Should the Government create more Grammar Schools?

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Theresa May and Justine Greening the new Education Secretary have said they would like to open more non-fee paying grammar schools in England as they offer a chance to increase the academic ability of a lot more children. 

Most large towns used to have one or two grammar schools where children who passed the 11+ exam could attend.  In addition,  children who got the required amount of O’Levels also had the opportunity attend a grammar school to take their A’Levels.

In the 1960s, Labour MP Tony Crossland stated he wanted to get rid of all grammar schools in the UK and the government went on to remove most of them, setting up comprehensive schools in their place with only 164 grammars now remaining in the UK.

Opponents of grammar schools said they only educated the middle classes and those who were capable of passing the 11+. Supporters say they allowed all pupils the same chances and gave the highest standards of education, which is what the UK needs to be globally competitive.

What’s your view?  Did you attend a grammar school? Are there still any grammar schools in your area? Should we re-introduce grammar schools in the UK, or leave the system like it is?

Should the Government create more Grammar Schools?

238 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes - we should re-introduce them No - we should leave the system how it is

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SovereignInventory
29th Sep 2016
0
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Why are successive Governments so obsessed with their constant tinkering and trying to 'improve' education when they have no ideas how, either new or outdated. Education (in addition to NHS. Immigration, Welfare, Crime, EU exit, et al - The Whole Country !) is in a mess and we do not seem to have any politicians of either political persuasion who have a clue how to move forward. My Grand-daughter has just taken and passed her GCSE's and it didn't really matter what subjects she took or passed as there are no jobs for her to go to if she wanted to leave school at 16. She understands she will have to do well at A level and/or university then probably move away from the area if she wants to start a career, not just a dead-end job. I passed the 11+, went to grammar school but wasn't a particularly good scholar - just not interested. The school went comprehensive and joined up with 2 others and that was that. I did enjoy further education though, going to cillege as part of my engineering apprenticeship and further studies.
Happlin
19th Sep 2016
0
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I failed the eleven plus and because of that I felt a failure despite going on to doing A levels and Open University after I had achieved a professional qualification and being a member of Mensa. It took me a long time to realise I could achieve more.
Capricorn
18th Sep 2016
0
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I passed the 11 plus exam , to everyone's surprise and went to Grammar school. The curriculum was more difficult but I enjoyed the schooling and I think there has to be a separation of those who are considered more likely to succeed than others. My Father was in Hospital for 2 years with TB , lost half a lung and could never work again .
It meant taking me out of school at 15 to find a job to help the Family income. I didn't mind because I wasn't all that interested to go to University
MrsPat
12th Sep 2016
1
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No as it causes inequality in our society. All schools should become quality. Do not segregate kids. Also all private schools should be abolished. Why can rich kids get a better education than poor ones. It perpetuates the cycles in society
Capricorn
12th Sep 2016
2
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I also passed the 11plus and because my Father had half a Lung taken out and couldn't work again we had a voucher to go into town and get the school uniform , a neighbour across the way got to hear that I had passed and bought me a Conway Stewart Pen and Pencil set. you would think I was going to University, not 11 plus. LOL
Pam1960
12th Sep 2016
3
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I passed my eleven plus and went to the local grammar school. A year later it joined with the local secondary and became a comprehensive. The difference I noticed at that time was discipline. Academic achievement was not down to whether the teachers were good enough nor the pupils able or willing to learn.At the grammer we had respect for teachers (or were frightened of them, not sure on that one), we sat quietly in class, concentrated, did our homework or we would get punished. In the comprehensive we had more fun, called the younger teachers by their names and didn't worry as much about tests and homework. We would get detention but that wasn't anything to be bothered about. Discipline at the grammer was strict and immediate. A rap across the knuckles, a blackboard rubber thrown and the cane for the worst cases plus a letter home to the parents. At home we would be punished again for getting into trouble at school. Nowadays discipline is difficult to enforce in schools with many parents more often than not going into school to complain about their child being punished rather than supporting the school. My conclusion is that neither grammar nor comprehensive schools will succeed without higher levels of discipline and greater support from parents
Jo Kingham
1st Sep 2016
3
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We live in Bucks where the grammar school system is still in place. There are many issues with the system;
1) The test in theory cannot be tutored for, but in practice it can be - techniques can be learnt and practice papers are readily available
2) Kids get tutored to death in order to pass the exam - the main reason being that the alternative schools, i.e. the upper or all ability schools are so dire and often in special measures.
3) Lower income families cannot afford the tutoring (£30 an hour in our area) so their children are at a disadvantage. Probably whilst most kids who attend grammar are "middle class"
4) The test is biased to English which puts those who have strengths in maths at a disadvantage
5) The system is not consistent. Different exams, different pass rates by area.
6) Local school take children from up to 30 miles away as they cream off the best kids in order to get the best results in exams, forcing local children to travel many miles to alternative schools.

There is also far too much emphasis on academic achievement these days. Children should be nurtured whatever their strengths.

To my mind the grammar schools should be scrapped and one educational system across the whole country should be put in place. There would be less pressure on the 10 year old children. Less likely to be inadequate and underperforming schools due to the grammar schools creaming off the clever kids. And every child would get the same standard of education - and that's from someone who had children in the grammar school system!
jentie51
26th Aug 2016
3
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I sat the 11+ aged 10 & scraped through on the strength of my English. I attained my 2nd choice on the list of schools selected by my parents & suppose I did relatively well, but oh, how I loathed that school!

Perhaps I would have disliked any school, but I often feel I would have fared better at a school akin to the excellent comprehensive school my 3 children attended. They were streamed according to ability, with the option to move up or down a level should this be deemed more appropriate. Support, were necessary, was available to pupils & my 3 all thrived in the environment, whereas, I with my lack of mathematical nous, floundered in the bottom set tutored by unsympathetic teachers!

To this day I, have issues with elitist education, whether by a selection process or financial clout. Children develop at different rates, whether physically or intellectually & to consign a child to a lesser school because they failed an exam or because their parents are unable to afford fees is terribly wrong. All children should be afforded equality of opportunity, regardless of a test result or family financial resources.

So, my opinion is that there should be no further grammar schools, those already in existence should be scrapped, together with the schools in the private education system.
Baxi
26th Aug 2016
5
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They worked well in the past so I think they will work well now.
Lionel
25th Aug 2016
2
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Education, like the NHS and Police Forces, should never have been brought under state control. They're all regional services dealing with people at first hand. They cry out for regional governance.

Grammar or no grammar? Surely yet more tinkering with the already broken education system will achieve little, if anything.

It seems to me, watching my grand children grow up, education has become a culture serving educationalists! With so very many employers needing to pay for further education to bring entrants up to a beginner's standard, we should do more than question the system. Presently, neither youngsters nor employers are well served.

Personnally, I would prefer to see a return to an updated Butler Education Act of 1944; take the cream off the top and do your best with the rest. At least it delivered the goods; goods which brought Britain out of the wreckage of the Second World War and built this country. No need for Polish plumbers then!
scandiman
24th Aug 2016
3
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Politicians want to ensure that you can only have a first class education if your parents can pay for it. The 11 plus is deeply flawed. The American educationalist who devised it used false data to prove his theory that children should reach a measurable level of attainment at 11. This has been disproved. A child should be tested to assess their natural inclination, whether academic or vocational, and then steered in the direction most suitable to their personality. By all means move the most academically able to grammar schools, but also improve the quality of comprehensive schools so that everyone can attend a good school. Also ensure that the highest quality vocational training is given. We desperately need engineers, architects, mechanics, builders, welders etc. , but don't make them feel like second class citizens. The biggest difficulty facing modern Britain is this idiotic class system. Someone who works with their hands is no less a person than he or she who uses their intellect.
Munsterlander
25th Aug 2016
4
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My comment on this is that 11 is too young to make a decision on if Kids are right for grammar schools or not. I did the 11+ at that age and did not have a clue. Because of that went to a terrible comprehensive school which was a joke and probably failed a lot of kids for life. There was some woodwork and metalwork but all very simple. It was not suitable for someone who wanted to become a mechanic as you suggest. They should have had some old cars and we could have taken them apart or machine tooled new parts. Now that would have been fun and creative!
Wilf
24th Aug 2016
6
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Someone who works with their hands is just as valuable in all respects. Who builds all the houses we live in...its not estate agents! there is a move to allow kids to start work at 14. My grandfather started at 12 and my Dad on the railways at 14. He worked until he was 75 and is the hardest worker I have ever seen. He is the type of person who builds this country
jamellis
23rd Aug 2016
5
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Grammar schools have always been able to offer a better education, simply because they are educating brighter pupils. Unfortunately, as has been proved time and again, if you put everyone of all abilities in one class you inevitably drag the brighter ones down rather than raising those of lesser ability up. The Labour Party was able to decimate the Grammar School system because they turned the whole thing into a class issue rather than an educational one.
thefilthycripple
23rd Aug 2016
4
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What people forget is that Grammar schools were just not great academically ,in the area where I grew up the two best sporting schools was a grammar school and a technical grammar school ,so that says a lot for a balanced education
Wilf
23rd Aug 2016
6
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I just think that they give a better education and as you say sports. rather than get rid of them the government should aim to get all schools up to that level of academic excellence
Alicia
23rd Aug 2016
6
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Yes, grammar schools provide a better standard of education for the more intelligent children.
Wilf
23rd Aug 2016
4
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I agree and it should help raise the general level of education but I do worry about comprehensive school education as all the best teachers may want to work at grammar schools
HielandLassie
23rd Aug 2016
5
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I assume they mean to open more Grammar Schools in England, not the UK. Scotland has its own education system. Is this really a direct quotation from the Education Secretary? Has nobody told them?
Wilf
23rd Aug 2016
4
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Are there grammar schools currently in Scotland?
Munsterlander
22nd Aug 2016
-6
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NO just leave it as it is. The problem is with new government ministers is they want to change everything just to get a name for themselves. The government has messed about with education enough. Just leave it be and get on with teaching the fundamentals to children. We all did ok out of it with schools in the "old days".
JohnHerb
22nd Aug 2016
7
Thanks for voting!
Yes we should get more. I went to a comprehensive and it was terrible in the late 60s early 70s. Because labour thought it was unfair that some people should be better than others they got rid of the grammar schools and then dumbed down all education so that everyone was supposed to be equal. Its like animal farm. Good of socialism-"everyone is equal but some are more equal than others". So what happens. Chaos. Our school was ruled by bullies and thugs and everyone suffered. i had friends who went to the local grammar school and most did very well. Quite a few were just working class lads like me ..who then passed the 11+ and then got a great education-university and great jobs! Whats not to like there. We should pull the whole system and all kids up NOT dumb it down. My view is build as many grammar schools as possible and lets give all our kids a first class world beating education.

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