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I spend so much time shouting at the radio these days... - Helen's journal and online home
heleninwales
heleninwales
I spend so much time shouting at the radio these days...
Over in a FB group I'm a member of, someone is extolling the virtues of the selective system and saying that the only reason it failed in the past is because it was supposed to be a 3-tier system of Grammar, Technical High and Secondary Modern, not just a 2-tier system of Grammar or Secondary Mod. However, despite Manchester having that 3-tier system back when I sat my 11-plus, I am still absolutely anti-selection at 11.

I'm not saying that out of sour grapes either. I passed for grammar and was very miserable at school, partly because I'd been separated from my best friend at junior school (who didn't pass). However, the main problem was that despite being very bright and being put in the top stream throughout my time at secondary school, I was not academic, the traditional ways of teaching did not work for me, and I left with a bunch of mediocre O-levels and two grade Es at A-level. It wasn't until I was in my mid-30s and started an OU degree that I finally learned how to "do" the academic thing. I now have 3 degrees (two 2.1s and a First) Yes, I suspect there as a bit of overcompensation for past failures there! :) But also it was that I really loved learning once I was allowed to do it in my own way. Meanwhile, my husband who also passed the 11-plus was expelled from his grammar school because he wouldn't conform. Grammar schools only suit those who are amenable to fitting in with the traditional ethos.

Current Mood: irate quietly fuming

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Comments
seaivy From: seaivy Date: September 9th, 2016 04:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
i'm soooo glad we don't have your system!!
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: September 10th, 2016 08:14 am (UTC) (Link)
We don't have the grammar school system at the moment either. It was how things were back in the 1960s and earlier, but from the mid-1960s onwards, almost every county changed to what we call the comprehensive system whereby children just move at the age of 11 from primary school to their local secondary school where they stay until they leave at 18. (Or they may stay until 16 and then move to a Sixth Form College, but there's no selection at 11 any more.)

Just a few areas kept the selective system (known as the 11-plus) but now the Tories are entrenched in power due to Labour completely disintegrating as any sort of viable opposition party, there have been demands to open new grammar schools under the mistaken belief that it will "raise standards".

There are so many things wrong with this suggestion that it would take a lengthy article to discuss and dismiss them all, but idiots are suggesting it, hence why I'm shouting at the radio so much. :(
cmcmck From: cmcmck Date: September 9th, 2016 04:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Coming as I do from a not very well off working class background, I made the error of passing to a Grammar school too and I utterly loathed it!
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: September 10th, 2016 08:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I was from an aspiring working class family who desperately wanted their kids to do better than they had, but traditional teaching didn't suit me and I didn't shine academically until I found the OU and supported self-study.

But the idea that you can take a bright kid from a sink estate and, by putting them into a grammar school full of middle class, well off kids, you will help them climb the social class system is so simplistic as to be laughable. It isolates the child from their old friends they knew at junior school (and leaves them open to bullying when they're the only kid on the estate in a grammar school uniform) and makes it really hard for them to fit in and make new friends at secondary because their family background is so different to everyone else's.
cmcmck From: cmcmck Date: September 10th, 2016 11:24 am (UTC) (Link)
The issue here appears to be that not only was May a grammar school product and has a bee in her bonnet, but that her former special adviser from her home office days also does and that's a pretty poisonous combo imo.

I was the only working class kid from the prefabs and given my other issues and a single sex school, you can probably imagine..........

Edited at 2016-09-10 11:24 am (UTC)
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