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BS: Choice of education

Bonzo3legs 17 Apr 17 - 07:13 AM
Doug Chadwick 17 Apr 17 - 07:41 AM
Bonzo3legs 17 Apr 17 - 07:48 AM
Raggytash 17 Apr 17 - 07:56 AM
Jack Campin 17 Apr 17 - 07:56 AM
Donuel 17 Apr 17 - 08:26 AM
Steve Shaw 17 Apr 17 - 09:32 AM
Raggytash 17 Apr 17 - 09:50 AM
Raggytash 17 Apr 17 - 09:51 AM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Apr 17 - 10:19 AM
Doug Chadwick 17 Apr 17 - 12:23 PM
Bonzo3legs 17 Apr 17 - 12:32 PM
Steve Shaw 17 Apr 17 - 01:47 PM
Bonzo3legs 17 Apr 17 - 02:58 PM
ripov 17 Apr 17 - 03:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Apr 17 - 08:42 PM
Steve Shaw 17 Apr 17 - 08:50 PM
Teribus 18 Apr 17 - 03:17 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Apr 17 - 04:48 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Apr 17 - 06:07 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Apr 17 - 06:11 AM
Senoufou 18 Apr 17 - 07:01 AM
Raggytash 18 Apr 17 - 07:52 AM
Donuel 18 Apr 17 - 07:55 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Apr 17 - 10:58 AM
Teribus 19 Apr 17 - 03:11 AM
Steve Shaw 19 Apr 17 - 04:03 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Apr 17 - 04:22 AM
Senoufou 19 Apr 17 - 04:43 AM
Iains 19 Apr 17 - 04:51 AM
Raggytash 19 Apr 17 - 05:01 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Apr 17 - 05:01 AM
Senoufou 19 Apr 17 - 05:17 AM
Steve Shaw 19 Apr 17 - 06:20 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Apr 17 - 07:40 AM
Stu 19 Apr 17 - 07:46 AM
Stu 19 Apr 17 - 08:35 AM
Steve Shaw 19 Apr 17 - 06:06 PM
Teribus 20 Apr 17 - 02:43 AM
Stu 20 Apr 17 - 03:56 AM
Steve Shaw 20 Apr 17 - 05:54 AM
Senoufou 20 Apr 17 - 06:22 AM
Steve Shaw 20 Apr 17 - 06:54 AM
Senoufou 20 Apr 17 - 07:42 AM
Teribus 20 Apr 17 - 07:45 AM
Steve Shaw 20 Apr 17 - 08:07 AM
Stu 20 Apr 17 - 08:34 AM
Greg F. 20 Apr 17 - 05:50 PM
Teribus 21 Apr 17 - 02:39 AM
Raggytash 21 Apr 17 - 03:35 AM
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Subject: BS: Choice of education
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 07:13 AM

It's excellent to note that the first family of folk chose to send their future folk superstar daughter Eliza to Fyling Hall, an independent co-educational day and boarding school rather than the local comprehensive!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 07:41 AM

As they made this decision 30 or more years ago, why bring the subject up now?

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 07:48 AM

Because it was noted here

and everybody has to bring up something.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Raggytash
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 07:56 AM

Quite easy, the reason for this. Fyling Hall school is a walkable distance from where they live, the nearest other school is about 6 miles away. Bus transport even now is not reliable. Simples.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 07:56 AM

You could just go out in the garden and chew some grass like my cats do when they have something to bring up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Donuel
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 08:26 AM

hahahaha, Jack


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 09:32 AM

Dunno what kind of area they were living in, but local authorities generally provide school transport where public transport is less than ideal. In extremis, I'd have thought that even a daily six-mile taxi ride would've been cheaper than school fees. But don't listen to me. I'm implacably opposed to the existence of private schools so I suppose I'm a tad biased. I'd far sooner discuss the general issue than focus on the specifics of one familiy's decision.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Raggytash
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 09:50 AM

There are scholarship available still at this school, 30 years ago a school bus did not exist so options would be limited. If the parents are working away, as folk singers are prone to do, it would make sense the use the easier options. It's also known to be a very good school and has been so for decades.

Like you Steve, I disagree with fee paying schools. I also disagree with gratuitous attacks on people


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Raggytash
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 09:51 AM

......... unable to defend themselves.

Pressed send too early !!


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 10:19 AM

local authorities generally provide school transport where public transport is less than ideal.

They don't necessarily - the criterion woudn't be whether public trasport was "ideal", but rather whether it was absolutely essential and acceptible in theopinion of the authority. There are plenty of cases where pupils have been expected to walk along busy roads, or take a bus that would take them very early to school.

It alwaysstrikes me that decisions about where you send your children to school are personal ones based on what you believe will suit your child best. A fair tax system- which we haven't got - is the way to iron out discrepencies of income, and ensure a level playing field. Different styles of teaching suit different children, it should make no difference to the final outcome whether a particular level of education was reached by a school with a highly structured approach or the reverse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 12:23 PM

Because it was noted here

That is just an edited copy and paste from Wikipedia - hardly breaking news.

... and, no!; nobody HAS TO bring up anything.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 12:32 PM

The iplayer source is perfectly alright for me I must say! Anyway, I shall enjoy recording this evening's Jools Holland programme from the freely available BBC HLS webstream.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 01:47 PM

Deciding where to send your children has an impact on other children. We've just had a big brouhaha here about how taking your kids on holiday in termtime affects other children in the school. Similarly, keeping your child away from the state sector because you are rich enough to do so impacts the state system in a major way when you multiply your personal decision by the thousands of people who do it. It also impacts your own child by giving him or her a skewed view of what life is really like. My concept of genuine choice is that it should be available to everyone, not just those with big incomes. Scholarships are just a sop. It's a scandal that public school fees should be VAT-free when tampons are not. The removal of charitable status from public schools would be a very good first move, long-overdue.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 02:58 PM

VAT Notice 701/30: education and vocational training may provide clues as to why the VAT status of public school fees cannot easily be changed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: ripov
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 03:25 PM

Bonzo - Are you saying that parents shouldn't do the best they can for their kids? Must've been many men pleased to get their son a job down the pit. Or in the steelworks. Or whatever.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 08:42 PM

It's the inequality that's the problem. Without that it would just be a matter of what kind of learning environment suited a particular child. And children do vary enormously in that way - for example the expensive private school can be a disastrous environment for many.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 08:50 PM

Well I think it's a disaster for all of us. An Eton toff has just steered us, totally outside his own control, out of Europe. You will never convince me that it wasn't something to do with his hubristic, public-school lack of connection with the real people of the real world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Teribus
Date: 18 Apr 17 - 03:17 AM

Would that be the same "Eton Toff" (Typical envy driven, divisive, "class warrior", leftie activist label, Trotted out by a lazy believer in stereotypes) who called a referendum to honour a long overdue election promise of Gordon Brown's that enabled the electorate of the country to decide on whether, or not, we wanted to remain shackled to an increasingly corrupt and authoritarian failing socialist pipedream?

On the subject of the thread it is a pity your boy Tone didn't honour his manifesto commitment to - "Education, education, education" - what the meddling tossers delivered during their time in office was - "education, edukayshun, edjewkayshun".

Scotland used to have a "comprehensive" system that worked with Certificate and General streams determined by the 11-plus exam (Which was taken as being a start point - NOT a life defining moment)- Everybody went to the same school had the same teachers, same resources and within the subjects taught movement from a General course to a Certificate course was possible and actively encouraged.

My children all went to the extremely good State First School to be then handed on to a Middle School that was absolutely deplorable and the thing that made it so was the Headmaster and his teaching staff according to my wife who was an ex-teacher herself. So we then both took the decision to take our children out of the State system and educate them privately (Here's a laugh for you Shaw - the boys went to a De La Salle College - and benefited by receiving an excellent well rounded education). As a family we made our sacrifices to cover the cost of doing this, but the children definitely benefited from it both mentally and physically, all went on to university and all play numerous sports instead of just watching them, and none of them ever gave either my wife or myself the slightest cause for concern in childhood. They are now all married and settled in their careers with their own families - the education they were given and the environment they grew up in played a big part in that as did having two parents who instilled in them the value and importance of having an education and teaching them that things in life are earned by effort and hard work, they are not just simply given.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Apr 17 - 04:48 AM

Well I think we could do with a few more class warriors, actually. Your anecdotal waffle, which we can't verify of course, based on a single family's experiences, seems to indicate that you yourself didn't benefit much from a good education that would have taught you to ditch ideology and look for, and question, evidence. My word, there's plenty to question in your little life story, but hey, let's not get personal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Apr 17 - 06:07 AM

Incidentally, Teribus, prove that Cameron didn't call the referendum because he was running scared of UKIP. Making that knobhead sound like an honourable man as you do is akin to knighting the iceberg that sank the Titanic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Apr 17 - 06:11 AM

Again incidentally, I don't know why you brought up De La Salle. My only link with a school of that name was when we beat the St Helens one at cricket when I was in the Thornleigh First XI.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Senoufou
Date: 18 Apr 17 - 07:01 AM

I think parents should have the choice over their children's education. But people on Benefits or rather badly off don't have any choice at all do they?
I got a place at a State Grammar School (I was only ten) and my parents were not at all well-off. My mother went out to work full-time to pay for uniform, sports equipment, school trips etc, and did the same for my younger sister. They made sacrifices. There was a new Comprehensive school in the district, but as our goal was University, it was thought the Grammar School offered a better selection of subjects.
It was suggested by my JUnior School that I sit the Scholarship exam for Benenden (a private girls' boarding school) but my parents felt that as we were working class, I'd have felt out of place there. (Probably very true!)
I don't feel that my State Education lacked anything. I was successful academically and so was my sister. I became a teacher and she became a doctor.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Raggytash
Date: 18 Apr 17 - 07:52 AM

If someone's children went to De La Salle I would question if the children were damaged by the experience.

I know numerous people from the De La Salle I attended (note: not Steve Terikins) who have serious psychological issues due to the treatment they received.

I sincerely hope your children managed to get through unscathed, these issues can erupt many years after the event.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Donuel
Date: 18 Apr 17 - 07:55 AM

In college my concentration was music, Psychology and political science.

surprised? I thought not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Apr 17 - 10:58 AM

Is Teribus a northerner? Jesus, I hope not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Teribus
Date: 19 Apr 17 - 03:11 AM

Unlike you Raggy, my sons along with their friends and classmates seem to have come through it all unscathed.

Of course I'm a "Northerner" Shaw - but then to me - you, Raggy and Gnome are all "Southerners" from that part of the country that seems to revel and take delight in abject misery entirely of your own making.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Apr 17 - 04:03 AM

You don't sound unscathed.

Please tell me that you're not a Lancastrian. My passport is in my hand, ready to be torn up...


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Apr 17 - 04:22 AM

"But people on Benefits or rather badly off don't have any choice at all do they? "
I dip int Tarrant's 'Millionaire' when there's nothing else on television, and am astounded at the constant stream of contestants who wish to win something to pay their or their children's education debts.
The "leftie" dream of free education for all is long gone.
Just before I left school (Secondary Modern), I was late for a maths class because a music teacher had kept kept me behind to explain something I was having problems with
The irate maths teacher asked my "what do you wish to do when you leave, sing in the streets?"
He went on, "all you need to be able to do when you leave here is tot up your wage packet at the end of the week".
It seems we are back to that philosophy again.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Senoufou
Date: 19 Apr 17 - 04:43 AM

Good heavens Jim! What terrible things to say to a young pupil!

Our State Grammar School was rather unusual, as the Head was what my father called a 'Red Hot Labour supporter'. The newly-built school (in the late fifties) was a 'Technical Grammar', very advanced for its day. It offered practical subjects (Domestic Science, Woodwork and Metalwork), many modern foreign languages and secretarial skills besides the more classical selection of subjects, and in addition all the Sciences were taught, with excellent laboratories and equipment. It was far from 'posh' and had a very congenial atmosphere. As a working-class child I felt at home there. The staff were well-qualified and delightful. How lucky I was!
A very young Shirley Williams presented us with our 'O' Level certificates.
This is the kind of school which should be available to all, in my opinion.
The uniform was expensive, as was all the sports kit. However, I think a grant was available for very hard-up families.
Our County had no Eleven Plus; pupils were selected on classroom achievement and what I suppose was a kind of Intelligence Test. I was allowed to go a year early, at ten.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Iains
Date: 19 Apr 17 - 04:51 AM

A normal person wants to do the best for their children. If they feel private education is the way to go, and can afford the fees then I say good luck to them. Promoting ideology ahead of education is the hallmark of narrow minded, sad bigotry.
The discussion of what is the best system of public education is another matter entirely. Up to the late 60's Grammar schools gave a good education and promoted social mobility. Again the merits or de-merits of the 11+ exam is another issue. The wholesale migration of secondary public education to comprehensive schools has not, in my view, succeeded as well as has been suggested.
I see some here would like to make political capital out of the present education system on offer. Far more important to educate the kids in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Raggytash
Date: 19 Apr 17 - 05:01 AM

It is amazing how people can twist words and meanings Teribus.

If you care to read my post I said I sincerely hoped your children were not damaged by the experience of attending a De La Salle school.

I did not say I was damaged, despite your assumption, but that I knew people who had been.

Quite clear and quite simple, to all but a blustering, arrogant bully such as yourself.

If someone had been damaged I somehow doubt if 1. they would discuss it with you and 2. if you would even recognise it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Apr 17 - 05:01 AM

"A normal person wants to do the best for their children. "
And a decent person would want the best for all children - not the dog-eat-dog system we have
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Senoufou
Date: 19 Apr 17 - 05:17 AM

Jim, I agree. It's imperative that all our collective children are educated to as high a standard as possible. It's an investment in the country, and our future lies in their hands.
The words "...and can afford the fees..." are telling. What about those who cannot?
And what about all those potential brains not offered the opportunities that Private Education for the wealthy provides? Such a waste. It should be a completely level playing field. There isn't a better way for any government to invest in the country's future than Education and Equal Opportunities for all students.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Apr 17 - 06:20 AM

Unfortunately, Iains, the very existence of private schools, available only to those who can afford the fees, is firmly rooted in the right wing ideology of elitism and privilege. Those schools are afforded tax concessions while state schools are deprived of resources and suffer over-large classes. What we need are state schools that are so good that no-one would be ever want to waste money on a school that provided a totally lopsided social mix of children. Of course, that's one of the main points of their existence. Keep the kids away from the hoi polloi. I got called a class warrior yesterday. Well there's nothing quite like the class warriors who will do anything to maintain that pyramid of privilege. Private schools are at the heart of that. Choice my arse. Ask the millions of parents who live in the deprived inner cities what choice they have. Blinkers off.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Apr 17 - 07:40 AM

"It's an investment in the country, and our future lies in their hands."
Absolutely
Elitist education is a total waste of human recourse
You only have to look to out leaders to see how that has served us - a world run by 'Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnsons' - perish the thought (except, of course, that is what we have at present)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Stu
Date: 19 Apr 17 - 07:46 AM

Would that be the same "Eton Toff" (Typical envy driven, divisive, "class warrior", leftie activist label, Trotted out by a lazy believer in stereotypes) who called a referendum to honour a long overdue election promise ... blah blah"

That's the lad. Same one who fucked a dead pig in the mouth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Stu
Date: 19 Apr 17 - 08:35 AM

Let me explain that last, rather boorish and vulgar reaction to Teribus' comment. For those of us who come for a certain type of background and who didn't have the access to any education beyond our local comprehensive you can be sure we get fed up with our governments consisting of the PPP grads, endlessly privately educated and privileged people seemingly groomed to rule and earnestly believing they have an almost divine right to do so.

Trotting out the tired trope that everyone criticising the Bullingdon club and their wealthy pals is a lefty is way wide of the mark; the fact is many of us went to shit schools where our careers advice was to get a job in a factory in the city. Our aspirations were ignored at best, ridiculed at worst and those of us that didn't fit or had other issues were treated like shit, the lowest of the low.

These people ARE toffs and they ARE lucky to get the education they have and they don't understand the struggles many of have, often for a lifetime, in trying to get the education that all children and adults should have access to regardless of income or postcode.

This isn't being a lefty, it's about building a better world for us all and education is the key to that aspiration. Defending the likes of people like Cameron to trash the education of others is sickening and insulting to so many who deserve and equally excellent education and will never get one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Apr 17 - 06:06 PM

Well said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Teribus
Date: 20 Apr 17 - 02:43 AM

Stu, the person who destroyed the education system in England - Tony Crosland:

"If it's the last thing I do, I'm going to destroy every fucking grammar school in England. And Wales. And Northern Ireland."

In stating that intent he would rob hundreds of thousands of an excellent avenue for upward mobility. Doubt that? Then look at the number of Labour MPs who had had just such an education yet who wished to see it denied others. Scrapping Grammar Schools and reducing to the lowest common denominator does not benefit the country. Talent, intelligence and ability MUST be encouraged, nurtured and fed - you do not do that by slowing the learning process down to the speed at which the less capable feel comfortable.

Tony Crosland on Private education at the time he wanted to "destroy every fucking grammar school in England. And Wales. And Northern Ireland.":

"I am sure that a definite limit exists to the degree of equality which is desirable. We do not want complete equality of incomes, since extra responsibility and exceptional talent require and deserve a differential reward. We are not hostile, as our opponents sometimes foolishly suggest, to 'detached residences in Bournemouth where some elderly woman has obviously more than a thousand a year'. I do not myself want to see all private education disappear; nor the Prime Minister denied an official car, as in one Scandinavian country; nor the Queen riding a bicycle; nor the House of Lords instantly abolished; nor the manufacture of Rolls-Royces banned; nor the Brigade of Guards, nor Oxford and Cambridge, nor Boodle's nor (more doubtfully) the Royal Yacht Squadron, nor even, on a rather lower level, the Milroy Room, lose their present distinctive character; nor anything so dull and colourless as this."

Charles Anthony Raven Crosland educated at one of the "poshest" Grammar Schools in the country and at Trinity College, Oxford (Two whacks at that, first time he read Classics and the second stint after the war reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Became an Oxford Don before entering politics.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Stu
Date: 20 Apr 17 - 03:56 AM

Grammar schools promote inequality, end of. In our school we didn't sit the 11 plus and only a select few in the whole year were allowed to try for a scholarship; the rest of us were condemned from that point onwards.

This idea that kids don't feel discriminated against is condescending and a lie. We were well aware that we were considered second class to the folk in the posh schools and pondered this difference. I've no doubt the kids who went to these schools were bright, but the rest of us never got a chance to prove whether we were or not.

By filtering off the brightest children to grammar schools you leave behind those children who would benefit from association with brighter children (as musicians we all know we play 'up' when a skilled player is in the session) and those children who might flower later in school and would otherwise be hampered by being in a school with less vigorous academic standards.

These issues, combined with the ever-rising cost of tuition fees for higher education mean folk are denied a chance to achieve their potential whilst being kids; it's all over for them before they're 11 years old.

Grammars will not stop this happening, only an integrated and progressive education system with resources distributed fairly and facilities for schools raised to a level befitting one of the countries that leads the world in so many disciplines and industries.

The toffs will still go to their elite schools and won't be sullied by association with the great unwashed, but at least the rest of us might stand a chance to get a good education to be able to compete with them and hold our own in the wider world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Apr 17 - 05:54 AM

What evidence do you have that the introduction of comprehensives has lowered overall standards? Or stifled upward mobility? How come that when I was at grammar school (the only choice for parents of eleven-plus passers at the time being which one) about one in twenty kids went on to university, whereas today it's pushing fifty percent?   Easy to say that the education system was "destroyed." Not so easy to come up with the evidence, though, eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Senoufou
Date: 20 Apr 17 - 06:22 AM

I don't think there has been much discussion here about class differences and perceptions (ie Snobbery!)

The parents of my 12 yr olds (Middle School) spoke to me about their ideas for secondary schools for their children. Many used phrases such as "In that school the pupils look scruffy, swear and chew gum!" or, "That school has 'naice' students from a 'better class of family'."
Some intended to choose private education, as "They didn't want their children mixing with the dregs of society." I was often hard put to keep my mouth shut. The subjects/courses available seemed less important than the social ethos of a secondary school, and a wish to avoid certain types of people.
In UK, the 'class system' is still alive and well, and judgements are made the moment someone opens their mouth to speak. Accent, clothing, hairstyle, home address, even origins/parents' family are recognised at lightning speed and the person classified. I find this deplorable and while people say it's slowly changing, I still think it currently pertains.
Of course, it happens in reverse. The reason my father rejected the idea of my going as a scholarship boarder to Benenden (Princess Anne was later one of their pupils) was that he could see that my Cockney accent and working-class origins would probably have caused me to be ostracised.
Most of the MPs in Westminster are what my Norfolk friends would call "Roit posh!" and have never mixed with any class below their own. I suspect that some of them view the rest of us with contempt and as inferior. They've been to exclusive, expensive private schools (Eton etc) and probably Oxbridge, where they continue to cultivate their 'we are the Upper Crust' view of themselves.
Until this class system it completely outdated and obsolete, I don't reckon 'equality of opportunity' can ever be achieved, either in education or anything else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Apr 17 - 06:54 AM

I went to a grammar school in Bolton. It had a sixth form, hardly anyone left at the end of the fourth year (at the age of 15), we took O Levels then, two years later if we stayed on, A Levels. Half of those who stayed on went on to university and we had a good handful every year who made it to Oxbridge. The secondary modern schools, attended by more than 80% of pupils (the eleven-plus failures who were CALLED failures), kept you until the age of 15, routinely. They did not offer O Levels. Now this school-apartheid is the golden-age system that the rose-coloured specs brigade love to hark back to. When they talk about upward mobility, they are talking about that chance for one in five and little chance for four in five. In those secondary moderns there were classes variously called "remove" or "remedial." There were no classroom assistants or individual help for children with learning difficulties and the teacher had little option but to impose tedium with a firm hand. Oh yes, it was a great system all right. When it was swept away it was not replaced with a fairer two-tier system, as it was recognised that such a thing wasn't possible. So I want to know from the grammar school advocates how they know that comprehensive education was such a disaster compared to what we had before. The answer? They don't, because standards actually rose across the board. Go on, look it up. There's been plenty of meddling and underfunding and reorganising and the imposition of repressive bureaucracy on state schools, but, in spite of that, they generally do a pretty good job. Hard to measure standards, of course (and you can't do it easily by looking at exam results - I was an A Level examiner for 12 years and an assistant chief examiner for three, and I saw the exam transformed into a very can-do experience over that time), but start by looking at the explosion in numbers of students now in higher education.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Senoufou
Date: 20 Apr 17 - 07:42 AM

I'm not advocating grammar schools per se, only saying that the excellent standard of education I was lucky enough to be able to access in mine should be available to all.

In my day, the very new Comprehensive nearby (one of the first in our area) was 'not bad' but there was still, as you say Steve, the concept of 'failures' applied to its pupils, in the same way that the Secondary Modern in our area was looked upon. Some students were transferred to our grammar school from the other two, if it was felt they'd been wrongly selected as 'failures'. But mostly we were, I'm sure, regarded as academically elite, which is quite wrong.

Our local secondary Comprehensive here in Norfolk is now an 'Academy', and from what I can gather is absolutely excellent. Its intake is unselected, courses are fluidly accessible and all abilities catered for. I don't know the proportion of University places taken up, but there is a sixth-form college attached to the school, all beautifully equipped, and the whole establishment is well-managed by the Headmaster.
If all secondary education could be like this (which I bet it's not in other places, from what one sees and hears, sadly) I would feel things were pretty fair and equal. But it could never compete with the Eton/Oxbridge wealthy upper class lot, who end up in top positions, and effectively comprise 'The Ruling Class'. It's a social matter as well as an educational one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Teribus
Date: 20 Apr 17 - 07:45 AM

To all our supposed educationalists - if you want a "comprehensive" system that works.

First take a look at the system you have, study it and find the bits of it that work - that then becomes the model that the bits that don't have to aspire to and be brought up to. That means weeding out poor teachers and replacing them where necessary

Second accept the FACT that life is and people are NOT EQUAL - THEY NEVER HAVE BEEN. People can be given equal opportunity it is then up to them what they wish to do with it.

"Grammar schools promote inequality, end of." All you've missed out there Stu is the Innit? at the end. If you want to encourage excellence, if you want to be at the forefront of technological innovation then you have to identify talent and ability as early as possible then push, encourage and reward them as rapidly as possible.

"the rest of us were condemned from that point onwards." Another bullshit whine and a complete and utter myth - The number of people who succeeded in life who went to Secondary Modern schools is astounding - people do vary enormously, they mature and come into their own at varying times in their lives - the only person who could possibly have condemned you from that point onwards you whining mug would be yourself!

"This idea that kids don't feel discriminated against is condescending and a lie. We were well aware that we were considered second class to the folk in the posh schools and pondered this difference. I've no doubt the kids who went to these schools were bright, but the rest of us never got a chance to prove whether we were or not."

More bullshit - ever heard of Night School? Student Release schemes? Student Apprenticeships? Again I now many who took advantage of these schemes to improve their education and career prospects and job opportunities. Later came the Open University and both employers and trades unions sponsored university places.

Another idiotic belief is that everybody has to go to University. WTF for? Most go to study bullshit degrees that lead nowhere and have no purpose - waste of time and resources.

"By filtering off the brightest children to grammar schools you leave behind those children who would benefit from association with brighter children (as musicians we all know we play 'up' when a skilled player is in the session) and those children who might flower later in school and would otherwise be hampered by being in a school with less vigorous academic standards."

No by filtering off the brightest you keep them interested and engaged. Hold them back and they end up bored and disinterested, they then become disruptive. Your lesser able pupils can also be disruptive through frustration if they are failing to pick things up. All that happens when your quoted suggestion is adopted is a standard dumbing down process across the entire system.

Not really sure how you counter exceptionally poor advice from one's parents, but I see that what you have inherited are the self same chips they carried perfectly balanced on each of their shoulders and their stereotypical myths.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Apr 17 - 08:07 AM

Plenty of bullshit philistinism there, Teribus. Tell us more about bullshit degrees why don't you. Which ones? Do you know enough about the differentiation that is required in schools to ensure that all pupils are pushed to the best of their abilities? Doesn't sound like it. Hold bright pupils back and you are instantly shat upon by Ofsted. As for weeding out teachers, I wondered when that was going to come up. In my grammar school we had a general science teacher for three years who sat at the front every lesson while we copied chapters out of a book. He never took us into a lab, not once. My chemistry teacher did nothing except stand at the front dictating notes to us. My English Lit teacher's idea of teaching us Kipps by HG Wells was to read it to us. His idea of teaching us Wordsworth was to force us to learn vast tracts of mind-numbing text under threat of punishment. He called everyone flower or blossom, never by their names. My geography teacher made us copy maps for the whole lesson and expected us to churn them out the next day from memory. The music teacher thought he was Beethoven and he had a temper to match. A classroom terrorist. Another aficionado of vast tracts of copying. Some of my university teachers were even worse, and feedback in lectures was never permitted. A few poor teachers get through the net, admittedly, but the general standard of what is expected of teachers today has never been higher. Most of them these days deserve medals.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Stu
Date: 20 Apr 17 - 08:34 AM

"First take a look at the system you have, study it and find the bits of it that work"

My niece and nephew attend an excellent comprehensive which recognises and nurtures the talent of all it's pupils, and many parents choose to send their kids there rather than the posh private place up the road. This really is a good school, it's inclusive, the staff listen to the kids and they are encouraged to pursue their interests and chose careers. One of my friends left there and went on to study medicine and become a doctor. So comprehensive education DOES work. Oh, but the bastard tories have just cut the school's budget by £150,000 a year so as actions speak louder than words, best ignore their bullshit.


"...the only person who could possibly have condemned you from that point onwards you whining mug would be yourself"

Nice. I understand you lack any empathy or compassion Mr T, but not everyone has your boundless self-regard and confidence in their own infallibility. Some folk need to be nurtured not bullied, ignored or ridiculed. It's horrible when it's happening to you and those around you.

I've pursued my own education at my own expense to the point where up to last year I was doing a PhD (before my supervisor was sacked and no replacement found; I had just finished gathering the bulk of my data too) and will continue to do so. I've got three CSEs and a couple of art qualifications so this hasn't been easy (wonderful in many ways though) but I have NEVER given up or accepted the condemnation that I and others were subjected to in school.


"Again I now many who took advantage of these schemes to improve their education and career prospects and job opportunities"

You know one more now then, don't you love?


"Most go to study bullshit degrees that lead nowhere and have no purpose - waste of time and resources."

Inverted snobbery. Lovely. Who are you to judge? Higher education teaches a person many skills apart from expertise in the subject matter under study, as any fule know. Well, not ANY fule obviously.


"but I see that what you have inherited are the self same chips they carried perfectly balanced on each of their shoulders"

As that is utterly unknowable to you, this comment is intended to insult and enrage rather than discuss. What makes you so nasty sometimes?


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Greg F.
Date: 20 Apr 17 - 05:50 PM

T-Bird sounds very much like Betsy DeVos. Are they related, do you know?


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Teribus
Date: 21 Apr 17 - 02:39 AM

OK Stu, thanks for the additional information. So from your post that prompted mine, we now see that the following is complete and utter bullshit:

1: "the rest of us were condemned from that point onwards."

2: "the rest of us never got a chance to prove whether we were or not."

3: "folk are denied a chance to achieve their potential whilst being kids; it's all over for them before they're 11 years old."

You yourself have proved that none of the above is actually true, but there again you have omitted to tell us all that you yourself started the process. You provided the motivation.

"Bullshit Degrees" - Degree courses that offer no real worth either to society in general or to the person who holds them. The advantage that people have who have approached higher education once they have started working tend to do so with them having a much more focused aim than someone who has never worked just leaving school, what they intend to do is normally linked to a specific work or career move.

As to how good our education system is today Shaw? Having experienced much the same as yourself at school, back in those days there were no widespread complaints by universities and prospective employers of children coming out of basic education who cannot read, cannot write, cannot communicate and who are on top of that lot innumerate. One thing that teachers are faced with today, that they weren't faced with when I was at school - they did not have to teach their subjects to children whose second language was English.

The reality is that life is not fair and people are not equal, we are all individuals with varying skills and talents, some more marketable than others - one size does not fit all and it never will.


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Subject: RE: BS: Choice of education
From: Raggytash
Date: 21 Apr 17 - 03:35 AM

And there you have it ..........the "wisdom" of an uneducated oaf.

No knowledge or understanding of education and a touch of racism to boot.


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