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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:45 am 
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I'm not talking about the league tables which change year to year. The leading article of yesterday's Parent Power illustrates the headaches many parents feel when choosing secondary schools - and the problems seem to be unchanged for many years already.

I quote the first half of the article which is available to subscribers at https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/seco ... -ltn7zsvmb


"Education in this country is a tale of two halves. No, not the familiar one of state-funded versus private education, though that comes into it, but rather the contrasting outcomes at primary and secondary levels.

As Parent Power reported last week, inner-city schools in the poorer parts of London and elsewhere are starring. Yet today’s tables for secondary schools show that there is not a single high-flying secondary school in any of those areas, and very few even in our online table of 500 state secondary schools.

Some of the children from the outstanding primary schools will have joined the throng criss-crossing our cities every day on their way to the best schools. Others, if they can hang in there, will have the opportunity of going to a first-class sixth-form college, such as the London Academy of Excellence, in Newham. But many miss out.

Sir Michael Wilshaw highlighted this issue when he was the schools’ watchdog. In 2016, he spoke powerfully about the depressing trend of the brightest children from disadvantaged backgrounds who fail to make the progress in secondary school that could have been expected from their earlier achievements.

Parent Power’s tables for secondary schools bring out just how uneven the provision is. There is huge regional disparity. Of the top 150 state secondary schools, 38 are in the southeast, but only one is in the northeast. There is also asymmetry in the school types. Only 20 of the top 150 are comprehensives, with the rest either grammar schools (121) or partly selective (9).

All the comprehensives, however, are selective in some way. Twelve are faith-based. Six are Jewish — astonishingly, almost half of all Jewish secondary schools. Five are Christian and one is Muslim. Two are boarding schools where education is state-funded, but there is a charge for boarding. The rest are in prosperous areas so, in effect, it is selection by house prices".


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:31 pm 
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sandy09 wrote:

As Parent Power reported last week, inner-city schools in the poorer parts of London and elsewhere are starring. Yet today’s tables for secondary schools show that there is not a single high-flying secondary school in any of those areas, and very few even in our online table of 500 state secondary schools.

Some of the children from the outstanding primary schools will have joined the throng criss-crossing our cities every day on their way to the best schools. Others, if they can hang in there, will have the opportunity of going to a first-class sixth-form college, such as the London Academy of Excellence, in Newham. But many miss out.

Sir Michael Wilshaw highlighted this issue when he was the schools’ watchdog. In 2016, he spoke powerfully about the depressing trend of the brightest children from disadvantaged backgrounds who fail to make the progress in secondary school that could have been expected from their earlier achievements.

Parent Power’s tables for secondary schools bring out just how uneven the provision is. There is huge regional disparity. Of the top 150 state secondary schools, 38 are in the southeast, but only one is in the northeast. There is also asymmetry in the school types. Only 20 of the top 150 are comprehensives, with the rest either grammar schools (121) or partly selective (9).



The above will hopefully help those who malign parents for trying to get their children into a good school. Depressing as it is.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:49 pm 
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bridge wrote:
sandy09 wrote:

As Parent Power reported last week, inner-city schools in the poorer parts of London and elsewhere are starring. Yet today’s tables for secondary schools show that there is not a single high-flying secondary school in any of those areas, and very few even in our online table of 500 state secondary schools.

Some of the children from the outstanding primary schools will have joined the throng criss-crossing our cities every day on their way to the best schools. Others, if they can hang in there, will have the opportunity of going to a first-class sixth-form college, such as the London Academy of Excellence, in Newham. But many miss out.

Sir Michael Wilshaw highlighted this issue when he was the schools’ watchdog. In 2016, he spoke powerfully about the depressing trend of the brightest children from disadvantaged backgrounds who fail to make the progress in secondary school that could have been expected from their earlier achievements.

Parent Power’s tables for secondary schools bring out just how uneven the provision is. There is huge regional disparity. Of the top 150 state secondary schools, 38 are in the southeast, but only one is in the northeast. There is also asymmetry in the school types. Only 20 of the top 150 are comprehensives, with the rest either grammar schools (121) or partly selective (9).



The above will hopefully help those who malign parents for trying to get their children into a good school. Depressing as it is.


Nothing against sensible and legal action with that aim.

But those who post what is essentially a request for others to collude with them in breaking the law - and in the process doing down those DC with a rightful claim on the place into which the poster is attempting to manoeuvre their own - will continue to earn my opprobrium.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:50 pm 
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When comparing comprehensive schools to selective school we need to compare top set comp classes to selective schools ( who are all presumably all equivalent to top set).

Apples with apples not apples and oranges !!.....the clue is in the word " comprehensive" :roll:


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:15 pm 
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ToadMum wrote:
bridge wrote:
sandy09 wrote:

Nothing against sensible and legal action with that aim.

But those who post what is essentially a request for others to collude with them in breaking the law - and in the process doing down those DC with a rightful claim on the place into which the poster is attempting to manoeuvre their own - will continue to earn my opprobrium.



Not sure which poster you're referring to. Hope that is not me :wink: ! I don't think the writer is suggesting any collusion either, he's simply stating the facts that many children criss cross the country, legally of course, to get to secondary schools that suits them. I'm reminded of Michelle Obama who recalled in her Becoming book that she used to take 2 buses for 1.5 hours each way to get to her magnet (selective) middle school in Chicago.

Totally agree that anyone trying illegally to get a school place should be frowned upon. We don't want to tell our children that we got you a school place because we did and that. Nor we want them to spend hours commuting. That's precisely where the predicament is.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 4:11 pm 
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Quote:
Totally agree that anyone trying illegally to get a school place should be frowned upon.


The solution to this is convert at least one school in very county as selective school and hold a national exam for entrance.

If there is catchment concept it creates a division and people will always try to jump the wall from other side.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:57 pm 
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jxp wrote:
Quote:
Totally agree that anyone trying illegally to get a school place should be frowned upon.


The solution to this is convert at least one school in very county as selective school and hold a national exam for entrance.

If there is catchment concept it creates a division and people will always try to jump the wall from other side.


John Major suggested this in 1997 - didn't get elected so he was unable to implement it


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 6:01 pm 
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jxp wrote:
Quote:
Totally agree that anyone trying illegally to get a school place should be frowned upon.


The solution to this is convert at least one school in very county as selective school and hold a national exam for entrance.

If there is catchment concept it creates a division and people will always try to jump the wall from other side.

So how would you choose who went to each school? One grammar school on each county would just stoke the frenzy further & have children traveling from one end of the county to the other.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:07 am 
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Quote:
So how would you choose who went to each school? One grammar school on each county would just stoke the frenzy further & have children traveling from one end of the county to the other.


A national exam can have a ranking system where parents can choose which school to send.
or just restrict to their local selective school.

Catchment area tests parents' financial ability more than candidates capabilities. Decent houses in selective schools' catchment areas are excessively priced (especially in South East).

Those who can't afford to move (and having no selective school in their county) is penalized.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:37 am 
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This argument rumbles on and on. jxp your system would lead to what most Grammar School heads are desparately trying to get away from which is children travelling ridiculous journeys trying to get to schools which they then don't fully engage with as their days would be far too long. And parents desparately trying to work out how to transport their children on ridiculous journeys, having suddenly realised that (facetious comment coming up!) a) they have to fund it and b) there are no suitable transportation vehicles to get their child there as they can't possibly travel with members of the opposite sex/the public/the great unwashed etc etc or c) that there really isn't any public transport options because the journey is not standard. As scary mum points out some counties are so huge, it takes longer to travel from one end to the other than crossing London from North to South.

An easier option would be to remove selective schools entirely and introduce an American system whereby you go to your local school only.


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