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'Education not Segregation'

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Thursday 6 October 2016 7.46pm
I went to a secondary modern as the area we moved to still had them. I know from experience that it's quite wrong to decide a child's future at 10 and even worse, decide funding based on this.

I ended up doing ok, but not because of the school I went to, which did not contribute much to my education.

Every child has the right to a quality education, I'm less worried if it is religious as long as people are given a choice and I'm glad Labour are taking a strong stand on this.
Thursday 6 October 2016 8.07pm
But Zoe - sorry, but I think you are missing the fundamental point here, which is that people absolutely do not have a 'choice' if they are excluded from schools just because they are not religious, or happen to believe in a different religion and go to a church to which that school is not affiliated.

The number of places allocated by religious affiliation in Southwark are consistently far greater than the open places - even the 'open' places give preference to feeder schools which guessed it, religiously affiliated.

The whole system is rigged to favour people turning up to church every week - and the vicar signs a piece of paper which goes back to the school (and not processed by your Council, BTW).

All of this archaic nonsense is being funded by your Labour council, in your name, and with your tax contributions - so this is why it is so ironic to see Southwark Labour demonstrate against grammar schools which select on intelligence, not on which imaginary friend your parents happen to believe in.
Thursday 6 October 2016 8.09pm
"There are also plenty of Southwark Council funded schools (some religious, others not) which claim not to be selective and which are not Grammar schools, but which undertake 'band or ability testing' and require 'supplementary information forms' to basically engineer a selective intake."

These tests are to ensure that there are equal numbers of pupils in all bands to ensure a truly comprehensive intake. Otherwise the intake could be skewed towards one range of ability.
Thursday 6 October 2016 9.35pm
For children not interested in attending school discipline partially comes from the threat of reprimand or exclusion. If your parents are going to be angry with you for being excluded from a private school or grammar you have an incentive to behave better. What can a comp really do with its difficult children if it can't expel them? Not expelling them drags the others down through disruptive behaviour.

Its well known that if you don't pay for something you don't fully value it. When parents pay for their child to attend private school or a grammar (you pay through the time and effort taken to study to pass the 11 plus) the parents will ensure the child remembers this cost and that can aid motivation and good behaviour.

Comps used to (do they still) stream children by subject each year, which gives the benefit of similar teaching speeds within a class and you can generate a sense of competition with children of similar ability. So what's holding back those children who achieve the top grades in comp schools? Poorer quality teachers, possibly, wider culture in the school, at home in their estate, lack of exposure to positive role models in their community who can show them that education matters. Are they being held back, look at the success of second generation Indian children in the professions, most would have come from humble family backgrounds in the 70/80s but walk in top BPP Law/Accountancy school in Waterloo any evening and you'll see them in disproportionally high numbers compared to their proportion of the general population. Why are they succeeding?

A grammar school may "steal" the good children and so make a comp worse, but the school is the wrong unit of measurement, what is the effect on the children left in the comps, will they achieve less, or is it just that the comp achieves less as it has the weaker children?

Universities select on ability and the it really does show in the quality of their graduates.

Grammar schools may provide bright kids an opportunity but it may not be at the expense of the others. The challenge is how to deal with the other children and it seems the state keeps failing in that area regardless of grammar schools.
Friday 7 October 2016 8.13am
Floodplain, people have the right to be religious and have religious schools, it might not be the choice I would make for my kids but I respect that others want to. The problem surely is that we don't have enough good schools for everyone, whether religious or not.
Friday 7 October 2016 9.04am
Zoe wrote:
Floodplain, people have the right to be religious and have religious schools...

BUT, even if you accept that assertion:

- is it right that those schools are funded by central/local government, and
- is it right, in a scenario where there is a dire shortage of good local schools, that access to taxpayer-funded education should be restricted on the basis of religion?

...if you press it, they will come.
Friday 7 October 2016 11.22am
I am against entry on the basis of faith but I think it is embedded in our system because education for the masses came from churches many,many years ago.
Friday 7 October 2016 12.18pm
The way I look at it is:

People with the best chance of becoming a pro tennis player should receive the best coaching.
People with the best chance of becoming a michelin starred chef, should receive the best coaching.
People with the best chance of becoming an award winning carpenter, should receive the best coaching.
People with the best chance of becoming a doctor, should receive the best coaching.

I don't have a natural ability to make/build/engineer things (I'm rubbish), so sending me off to a college to study it would have been a waste of everyone's time.

The kids who are naturally bright & have the ability to become a doctor, which will benefit others, should go to a school where they have best chance of making the most of their raw talent.
Friday 7 October 2016 1.40pm
theedy wrote:
I am against entry on the basis of faith but I think it is embedded in our system because education for the masses came from churches many,many years ago.

Yes. It's embedded in our system due to history.

However, I would argue that it's not right to carry that historical practice on in the 21st century (and that it's been inappropriate for generations).

If we were overflowing with decent local schools, and if religions wished to fund their own schools, then that would be a different debate. Personally, I think that segregating education and restricting access to it on the grounds of religion makes as much sense as doing it on the basis of which football team you support. Other would disagree.

But I have never heard a compelling argument as to why a scarce and vital resource which we all pay for from general taxation should be allocated according to whether or not you attend a church.

Why should children be barred from attending a lot of the local, state-funded, schools because their parents don't take them to church?

...if you press it, they will come.
Friday 7 October 2016 8.19pm
Religious people also pay tax, why should they not receive an education of their choice?

I don't accept the argument that those with 'natural talent' should receive a better quality education. In practice this means that richer parents pay for their children to be coached and so get them into better schools. General education isn't like tennis, we can all do well if taught well.
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