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Thread: Poor children at the back of the queue for good schools says Barnardos

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    Poor children at the back of the queue for good schools says Barnardos

    I have seen this sort of view many times during my life.
    Manipulation has been attempted in various forms to prevent this happening and comprehensives were a part of that exercise too.
    I believe the exercise failed as keeping children in their own communities is likely to have the reverse effect of that intended.

    I was lucky? enough to pass the 11 plus examination and hence moved out of my local council house estate community to be introduced to much higher standards expected of pupils in grammar school. In general terms my fellow pupils at roughly similar ability at primary school did not blossom at the local comprehensive.

    I hope Barnardos will not start another attempt at localising education; spreading pupils around a range of schools might be a better option while possibly achieving the charity's intentions. Also please re-introduce technical schools for the less academic!

    http://www.barnardos.org.uk/news_and....htm?ref=60661
    Last edited by soloman; 27-08-2010 at 08:45 AM. Reason: Added link

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    Re: Poor children at the back of the queue for good schools says Barnardos

    Quote Originally Posted by soloman View Post
    I have seen this sort of view many times during my life.
    Manipulation has been attempted in various forms to prevent this happening and comprehensives were a part of that exercise too.
    I believe the exercise failed as keeping children in their own communities is likely to have the reverse effect of that intended.

    I was lucky? enough to pass the 11 plus examination and hence moved out of my local council house estate community to be introduced to much higher standards expected of pupils in grammar school. In general terms my fellow pupils at roughly similar ability at primary school did not blossom at the local comprehensive.

    I hope Barnardos will not start another attempt at localising education; spreading pupils around a range of schools might be a better option while possibly achieving the charity's intentions. Also please re-introduce technical schools for the less academic!

    Barnardo's I Press Releases I The shame of Britain's intolerance of children
    I would agree with you that many of the attempts at social manipulation in education have been an unmitigated disaster. There's very clear evidence that children from deprived areas do far worse educationally and much of the blame for this, especially from left wingers, has been placed on 'the system'. I've long been sceptical of this and believe it's far more to do with the aspirations of parents in poorer areas, or should I say the frequent lack of aspirations of parents in poorer areas - this is, to a large extent, what's keeping them there in the first place and is often passed on to their children who receive little to no educational encouragement. What really opened my eyes to this was something in last week's TV documentary on faith schools, presented by Richard Dawkins (Faith School Menace? - Channel 4). There's a widespread perception that children at faith schools are educationally better than their peers at secular schools, however there's been a large study of I think half a million children carried out by the LSE which has shown virtually no difference, based on a comparison of schools in similar areas; it's all down to the aspirations that parents have for their children, and those receiving the greatest encouragement at home - not necessarily those from intelligent or wealthy parents either - virtually always out-perform those who receive no encouragement.

    The biggest risk to our educational future is not so much the system itself, although it leaves a great deal to be desired, but in us having generation after generation of families who don't believe they can do anything to change their lives, and I suspect often can't be bothered to even try as long as the state provides welfare money for their housing, fattening fast food, beer and cigarettes! There's no drive, no competitiveness, no aspiration for anything better, no belief in self-worth..., and many schools in poorer areas seem to have fallen into the same trap of not being bothered to do more than the basics; educationally poor children in, educationally poor children out - the socialist experiment in schools has a great deal to answer to! With all the resources available to us today, many of them totally free, there's absolutely no excuse for parents not to do as much as they can to ensure that their children are helped and encouraged as much as possible, yet so many just can't be bothered, breeding yet another generation of people who are themselves doomed to the same life as their parents; you'd think there'd be an incentive not to follow the same old path, but seemingly for the majority that just isn't the case
    Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant only an intellectual could ignore it - Thomas Sowell

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    Re: Poor children at the back of the queue for good schools says Barnardos

    Surely this is not news to anyone? It's always been the case that those who could afford to move into a better catchment area did so.
    What we need is a radical rethink of our whole attitude to education, until we accept that there is no one size fits all in education we are going to fail our children. Why do we expect a fifteen year old who cannot read to pass GCSEs? Surely it would be better for such children to leave school with a certificate based on attendence and practical skills so that time can be spent addressing whatever reasons are behind their inability to read and addressing it so in the very least they leave being able to read to a basic standard and manage a household budget etc. Far better for them to enter adulthood with a strong reference from their head teacher and the basic ability to look after themselves.
    At the other end of the scale, it is phenomenally sad that gifted academic children are forced to learn "dumbed down" versions of subjects, I'm specifically thinking of that anacronism "combined science" - three very seperate disciplines combined into one, where exactly are our future doctors and engineers supposed to come from? I would therefore propose a three or four tier system of secondary education including largely vocational education through to academic disciplines, however this must include fluidity between schools as it is a fact that children develope at different rates and a child who is not academic at 11 may very well be so by 16, and so that no child feels trapped by a label given to them early by the educational establishment.
    How do we tackle the disdain placed in the home towards education though? I really don't know, but I think the Sure Start programmes were beginning to address some of the fundamental problems there (proving that not all "social engineering" is a bad thing). Somehow we need to replace the idea that the only way to be successful is to be a football player or a pop star/ model and hold up hairdressers, builders, lawers, doctors, firemen, teachers etc. as the real heros.
    "The people who have sacrificed their view in order to get to the top have very often left no footprints in the sands of time." Tony Benn

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    Re: Poor children at the back of the queue for good schools says Barnardos

    I agree with Midas, these days I think the systems and resources are in place to allow children from almost any social or economic background to succeed in the chosen field. Yes, some will find it more difficult than others, and yes wealthier, more affluent schools have more ability to give children these opportunities (whether they take them or not is another issue), but these days no child is denied opportunities by their school. What causes the low education levels of poorer children is factors outside of the school system, as Midas suggested parents, but also wider social issues, or lack thereof. Tackling these issues will in turn lead to a far greater impact on children than just throwing money at a system that can't really do much more short of mandatory boarding.

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    Re: Poor children at the back of the queue for good schools says Barnardos

    It is interesting how that Barnardo's article contrasted 'able and articulate' parents with 'poor' parents. I think that's a fair generalization. I don't think money should be spent on children who are being brought up by parent/s emerged in a culture where education isn't valued anyway.

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    Re: Poor children at the back of the queue for good schools says Barnardos

    Quote Originally Posted by DC View Post
    I agree with Midas, these days I think the systems and resources are in place to allow children from almost any social or economic background to succeed in the chosen field. Yes, some will find it more difficult than others, and yes wealthier, more affluent schools have more ability to give children these opportunities (whether they take them or not is another issue), but these days no child is denied opportunities by their school. What causes the low education levels of poorer children is factors outside of the school system, as Midas suggested parents, but also wider social issues, or lack thereof. Tackling these issues will in turn lead to a far greater impact on children than just throwing money at a system that can't really do much more short of mandatory boarding.
    Regrettably the issue is much more complicated than many realise.
    Starting with primary schools.
    Commonly children being late or absent is because their parent(s) single or otherwise cannot get up in the morning.
    Homework frequently given out even at first schools is not completed because their parent(s) have other ideas and cannot or will not assist to complete.
    Schools sending books home to read bring them back unread as parent(s) cannot read themselves to assist.
    If letters are sent home to parents/guardians ref. absence or other matters cause no reaction because so many parent(s) cannot read themselves. Increasingly it is grandparents who can and do help in this regard.
    Schools find huge benefits in children's learning ability by offering pre-school breakfasts; most of us don't function well without breakfast to start the day, but many parent (s) cannot or will not provide this essential themselves.
    The curriculum proscribed by successive governments is so tight that although assistance with reading is provided at school, the number requiring it at inner city schools for example is so large that not all can recieve it; in affluent areas a lot more of the older generation regularly give of their time free of charge to help pupils learn to read.

    I could go on, but I have said enough to demonstrate that simply waiving a wand is not likely to cure the huge problem exposed here; this basically is a social problem which needs addressing in new ways.

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    Re: Poor children at the back of the queue for good schools says Barnardos

    Quote Originally Posted by silentmist View Post
    It is interesting how that Barnardo's article contrasted 'able and articulate' parents with 'poor' parents. I think that's a fair generalization. I don't think money should be spent on children who are being brought up by parent/s emerged in a culture where education isn't valued anyway.
    How many amazing people have emerged from the most unlikely situations. Education is the equalizer or should be. No matter what someone's background is they shouldn't be condemned to it for the rest of their lives. No one picks their parents or the country they are born in, these things are out of our control. No matter what people think, teachers are meant to over come what barriers are present however there is a lack of training in this department. Teaching is seen as one lesson for all and anyone who can't over come their own barriers are lost in the system. It has long been known that not everyone learns the same yet lessons are presented in one way, the unfortunate part of this is that less people learn the way teachers are taught to teach.

    They bang their heads wondering why students don't get it but it is quite the reverse in my opinion teachers don't get it and the ones who do are less likely to be supported by managers as the managers are also trained to grade teachers by a false set of standards that make it look like the teacher is in control of the class when really all it shows is that there is authority present, not teaching. Children are not taught to learn they are taught what to expect on the exam and they practice jumping through such hoops creating even more barriers to the next years demands.

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    Re: Poor children at the back of the queue for good schools says Barnardos

    Quote Originally Posted by silentmist View Post
    It is interesting how that Barnardo's article contrasted 'able and articulate' parents with 'poor' parents. I think that's a fair generalization. I don't think money should be spent on children who are being brought up by parent/s emerged in a culture where education isn't valued anyway.
    The problem there is that would result in an even worse system than we have now, with a whole generation of children being consigned to receiving second rate education based on a subjective analysis of their parent's abilities and attitude. Surely the approach should be to teach children, especially those from such backgrounds, the value of self reliance and self responsibility, and offer extra help where needed, so the cycle can be broken?

    I do have to say I agree completely with Opinionated when she mentioned the need for a "three or four tier system of secondary education including largely vocational education through to academic disciplines". We have to realise that not everyone is the same and that different children, irrespective of their social or economic background, have different degrees of both ability and aspiration. A good educational system should be able to cope with this, and be able to stream children according to what they're best at and customise (as much as is possible in mass education) their education so they can be taught subjects and skills appropriate to their abilities, whether they're going to end up as semi-skilled workers or top flight surgeons. Different types of secondary schools is by far the best way to address this problem, especially if those at the vocational level have significant ties with local industry for further 'on the job' training and apprenticeships. All types of workers are equally important to our society and all should receive the best education we can give them according to their individual abilities. The concept of trying to educate children en masse, treating them as if they were all the same, has been an abject failure, resulting in a generation of mediocre performers with little ambition and hardly any specialised training; having been in a position as an employer for many years, I've seen the results of this downhill slide far too many times.
    Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant only an intellectual could ignore it - Thomas Sowell

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    Re: Poor children at the back of the queue for good schools says Barnardos

    Quote Originally Posted by silentmist View Post
    It is interesting how that Barnardo's article contrasted 'able and articulate' parents with 'poor' parents. I think that's a fair generalization. I don't think money should be spent on children who are being brought up by parent/s emerged in a culture where education isn't valued anyway.
    Yeah that's a super idea lets punish the children further for the failings of their parents, who were themselves failed by both their parents and a system that didn't offer them a viable alternative!
    Quote Originally Posted by Midas
    All types of workers are equally important to our society and all should receive the best education we can give them according to their individual abilities. The concept of trying to educate children en masse, treating them as if they were all the same, has been an abject failure
    Amen! However, it is also important that we bare in mind that education shouldn't be solely about creating a workforce, it should also be about expanding wider horizons and social skills etc.
    "The people who have sacrificed their view in order to get to the top have very often left no footprints in the sands of time." Tony Benn

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    Re: Poor children at the back of the queue for good schools says Barnardos

    Many children are affected by a culture of rebellion where they are encouraged to fail at education. Particularly boys. Only when they are removed from that self destructive community can they discover other aspects of themselves. Pouring more resources into that rebellious culture would simply give it more fuel to rebel.

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