the great advantage of knowing how both systems plus the various modifications worked. I'm 69 and when I left school I went to college and others trained to do various jobs which were appropriate at the time.
At that time the boys tended to go for trades as it the main opinion was that they were jobs for them. If they didn't go to Uni girls trained to be secretaries, comp,operators, hairdressers etc - girls jobs. I spent most of the 4th year at junior school in hospital or ill at home and I only went back to school 1 week before the 11 plus and I only got an interview where 3 very stern looking people proceeded to ask me questions but I was terrified and couldn't answer any of them for all I knew the answers so I didn't get through but I knew then that I would carry on at college and do my exams there which I did and then attained my degree through the OU. I had a wonderful education at a Secondsry Modern school which I know was a particularly good one.

The education system didn't need radical changing it just needed improving but nobody even thought of that. If they want to bring that system back then they must concentrate on getting the standards right.
Some children are not meant for continuous studying they are better at doing things or caring for people which doesn't make them less intelligent just different and they therefore need different training. There are not as many trades to need apprentices as technology has moved on so much the work place is very different so both education and training need to be different. Apart from that of course there are a lot more people for fewer jobs and there is no escaping that problem.

Some say that the new system is working but if it is why are we dropping further and further in the worlds table of education.p
Response from Wilf made on 9th Sep 2016 21:25:55
Your comments are interesting and right as with technology there are bound to be fewer actual apprentices but then jobs need to change with the times and so does teaching. I do worry that government after government has messed about with teaching and the worse was labour getting rid of grammar schools in the 60s. I think Theresa Mays new idea that any school can be a grammar school is a great move forward. Bring standards up dont bring it all down to the lowest common denominator
ArchieUK
8th Sep 2016 08:15:10
3
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I never went to grammar school because I was not clever enough; but I have no jealousy about that, or those that went. I just went to one university, "the university of life". Let us have more grammar schools where those who have the luck to have more active brains can go forward and advance themselves and hopefully our country.









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Response from Jordynhollie made on 9th Sep 2016 11:39:56
I have three granddaughters. They were not interested in taking the 11plus test and were quite happy to go the local secondary school. However the second girl suffered bullying when she was in year 9 and my daughter decided to remove here from that school. She was advised that her daughter's grades were good enough for grammar school so she applied and her daughter was accepted. She is required to work hard which has never been a problem for her but is now studying for her GCSE exams and has received A* and A's in her mocks. She admits that she wouldn't be doing as well if she had stayed at the secondary school.

The eldest stayed at the secondary school as she was happy there but they did not have a sixth form so at 16 she applied for the sixth form at the grammar school. She had received the necessary grades in her GCSE's for acceptance and is now in the final year of her A level studies. She hopes to go to university as she wishes to train to be a primary school teacher. Although she had been happy at the sec. school she says that what she has learnt in the last twelve months has been remarkable.

The youngest is 12 and also at sec. school. She is waiting for an available place at grammar .
The difference this school has made to the girls education is remarkable. They are all hard working girls and if children love to learn and want to get on in life they should be allowed this opportunity. I would add that neither myself or my daughter were clever enough to go to grammar school.
Response from Margaret Hart made on 9th Sep 2016 21:14:55
I agree about the University of Life for which one needs that great type of intelligence Common Scence. When I was young people could leave one job on s Friday and start a new one on a Monday as jobs were plentiful and experience was a great consideration.
Many people from then made a great success of their lives by hard work and original thinking. Quite a few with very poor backgrounds are now multi millionaires or at least very comfortably off but the work ethics were very different then as well - if people wanted to get on there was nothing within their power they wouldn't do to make it come true.

One of the biggest mistakes now is the moving of the retirement age to older as it should have been made earlier to release some jobs for younger people.

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