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May 16, 2007

Comments

Jane Henry

Hmm, you've got me there, Dave. Clearly the way the present education system is there are far too many kids from poorer backgrounds getting no chance from day one, let alone when they get to secondary school. I think personally secondary schools have got far too big, and it is all to easy for children to get lost there.

Have to fess up to being a grammar school girl here, and in my day it DID offer poorer kids a step up. I went to school with plenty of girls whose parents were bus drivers, and whose mums were dinnerladies - the rich kids were actually few and far between. We were middle class and poor.

I don't think poverty is always about lack of money though, but sometimes about lack of aspiration - and of course there is the rub. How can you have aspirations if everyone is telling you that where you're going is rubbish.

I can see of course that the old grammar school/secondary modern divide was deeply divisive and damaging for the kids who didn't get into the grammar and therefore felt they had failed, but I think the sense of failure is now inculcated in our children much much younger.

Lord alone knows what the answer is, but I suspect this isn't it.

I think I would probably prefer to see smaller more localised schools, where the aim is excellence for all, and EVERY child is encouraged to reach their full potential, whether it be at the bottom of the rung, or the top of it.

Jane.

PS Just heard yesterday that the school my daughter is due to start at in Sept runs a two tier system for grading for GSCE. If you are bright you get put into exams where you can reach A-C grades, if not so bright its C and under - er sounds suspiciously like the GCE/CSE split of our day to me! Wish that those in education would stop pretending that all kids are equally bright/good at sports etc...

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