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GCSE State/Public Schools

(145 Posts)
Telly Sun 30-Dec-18 12:01:42

According to an article in the Guardian today (30th Dec) private schools are sticking to the old, easier GCSEs. State run schools are far more likley to be using the new exams introduced by Gove, exam only marks. It seems that this will give the public schools an even greater advantage (if that were possible) with regard to uni places, jobs market etc. etc. I have to say that reading this article made me more furious than I have felt for a long time. These hard working children will be disadvantaged and probably for life because of goverment whims.

Ilovecheese Sun 30-Dec-18 14:22:26

Whims? Or deliberate policy?

paddyann Sun 30-Dec-18 14:30:44

Policy I'm sure ,Why do you call Private schools Public down south ?

GrandmaKT Sun 30-Dec-18 14:35:43

Public schools, while being Private are slightly different (in the North and South!) *paddyann". An explanation from

Independent school system in a nutshell

Independent schools and private schools: all schools that are not funded by the state but by tuition fees, gifts and endowments. These terms tend to be used interchangeably for schools ranging from grand public schools to highly selective day schools to tiny local junior schools.

Public schools: historically the most exclusive – and expensive – of boys’ private (mainly boarding) schools.

Boarding schools: schools with facilities for pupils to have a home from home on a termly, weekly or flexible basis, often with superb facilities and a multitude of extracurricular activities. Most now also accept a proportion of day pupils who can benefit from everything on offer but go home to sleep in their own beds.

Prep and pre-prep schools: short for preparator and pre-preparatory schools. Private primary schools for children aged 3 to 7 or 8 (pre-preps) or 7 to 11 or 13 (preps). They prepare pupils for entry to mainly independent secondary schools of all types. Sometimes called junior schools.

Baggs Sun 30-Dec-18 14:45:47

If university and college admissions offices know (which they will) that the old GCSEs were easier, the schools still using them will not have an advantage.

paddyann Sun 30-Dec-18 15:29:11

I went to a state school /convent school that accepted boarders from both the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and as far afield as Italy my day .The pupils from the North were subsidised for their keep as there was no school in their area .It was a girls only school with the boys being seperated at High school age around 11 .That has changed in recent years and its a mixed school without boarders

crystaltipps Sun 30-Dec-18 17:50:09

A lot of private schools chose to do the iGCSEs( international GCSE) NOT because they were easier, but because at the time, they were more challenging than the old coursework- focussed GCSE. They then didn’t appear in the government league tables, but the really posh schools didn’t care about that as they knew parents who sent their children to those schools wouldn’t be thinking of state schools anyhow. Gove made GCSEs more challenging, so now there are complaints that the iGCSE is easier, State schools can’t choose to do iGCSEs , even though they might be more appropriate for their students. Don’t blame the private schools, blame the government, for making a Horlicks of the education system.

absent Sun 30-Dec-18 18:15:44

Universities used to care far more about A level than GCSE results. Is it different now?

grannypauline Sun 17-Feb-19 18:51:57

Time to abolish the private schools and bring them into the state system!

I quote from the Guardian (Aug 2018):
"Finland’s politicians and educational figures recognised that a profoundly unequal education system did not simply reproduce inequality down the generations, but weakened the fabric of the nation itself.

"Following a long period of discussion – which drew in figures from the political right and left, educators and academics – Finland abolished its fee-paying schools and instituted a nationwide comprehensive system from the early 1970s onwards. Not only did such reforms lead to the closing of the attainment gap between the richest and poorest students, it also turned Finland into one of the global educational success stories of the modern era."

The same article also pointed out that the 1964 Labour Party Manifesto promised:
"Labour will set up an educational trust to advise on the best way of integrating the private schools into the state system of education”.

And a Labour Party policy document from the same era stated:
“We are convinced that the nation should now take the decision to end the social inequalities and educational anomalies arising from the existence of a highly influential and privileged private sector of education, outside the state system.”

And what happened ........?

Telly Sun 17-Feb-19 18:57:31

Interesting quote from Finland about an unequal education system weakening the fabric of the nation. I rather think we have excellent examples of this almost everywhere you look in public life in this country. The system is weakening this country.

varian Sun 17-Feb-19 19:40:04

The English so called "public schools" (meaning schools which were originally founded to educate the clever children of the general public) at some point were taken over by the very rich.

It is a moot point whether, in spite of huge advantages in terms of facilities, class sizes and other resources, the products of these schools are, in any real sense, better educated than children who have been educated within the state system, which is usually comprehesive.

What is obvious, however is that the products of these schools aquire certain advantages - an innate (and quite unjustified) sense of superiority- and , most importantly a good network of contacts which will give them a great deal of help in their future careers.

"OK, I know you did not get a very good degree, but would you like to be an unpaid intern in our stockbroking firm?"

"No problem, Mummy and Daddy will fund me and we already have a flat in London"

That's how it works.

Jane10 Sun 17-Feb-19 19:48:22

Ooh I'm busy counting the chips on your shoulders here! Let's close all the private schools and flood the local authority ones. That'll work. Oh wait a minute... hmm

mcem Sun 17-Feb-19 19:54:43

My ( relatively unimportant ) bugbear is the theft of the term Academy!
Academies in Scotland were always senior secondary schools (equivalent of grammar schools) but the term has been hijacked!
Nowadays many Scottish academies have kept the historic titles but are comprehensives and run by LAs.

grannypauline Sun 17-Feb-19 20:04:46

What chips have I got on my shoulders?

lemongrove Sun 17-Feb-19 20:12:41

crystal that’s a good succinct summing up of the situation.

Jane10 👍🏻 Teenagers, at whatever school they are at have to work hard for good results for both GCSE and A levels,
Merely being at a private school does not mean being handed top grades on a plate.

trisher Sun 17-Feb-19 20:23:06

8absent* is quite right Universities look at A level results not at GCSEs.
Getting rid of private education would be a great start. If the rich and powerful had to use the local comp they would soon get an improved education service.

MaizieD Sun 17-Feb-19 20:23:27

Merely being at a private school does not mean being handed top grades on a plate.

That's very debatable. Private school pupils are hothoused through public exams.
Despite this, it has been shown that of state and private school pupils who go the Uni with the same exam grades it is the state school pupils who get the better degrees.

^ Let's close all the private schools and flood the local authority ones.^

You don't have to close them, Jane10. Just nationalise them.

In the meantime, they could have their charitable status removed from them, or state schools be given the same exemptions from VAT etc. Just to level the playing field a bit...

Jane10 Sun 17-Feb-19 20:29:47

For some reason there is a higher percentage of private schools in Edinburgh. Most are 'Merchant Company' schools which were originally set up to educate the children or orphans of locals. They offer a lot of financial support up to and including full scholarships.
People who went to private schools don't look down on others. 'Mummy and Daddy' don't fund everyone who attended a private school and not everyone has a flat in London.
These cartoonish preconceptions say more about the person saying them than anything else.
It's a great pity about the Academies being hijacked. We need a range of schools to suit the range of pupils. The presumption of mainstreaming is leading to enormous difficulties for teachers and pupils. But that's another matter!

lemongrove Sun 17-Feb-19 20:35:40

No MaizieD it is not debateable at all!
Private schools may ( or may not) have better teachers, but the intelligence in the pupil has to be there and the work ethic has to be there for teenagers at any school.
All of them have to work hard for good grades.
I realise that socialists want to nationalise anything that moves, but closing down all private schools would be utterly ridiculous.
Next? No private healthcare, and by logical extension, no expensive holidays or designer clothes or whatever an individual chooses to spend their money on.

grannypauline Sun 17-Feb-19 20:47:06

Oh dear! Us bad socialists wanting to nationalise everything!

No - just the wealth producing institutions - so that needed produce and services can be available to all and all can share in any wealth generated.

Socialists do not want to force people into spending money in different ways. They want to make sure the many have enough to live on and enjoy life. What's not to like?

lemongrove Sun 17-Feb-19 20:56:43

Can be available to all.......really?!
Woolly minded socialism or unabashed Marxism?
GCSE’s and A levels have to be worked for regardless of the kind of school, and GN has seen these chips on shoulders posts many many times, it gets boring.

Jane10 Sun 17-Feb-19 21:07:04

Education is an important topic. There is room for all sorts of school to reflect the variety of children and their educational needs. One size does not fit all.

varian Sun 17-Feb-19 21:09:46

Studies show that being taught in a small class where there are excellent facilities gives pupils an advantage. Just one of the advantages parents are prepared to pay for.

grannypauline Sun 17-Feb-19 21:18:22

Please explain how socialism can be woolly minded - or Marxism unabashed, come to that!!

And why not make basic goods and services available to all in this rich country - oh dear we'll have to get rid of those food banks and charity collecting boxes!!

grannypauline Sun 17-Feb-19 21:22:58

Actually I think I AM an unabashed Marxist - proud to be in the tradition of those fighting against inequality in the world!