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Bringing back the 11+?

(49 Posts)
annodomini Wed 17-Jul-13 08:40:12

How to make kids feel like failures?

annodomini Wed 17-Jul-13 17:31:18


Mamie Wed 17-Jul-13 17:39:48

How long will it take this government to bemoan the fact that there are still children in the bottom 10%? And the top 10% isn't getting any bigger. How does it raise standards? Presumably we could use existing KS2 data to give a percentile rank, but what good would it do?

bluebell Wed 17-Jul-13 17:44:09


Mamie Wed 17-Jul-13 17:52:33

They also think (in Anno's link) that the current level 4 is unambitious and too broad. Well, perhaps they should have noticed that it is divided into 4 a, b and c. I am also minded of the radio programme when a retired teacher rang in and asked the presenters and government representative to answer some Level 4 maths questions and none of them could.
Cough, splutter, we had no idea it was so hard. Quite.

nanaej Wed 17-Jul-13 17:53:02

The more you weigh the pig the heavier it gets..this seems to be modern governments' view on education.

I would not mind nearly so much if I really felt the convictions/policies were based in the true wish to make life / education better but it is merely to create more statistics so they can play playground politics..'my statistics are better than your statistics' and sod the impact on the kids!

And now an proposal to have an externally marked 'baseline test' for children starting in Reception..some will be just 4 years old! What are we doing to kids! sad[angy]confused

Mamie Wed 17-Jul-13 18:00:42

There is a thread on Mumsnet about whether it will help the poster and her son to know that he is in the bottom 10%. Really sad.
The responses highlight just how ignorant the government and many people are about the data that already exists. Fischer Family Trust anyone?

j08 Wed 17-Jul-13 18:05:19

I don't like this at all. What kind of a message is it going to put across to a child when someone tells them they are in the bottom 10% across the whole country. I don't see why secondary school teachers can't give all the children the benefit of the doubt until they find out the child's capabilities themselves. They already have the year 6 SATS test.

Any possible benefits will be outdone by the harm done.

nanaej Wed 17-Jul-13 18:10:59

FFT data is extensive but not often that still so?

Teachers know their children already and could probably put them into bands... I am not sure I fully understand Cleggs latest idea... children will be put into 10% bands... are we dividing classes of 30 kids so that 3 kids will be top and going down to the last 3 in the bottom 10% etc?? Or are the bands only on national data?
This would mean the data will not be available until after kids have moved to secondary schools....

or is this another mathematically impossible situation where they want all kids to be in the top 10% by 2020 like wanting all kids to be above average!!!!

Mamie Wed 17-Jul-13 18:19:34

I don't think FFT is public, but schools and educationalists know that it is widely used, complex, sophisticated and useful. I doubt if any of the politicians do.
I am sure they want 100% in the top 10%. That would be about their level of understanding.

nanaej Wed 17-Jul-13 18:25:49

I have two nephews, both with special educational needs. Both are lovely young men, gregarious, hardworking, fun & caring.
One is now undertaking a degree course though it took him a few extra years to get there. He was born very prematurely and this has caused a number of issues for him. My other nephew was diagnosed with dyspraxia and speech delay at the age of 5 and had additional support in primary school. He is not an academic person but he is a valuable member of society. He has now got a job in a small media firm and works on websites. He is doing just fine. Both would have been in the bottom 10% age 11. I think this would not have been helpful to either of them to know this. Their parents knew their needs, the schools knew their needs and both dealt with them! We are all different and we all develop at different rates and in different areas of skill and ability. To value one aspect of human development above another supports the class ridden society that we have. I fully support that all children should be taught key skills and know how to use & apply them in day to day life. But I do not agree that continual measuring of one set of skills makes a better educated person.

nanaej Wed 17-Jul-13 18:30:00

mamiegrin or else you'd cry!

annodomini Wed 17-Jul-13 18:57:11

This is a political idea to throw a bone to the backwoodsmen (and women) who think we should still have 11+ and grammar schools. The beauty of it is that it has been thought up by people who went to public schools themselves and whose children will have a similarly privileged education. This one didn't officially come from Gove, but wouldn't be surprised if he was the evil genius behind it.

J52 Wed 17-Jul-13 19:00:08

Research on different areas of intelligence by Howard Gardner should be essential reading for all involved with education. It shows how each of us has strengths and weaknesses in areas of development. Thus not confining definitions of 'ability' to assessment dominated by literacy and numeracy.
It is interesting that large companies are now looking to hire graduates with 2nd class degrees for their training schemes. Apparently some graduates with 1sts have too narrow an outlook for some positions.
It does no good to anyone, to label a child at any stage of development. Thank goodness musical ability was not part of any test I sat. I'd be off the bottom of the scale! No pun intended!! X

Ariadne Wed 17-Jul-13 19:08:42

Yes J52 Howard Gardner was the guru when I was doing my research degree.

How can we label children so early? There must be many people, like me, who did well out of the old grammar schools and 11+ exams, but I am always conscious of those who slipped through the net and were scarred by the whole experience, and those who fought their way through it.

(I say "the old grammar schools" because there are only a few areas in the country where they still exist, but sometimes people who live in these areas think they are nationwide.)

More politicians parroting what they think their constituents want to hear, methinks.

nanaej Wed 17-Jul-13 19:33:38

I failed my 11+
I only got 4 O levels
I was a successful teacher and headteacher (There is data to prove it too wink)

My ability to recall facts is poor. My ability to communicate, be creative and problem solve is good. They don't test that!

annodomini Wed 17-Jul-13 19:46:55

I cannot understand the rationale that Clegg and co are putting forward for this scheme.

"A child who has failed to grasp the basics of English and Maths in primary school will struggle to access the rest of the secondary curriculum, and will quickly become frustrated and de-motivated as their peers soar ahead....So we are going to ask more of primary schools. We want 85% of 11 year olds to leave at a level where they are ready to succeed at secondary school."
How do they expect their batty scheme to achieve this? What do they think Sats are meant to measure?

Aka Wed 17-Jul-13 20:45:47

Well one way forward is obviously to remove the TAs from the classroom, thereby pushing up pupil to adult ratio and therefore increasing the chances of the 'child who has failed to grasp the basics' ....simples! confused

Deedaa Wed 17-Jul-13 20:53:12

I am still at a loss to know how most of us managed to reach a reasonable grasp of English and Maths 55 years ago when we left our very basic primary school in a pretty deprived area. The classes were big and the teachers were only equipped with a few books and a blackboard and chalk. We had one or two children in the class who still followed all the words with their finger, but they could function well enough.

Ana Wed 17-Jul-13 21:00:37

In those days teachers had the respect not only of their pupils, but parents and adults generally. They surely had an easier time of it, following an established curriculum with hardly any changes along the way. Who'd be a teacher these days?

Aka Wed 17-Jul-13 22:46:53

Deedaa not sure many people have a 'reasonable grasp' of Maths at any rate. Arithmetic yes, Maths????

Ana very true.

seasider Thu 18-Jul-13 00:35:09

I actually like the idea of bringing back the 11 plus. I passed my eleven plus and was able to go to a great grammer school even though my parents were not well off. Selection is alive and kicking but it is selection by postcode whereby wealthy people can afford to move to live by the best state schools. The eleven plus gave everyone the chance to to a good school whatever their background. My friends who went to the secondary modern still had the opportunity to take O levels if they had the ability. Under the present system some children are told at age 13 they can only achieve C grades and will only be entered for that level of exam. No incentive then to try and improve !

J52 Thu 18-Jul-13 03:44:14

The 11+ was deeply flawed, there is research data / papers to show this.
Years ago in the days when Grammar schools were rife, a child sitting the 11+ in an area with one Grammar school for each gender had less chance of passing than a child from a large urban area where there were a choice of Grammar schools. For example, in London in the 60s those that passed had first and second choice of schools, London County Council run schools, Voluntary Aided church foundation Grammar schools and direct grant entrance to public schools (usually another exam to be sat for this one). In a smaller town or rural area there would be only one Grammar school with 30 places each year, so only 30 could pass.
Yes, I know it is 3:42 am, too hot to sleep! X

gillybob Thu 18-Jul-13 06:16:55

I passed the 11+ and was the only one in my circle of friends who did. I was devastated to be separated from them and sent to the all girls grammar school whilst they all went to the local secondary modern. I hated the grammar school and the bullying that went on (teachers and pupils) within it. I did manage to scrape some half decent 'O' levels which were wasted as I was pregnant within 18 months of leaving school and ended up working in a huge office alongside many of the girls that hadn't passed the 11+ all those years before.

My eldest granddaughter (7) did her first SAT's this year and as a very conscientious child she was terrified and very worried indeed although the teacher stressed that she had no need to be and would do well. Why do we put children of such a tender age through this? What is there to gain?

Mamie Thu 18-Jul-13 06:43:37

Exactly Gillybob. My eldest GD is is a grammar school area, though she (through choice) will not be taking it. Her friends in Year 5 have been coached for several years, will practise all summer and are already discussing who will pass and who will fail. Locally many private schools offer 100% 11+ pass rate. How can that be right?