Thursday, May 27, 2010

University Intake

Poor children are still struggling to get into decent Universities according to the Office for Fair Access (which strikes me as an organisation that ought to be axed immediately as it has clearly failed)

This is no surprise whatsoever. If you live in a poor area, you go to a poor school (which makes the arguments about Academies bringing in a socially divisive education system seem a bit odd considering that's exactly what we have already). Cambridge University took more State school pupils in 1970 than it does now (because of Grammar schools).

Poor schools do not attract many academic teachers. Funnily enough, they go to the schools where they can actually teach their subject rather than spend the day giving out coloured pencils and trying to prevent a riot.

What poor schools do sometimes manage is to encourage their best pupils to apply to study some Mickey Mouse course at an institution whose name no employer can read without collapsing into a fit of giggles. Three years later they have a colossal debt and a worthless certificate.

It could hardly be more obvious that unless schools can select by academic achievement, then the Office for Fair Access will be copying and pasting the same report in another 10 years time.


Anonymous said...

Two dreadful things have happened to education in my lifetime. Firstly, entry to a good school by the iniquitous principal of academic ability has been replaced by the egalitarian test of how much your parents can afford to pay for their house. Secondly, a whole generation has been conned into believing that a degree in 'Mickey Mouse Studies' from Skegness University will open more doors than an HND in 'History of Animation' from East Lincs Poly used to and take on massive debts on that basis.

phatboy said...

Forgive me for being dumb, but how does allowing schools to select pupils by ability improve kids going to top universities?

Surely the dumb, mean and bad kids will still have to go to school?

Anonymous said...

Phatboy - currently, bright poor kids get subsumed by the bad ones in bad schools (it being an unfortunate fact of life that more poor kids from poorer backgrounds have 'behavioural problems'.

Thus, if you remove the intelligent and amenable but poor kids from poor schools and put them into good ones, where they won't be bullied for doing their homework and obeying their teachers, you will help them to achieve more.

True, you won't help those poor kids who prefer to mess around and learn nothing, but we're not doing anything for them anyway.

Unknown said...

Naive comment I know but what happened to trying to make bad schools better rather than allowing kids to go to any school they like?

One result has to be that a good kid ends up at a bad school - so what about his human rights!?!?

The only real downside I have to admit for selecting based on ability is you'll see some generally good kids who aren;t that academically gifted then going to a school with all the scrotes and suffering as a result.

Jono said...

It seems ludicrous to me that teachers, as state sector employees, get to choose their own school. It means the best schools retain the best teachers, while the sink schools, whom are most in need of new staff.

It would make far more sense for them to be regionally or nationally hired (or locally hired, but nationally available). That way, the best performing teachers could be moved to the schools in which they are most needed.

Seeking Sir said...
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Seeking Sir said...
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