Friday, August 30, 2013

On keeping up school standards....

I just posted this comment on an article in the Telegraph about how students are being chucked out of sixth forms half way through for performing poorly in their AS exams. Is it right that schools should be allowed to do this? Shouldn't they stand by the student instead since they have signed up for a two year course not a one year one? Does it raise the whole question of what our schools are there for?  Read the full article here

"It's high time someone in government put a stop to this nonsense situation. Many grammar schools are doing their communities a disservice and it has to stop. Highly selective schools have got themselves into a trap which they haven't got the guts to get out of. They push for ever higher standards, which seems a noble thing to do on the face of it, but that then has it's consequences further along which we are seeing now. In Tonbridge for example there is only one boys grammar school and it is super selective. That means that the vast majority of the boys from the town itself who pass their 11+ must go to nearby Tonbridge Wells a half hour bus ride away because they missed a few marks. Meanwhile the Tonbridge School in question, Judd School, takes in pupils from up to 1.5 hours journey time, in many cases well out of town, well out of county even. It's ludicrous that a school can leave students in the lurch instead of working out a solution and sticking by them. Yet it is allowed to happen. We hear the old excuse for this shocking treatment of young adults trying to make their way in the world that they don't want to let down the other students by lowering standards in the class. This is  just utter nonsense. We all know the real reasons so why pretend any different. What is required maybe is a rethink and a period of readjustment so that schools can reassess what it is that they are there for...."

7 comments:

manofkent said...

So super selection fails a number of pupils planning to take their AS exams. Maybe the pupils concerned were coached in the Kent test and were not grammar school material in the first place. But then the selection at age 10 or 11 fails many pupils and at this age children are bit more fragile than at 16. It all goes to show that a child's ability can change a significant amount throughout their school life making selection very much hit and miss.

Tonbridge is grid locked at school times because of the transportation of children to and from out of town. With the possibility of a grammar being established in Sevenoaks it could ease a little but I rather suspect this schools intake will not just be for Sevenoaks' children. I am sure the intake will be from Tonbridge, north Kent and south London.

Paul Bailey said...

"Keeping up school standards", when you are spelling Tunbridge Wells with an "o"? Go to the bottom of the class, TB!

Seriously, these "School League Tables" are counter-productive, and yet are indicative of the "tick-box" mentality that pervades many areas of society today. We have the same nonsense for hospitals as well. I don't know which political clowns were responsible for these tables, especially as meddling politicians of all persuasions can't seem to keep their interfering noses out of the classroom.

manofkent - my morning drive into work has been pure bliss these past six weeks, through largely traffic-free streets. All that will change on Monday when the little darlings go back to school, driven there, of course, by their dippy mumsies in their four-by-fours!

The Tomahawk Kid said...

I couldn't agree more with what you say. We were fortunate in that our son managed to get into Judd, which is our nearest grammar school. If he hadn't got in it would have meant a trickier commute to Tunbridge Wells.

We have been attending various induction functions at Judd and at one such event were chatting to a lady whose son was also starting at the school. She told us that they lived in Sidcup and that they hadn't even been to see the school prior to applying and accepting an offer! They had no idea how their son was going to get there and back each day. It is not an easy trip by public transport from Sidcup.

As Paul says, it has been a pleasure driving to work in Tonbridge during the summer hols. The peace will be shattered any day now.

The Tomahawk Kid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
manofkent said...

North Tonbridge to Judd 45 mins sitting in traffic, Sidcup to Judd 1 hour, bus to Orpington Station, 29 mins then 15 mins on train to Tonbridge.

Tim James said...

When I was a kid, we climbed trees, damned streams, swam in the River Darent. Went to school in between, learned to read and write, and how to add up. In other words, I had a childhood.

Outraged said...

Yes Tim your right, my recollection of school being that it was a great inconvenience to my life. Not enjoyable or informative at all.