It’s a reasonable enough argument…..

New grammar schools are needed to stop rich families dominating best state schools through ‘selection by house price’, says Theresa May

Just last week we had a report that houses in catchment areas of good schools cost £50k more.

Of course, the response from the left will just be that we must have busing to overcome economic segregation.

35 comments on “It’s a reasonable enough argument…..

  1. They were talking on Today about coming up with an 11+ exam that is immune to coaching to stop the middle class advantage. Good luck with that one.

    Part of the problem is lack of aspiration, as we’ve discussed before, and an inverse snobbery when it comes to education. I’ve seen it in my own family, deriding “posh” schools.

  2. I couldn’t work out what people were banging on about when they kept saying “more grammars!” until I realised it was code for “selective schooling!”. But we already do that. Pupils are setted/streamed according to their ability in each subject.

    “No, we want selection *by* *school*” – Why? How? What school do you go to if you’re good in science but crap in english (like me) or good in maths and good in carpentry (like my brother).

    Ah, what they really mean is “let my kids escape from being with the riff raff without me having to pay school fees for it”. Get the popcorn in for the blazing rows when Mr & Mrs Organic-Aubergene finally get a gammar school in their town, but young Jocaster “qualifies” for the secondary modern.

  3. Would these schools get actual teachers who could and would teach the 3Rs + science etc.
    Would inter pupil competition be allowed?
    And so forth.
    Back in the fifties that was what worked. Not fancy real estate.

  4. If the system that replaced the grammar schools was any good, then no-one would have missed them. As it is, comprehensive schools are recognised as being generally shite. After all, if they provided a good education then Labour politicians wouldn’t be sending their kids to private schools, or deriding them as “bog-standard comprehensives”. At least some of them recognise that grammar schools can give their kids a good education: http://order-order.com/2016/09/07/corbynistas-sent-kids-grammar-schools/

    The sole reason for abolishing the grammar schools was to fix the non-problem that “the trouble with grammar schools is that they take kids from good Labour families and turn them into fucking Tories” (Richard Crossman). The Labour party has always hated social mobility, as when people start to have a bit more cash in their pocket, they tend to stop voting for the cretinous Labour policies of soaking the “rich”.

  5. Names have little value.

    Without the demise of leftism in education (and society in general) at all levels attempted change is in vain.

    You cannot recall bygone excellence to life by renaming/re-designating a few state-run shitholes.

  6. “The sole reason for abolishing the grammar schools was to fix the non-problem that “the trouble with grammar schools is that they take kids from good Labour families and turn them into fucking Tories” (Richard Crossman)”

    No, it was to abolish the distinctions within the teaching ‘profession’.

  7. Rather than segregation by school, why can they not improve the schools that most kids go to?
    Perhaps a longer teaching day, more homework, better teachers, better facilities, actually educating the kids rather than babysitting?

  8. Rather than segregation by school, why can they not improve the schools that most kids go to?
    Perhaps a longer teaching day, more homework, better teachers, better facilities, actually educating the kids rather than babysitting?

    AIUI that’s the basic idea behind the Free Schools system.

    And that has been done while managing all the tantrums coming from the teaching “profession”.

  9. The response from the left ,at least the Labour Land Campaign, was to call for that old TW favourite LVT to be levied on the high house price areas round the good comps with the proceeds going to the poorer schools to improve themselves. Seems sensible. Will encounter opposition from the faintly fascist class which believes that the good work of the good schools should increase the wealth of the homeowners in the area.

  10. “coming up with an 11+ exam that is immune to coaching to stop the middle class advantage. Good luck with that one.”

    It wouldn’t be very hard. Presumably coaching will help with the attainment part of the exam. IQ tests, on the other hand, after a little coaching quickly saturate; further coaching has no measurable effect. So all it needs is (i) a little bit of IQ test coaching for everyone in primary school, and (ii) grammar schools to have a reception class for the children who are clever but ignorant i.e. who have done well on the IQ bit but badly on the attainment bit.

    I do like it when problems can be solved easily. Next!

  11. Thievery under threat of state violence is a stock response of the left Reedy–but others are the “fascists”–which is socialism anyway.

  12. Come to think of it, the Grammar School reception class could run in the summer holidays before the children enter the school: six weeks of intense teaching might be enough, given that they are clever. You could even do it with the children as summer boarders in some nearby boarding school, with teachers paid well to do the work. You know the pattern: morning, classes; lunch; early afternoon, classes. Late afternoon, sports. Dinner. Then more classes and prep. Bed.

    Make sure that their are “sports” available for the ill-co-ordinated and those incapable of team work. Nature rambles, or some damn thing.

  13. DBC: …with the proceeds going to the poorer schools to improve themselves.

    Why would they bother to?

    Seems sensible.

    The basic rule of thumb is that if something strikes you as “sensible” it invariably isn’t.

  14. @dearieme

    I’m not entirely sure that a high IQ and a tendency for academic excellence go hand in hand.

    Make sure that their (sic) are “sports” available

    See what I mean 🙂

  15. Grammar schools are all well and good, and I’m in favour of them. But the remaining schools shouldn’t be neglected. We need more vocational education, along the lines of the German system. Unfortunately the female-dominated teaching profession is firmly focused on soft-skills: not many ladies can teach plumbing NVQs. Our education system suffers from producer capture, so I don’t hold out much hope of improvement.

  16. We need more vocational education, along the lines of the German system.

    Absolutely. How many decades has it been now, that we’ve had to import plumbers, plasterers, etc?

    I think the less academic children should be able to start a vocational apprenticeship at 14, so long as English and Maths were still being taught (seeing as those are important to anyone running their own tradesman business). One day a week for two years on those should be plenty to get an O level equivalent, and the rest can be spent in the real world learning real world skills.

  17. A good school will have disciplined pupils and motivated teachers, whatever its label.

    The joy of this initiative is that it diversifies the offer, thereby diluting the power of the Blob.

  18. I’ve always assumed selective education cannot be reintroduced because the ‘wrong’ children will get into them. Lots of Indians, few Muslims or blacks. The demand for quotas would soon ruin the selectivity.

  19. > so long as English and Maths were still being taught (seeing as those are important to anyone running their own tradesman business)

    Nah. Plenty of tradesmen get by with excellent Polish but only a smattering of English. Agreed on the maths, as long as every worked example is based around how to run a small business.
    “If Pavel employs six compatriots all working at minimum wage, how much of his company’s income needs to be cash-in-hand to avoid exceeding the VAT registration threshold?”

  20. Speaking as what I would prefer to call a survivor rather than a beneficiary of the grammar school system, I do wonder.
    The grammar schools & the public schools they ape, produced the managerial & professional classes professionally managed the UK from being a respected world power – when I began my education – towards being a dysfunctional shithole.
    Do we actually need more of this?

  21. @SJW ‘Children at school now get much more homework to do than I ever did.’

    All children at all schools? The breadth of your knowledge is astounding.

  22. Rare is the case where SJW is both accurate and relevant but in this one he is. These days the homework is more a case of tick-box managerialist target reaching bs more volume than value.It is not something to help the teacher determine how best to help students improve their knowledge of the subject matter.

  23. I’d settle for a system which teaches them to string a dozen words together without littering them with “kind of”, “basically”, “you know” and “like”.

  24. Fucking unbelievable that anyone could think that more time spent with shit teachers on loony subjects could actually improve academic performance. It starts at the kindergarten where constant repetition ensures unconscious competence. After that, it’s about intelligent teachers provoking enquiring minds. Funny, it’s much the same becoming good at anything. It’s not the amount of practice alone, but the quality thereof.

  25. @ DBC Reed
    Since Council Tax, which finances the County Councils and Unitary Authorities, is higher for more expensive houses, it is *already* the case that those living near “good” schools subsidise those living near “poor” schools.
    This is in addition to the extra money given to schools which have an above-average number of children entitled to free school meals.
    So giving “poor” schools more money has already been tried and, so far, has failed.

  26. Kids at most schools get and have always got an evanescent fraction of the homework I did. Except we called it ‘prep’, whence the difference. People refuse to believe me when I tell them how long a typical schoolday was.

    New grammar schools would mainly serve to segregate reasonably well-behaved children from the evil bovine rabble they’re forced to mix with at the moment, which segment of society should be counted as tolerably well-educated if they could be taught not to shit themselves.

  27. @john77 ‘Since Council Tax, which finances the County Councils and Unitary Authorities, is higher for more expensive houses, it is *already* the case that those living near “good” schools subsidise those living near “poor” schools.’

    Not to mention the much higher stamp duty, income tax, VAT etc that they pay which subsidises the poorer too. I am sympathetic to ‘kids on free school meals’, but I am most unsympathetic to the notion that this is no-one’s fault. Often, they’re the children of single mothers who had kids with unsuitable men who abandoned them, because they can. These people are their lives are subsidised almost 100% by people living what used to be called ‘normal’ lives, until the likes of SJW came along and wrecked thet.

  28. @BiCR

    ‘Kids at most schools get and have always got an evanescent fraction of the homework I did. Except we called it ‘prep’, whence the difference. People refuse to believe me when I tell them how long a typical schoolday was.’

    Me too. School finished at 4pm every weekday (except Wednesday, when we kicked the fuck out of each other on various sports fields), and prep started at 4.30pm and went on until 7.30pm, in silence, under supervision. Saturday mornings we had a further three hours of prep. Sundays we got off.

  29. “Rather than segregation by school, why can they not improve the schools that most kids go to?”

    It’s generally not about the schools. It’s about the kids (and their parents).

    I was unimpressed with the 2 heads that ran my kids primary school, and quite a number of the teachers. But it’s one of the best rated primary schools in town. But really, it’s about the fact that it’s in the best area of town. Which means the kids are bright and the parents ambitious. They’ll complain about stuff. If the complaints go nowhere (which was mostly the case), they would buy extra books, or do some extra tutoring.

    No-one sees the effect of all that activity. £6bn is spent on private tutoring. What’s the effect of that on a school in a wealthy area?

  30. Interested, when I was in the Sixth Form, the schoolday was 0845 to 1810 followed by prep from 1930 to 2130. Half day on Saturday and no prep, but we had prep on Sunday.

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