Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bad grammar

After getting it howlingly wrong yesterday – thanks to everyone who posted – I’ve read up a bit on the Tripartite system.

Blimey. Had assumed that ‘76, in banning selection on grounds of ability, saw the end of the grammar school system, and what remained were entrance exams for particular, snobby schools (like mine).

Turns out it’s all a lot more complex than that, depending on where you live. And it’s got more complex as time has gone on.
“Estelle Morris has left us with independent schools, over 160 grammar schools, church and faith schools, specialist schools, advanced specialist schools, beacon schools, city academies, city technology colleges, ‘fresh start’ schools, ‘contract’ schools – in addition to ‘ordinary’ comprehensives and secondary moderns. No wonder many parents are confused!”

Clyde Chitty, “The right to a comprehensive education”, Second Caroline Benn memorial lecture, 16 November 2002.

Chitty’s lecture is really interesting; an honest assessment of the pros and cons of the comprehensive system. Wikipedia also links to Michael Portillo’s counter-argument, in favour of grammar schools’ elitism.

Admissions policy is, of course, a major part of the newly unveiled Education Bill. "There will be no return to the 11-plus,’ said the White Paper. Oh yes?

I’ve muttered before that foundation schools seem very able to keep out the wrong sorts. Admissions policies suit the schools rather than the pupils. Imagine if, for example, hospitals decided only to treat the “right sort” of sickness, rather than the immediate needs of the surrounding community.

Oh, hang on, that’s what they’re doing.


Anonymous said...

In my experience, the only snobs in my home town were the ones who *didn't* go to the grammar school, who immediately assumed great hauteur and entitlement issues, and declared undying hatred upon the likes of me simply because I was obliged to attend a different institution to them.

0tralala said...

Yeah, I can see how that'd happen.

Though kids from different schools are always going to bicker, whatever the reasons for who went to which school, your example doesn't disprove the idea that segregation splits the community.

Anonymous said...

Indeed. It was rather aimed at demonstrating that it was not my school that was "snobby", but, somewhat ironically, those who failed to get into it.

Anonymous said...

Selection does not exisit in Wales, Scotland and it is going in Northern Ireland. It should end here in England too.

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