To find people say X public School is OK because

(389 Posts)
NoComet Tue 03-Sep-13 13:08:14

It gets DCs into Oxbridge and RG universities, a daft justification for choosing a school that costs £15,000 plus a year.

We have a local secondary (not even a true comp as there is some creaming off of bright DC by Grammar schools) that is in Special Measures that has just got two pupils in to Oxbridge.

And this is hardly news, bog standard state secondaries and sixform collages all over the country send DCs to Oxbridge and RG Universities every year.

My very ordinary Welsh Comp sent someone in the year above me to study medicine at Oxford, there were others at prestigious med schools and, now, RG uni's me included.

Yes, private schools are very nice, yes DC avoid some DCs with a bad attitude to education, Yes DC get good sports facilities and yes DC may study a wider range of subjects, esp. MFL.

But in the end your DC will, quite likely end up at exactly the same uni, doing the same course, just with poorer parents!

Talkinpeace Sat 07-Sep-13 20:06:08

No, grammars do badly on value added because almost all of the kids are tutored up to their eyeballs before the 11+ and then slide back to their natural level once the tutoring stops

LadyEdith Sat 07-Sep-13 10:17:29

The state/private argument is nonsense in a way, because motivated aspirational families with kids at state schools have more in common with similar families at private schools than they do with unmotivated families at the state school.

Interesting re Value Added, Retro, I imagine that grammar schools actually come out as average because their pupils come in with high achievement in the first place?

Retroformica Sat 07-Sep-13 10:05:25

I think I would happily send my child to a school (be it comp, grammar, private etc) as long as the value added results for that particular school were above 100 (100 is average). That way i can ensure my child at least reaches his/her expected results at GCSE. Or achieve higher.

I would want to see good 'value added' results next to the GCSE results on the published schools league table results before considering any school to be honest. .

BoffinMum Sat 07-Sep-13 09:51:26

It is permissible to look at a school's GCSE results and see how a student compares to their school's average, however. The type of school is not considered relevant.

BoffinMum Sat 07-Sep-13 09:49:59

Have you reported this, Arnie? Because in the admissions interviewer training people are told this type of discrimination is not permissible.

Arnie123 Sat 07-Sep-13 09:07:48

Taz I have to agree with the old boys network thing. There are a few Cambridge colleges where a state school education will see the door almost always slammed in your face. Thankfully however some colleges have the reverse view and the particular college I went to in some subjects actually positively discriminates towards comprehensive school students.

Arnie123 Sat 07-Sep-13 09:01:08

Then you should know better

Retroformica Sat 07-Sep-13 08:44:14

My kids and I both attend a good state school by the way

Retroformica Sat 07-Sep-13 08:43:03

Our local comp has very poor grades and very poor value added (value added is a national measure of how well a school does with the kids they have). Yes one child amazingly and shockingly got A stars despite the school wishy washy academics but she had Oxford/Cambridge parents and had an unusual determination. I think an average child with little motivation could sink at a low achieving comp. by low achieving comp, I mean less then 45% A to C grades including maths and English

Public schools are excellent at taking average ability kids and ensuring they get top grades. Many of my public school friends would have got C's/B's/D's at GCSE in bog standard state schools instead of A the grades they actually achieved.

Also there is another aspect more important then grades and its the pastoral/care side. Its not necessarily the end product but the journey thats crucial. I think it's easy for an average child to be lost in a class of 33, but less so in a class of 13.

I agree, Taz. At my independent school household incomes ranged from four to seven? eight? figures, and included pupils from all over the world. Now that's variety.

Taz1212 Sat 07-Sep-13 08:30:44

I know the social diversity aspect of state schools is often a big argument against private schools but I disagree. I want my children to be comfortable across the social spectrum and that includes the upper classes/wealthy/however you want to describe it. I come from a very privileged Ivy background and DH comes from a WC background where money was a constant worry.

DH will be the first to say that he is uncomfortable in the private school environment where we send DS and just sees the privilege. I see a mix of backgrounds- kids on full scholarships, kids with parents who just manage to pay the fees, kids from financially comfortable homes and a few from very very well off homes. DH somehow seems to feel as though he doesn't fit in - I just see a load of friendly people with a few wankers much like anywhere in society .

If we kept our kids in our local schools where the demographic makeup is very much low income with a bit of middle income they would miss out on mixing with the other end and honestly, I don't want them growing up like DH who doesn't feel like he fits in what he calls "my world". I'm comfortable anywhere and I want my kids to be too.

flatmum Sat 07-Sep-13 08:22:05

If you work in the City (and want your children involved in that kind of thing) I am afraid you will find that public/independent school education still does almost guarantee entry (particularly onto the intern or graduate programs). the kind of spoon-fed, pampered people who have never faced adversity are massively over-represented there. I would suspect it similar in the big law and accountancy firms? (and grammar schools) wrong, of course, but what parent wouldn't help their child or give
then a pleasant lifestyle / send them to a pleasant school where they are less likely to be bullied and have access to good facilities if they could I suppose.

equally, as has been described, the other people I know who have got it good now are the ones that left school with no qualification and became builders etc and now run their own businesses or have large property portfolios.

it's the kids in the middle that can fall down the cracks, as ever, it seems to me.

I know there is litte scientific study but anecdotally I am more than happy to believe that many more people working in technology (myself included) than average are on the autistic spectrum / have Asperger's syndrome. I see this every working day.

RawCoconutMacaroon Sat 07-Sep-13 08:09:36

Fair points- I guess both myself and my DS (both diagnosed dyslexic), are very much lateral thinkers and see different solutions - for my DS this gives him an edge in uni maths and physics but at school it was a problem as the courses and the marking schemes are narrow and don't promote much individuality of thought.

As to many exceptionally high iq students lacking in social graces - well yes, but is that because they have not spent time mixing, or because their brains are that bit different? DS1 (current Oxford medic), edge of spectrum (his words), exceptional intellect (my words!) has said he's surrounded by people like his brother (who has Aspergers), at his college. I think being very academic often goes along with having a different way of thinking and socialising just because different brains work in different ways... It's not because they don't mix with enough people because their heads are in books, but because they don't want to mix because they are not so good a mixing iykwim?

Thanks for clarifying. I can see why you would hold that position but because my experience of state schools and private schools are very different from yours (I went to both) I don't agree with you grin

BoffinMum Sat 07-Sep-13 08:06:48

Well my job is actually working in the field wink

Arnie123 Sat 07-Sep-13 08:00:22

The bit about dyslexia and thought processing is not my opinion it is scientific fact. My hobby is reading about psychology (it was also part of my degree). This is based upon what leading educational psychologists believe I can even reference you scientific articles and books on the subject if you wish. However you are correct that a lot of dyslexics do go down a bad route too.

BoffinMum Sat 07-Sep-13 07:58:00

I agree with the stuff about spoonfed Cambridge students though. About 10% of them struggle because if being taught too well at school and never having suffered any adversity at all.

BoffinMum Sat 07-Sep-13 07:54:18

Bollocks Arnie, sorry. There is no scientific evidence whatsoever that dyslexia does this. Dyslexics also are massively over represented in our prison population. Branson was in the right place at the right time, with sufficient working capital and a good idea. Like all successful entrepreneurs, ultimately.

Arnie123 Sat 07-Sep-13 07:50:50

Howeve I should point out there are also examples of people who struggle badly with social interaction who have gone on to great success. A scientific study estimated that 40% of Silicon Valley employees have Asperger's syndrome and Bill Gates is widely rumoured to have it. However when it comes to certain areas like computing and physics Asperger's is actually an advantage as sufferers have superior logic and mathematical skills.

Arnie123 Sat 07-Sep-13 07:42:59

Raw coconut well said. Richard Branson is a good example of someone who failed academically due to in his case sever dyslexia. Interestingly his dyslexia has probably helped him in business as dyslexics have a different method of thought processing and tend to be very unique and lateral thinkers

Arnie123 Sat 07-Sep-13 07:38:23

The comprehensive theory about expanding more socially is not scientific fact that is merely my own opinion. I think mixing with people from a diverse background and not being spoon fed academic information is far more important. When I got into Cambridge I did it because I taught myself a levels. I actually used to skip school to stay at home and study as it was a far more efficient use of my time than going to classes eg with an alcoholic physics teacher who turned up drunk half the time. I complained about him but no one did anything however I understand he quit shortly after due to a nervous breakdown. This meant I had to rely on myself and learn how to teach myself stuff. This was massively useful at Cambridge as I beat the other students in exams. I am lucky to have had the opportunity to mix with all different type of people from different backgrounds. I taught as a college supervisor at Cambridge for about 8 years. Although I am not denying there were some exceptionally bright public school students I found a lot of them were somewhat socially inept and struggled to learn unless the information was handed to them on a plate. They seemed to lack the ability to think for themselves. I just think state schools give people a more well rounded upbringing

RawCoconutMacaroon Fri 06-Sep-13 23:00:21

No, Alan sugar has a high iq as well as a high social iq - the two are not mutually exclusive.
Many people are failed by the education system for one reason or another, but the fact that you've left school at 15 or 16 with no qualifications doesn't change your innate iq. I am one of those left school at 15 with no qualifications, I did them years later to gain uni place, diagnosed dyslexic in my first year at uni, iq tested as part of that, as off the scale iq. I was told the test graded up to 150 but I had scored considerably over that banding.

My intelligence didn't suddenly change, I was just as clever (whatever that even means) at school, but at that point, education was failing me, and I think that's where social iq comes in to the equation - many kids with dyslexia and other barriers to learning develop superior social skills to cover up the educational problems they are having (I've seen this in my own DC too). The class clown, the cool kid, the over chatty kid who charms the teacher but never gets things down on paper...
The other poster commenting on the superior eq/social skills in many prisoners makes an interesting point (and the rate of dyslexia and similar barriers to learning is shockingly high, >25%), lots of people failed by our education system end up using those superior social skills in ways deemed not acceptable by society...

I fought (and still am fighting), my DC's corners pretty hard to make sure they got access to the academic education and special provision they needed (state school btw) to avoid them going down the same "school failure" route as me. We succeeded with that.

I'm not even sure what I'm trying to say here! I guess that I maybe don't think it's great that some successful people, who've overcome a crappy educational experience a school maybe because they were bright enough or talented enough to start a business doesn't excuse the ruined life chances of the many many other capable young people who are written off at school for one reason or another, and who don't manage to recover from that. Schools should be BETTER than this. But I'm rambling now. Too much Fri night alcohol grin!

revealall Fri 06-Sep-13 22:27:55

I noticed that a lot of the low/middle achievers at my crap comprehensive have done well because of the complete non expectation academically. They have all gone on to work their way up and most run their own businesses.
Conversely those with the "pressure" at a pretty shit comprehensive went through the motions and got no where.

Scarily most of the latter were female. I see a definite line between the ones who went to Uni and then got married and do a run of the mill job compared to those who got jobs did their own thing (successfully) and then are married later. Maybe just me but I have noticed the trend where I live.

I don't see why a basic comprehensive gives more opportunity to develop socially. Could you expand?

TeacakeEater Fri 06-Sep-13 22:12:37

I had read that prison inmates score highly on emotional intelligence.

My observation of the bit I've seen of Alan Sugar via the media is that he is very astute. That's intelligent but without the qualifications, I reckon!

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