The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
You failed!
Posted Monday, 19 February 2007 at 17:16

The Daily Mirror printed some tosh about Cornerstone today .


Just for the record, I don’t want to see the return of grammar schools but I do want to see streaming and setting. Every school should be as good as a grammar school.  If anyone can answer the following two questions with any degree of conviction, I may change my position:


a)     How do you tell an 11 year old that they are a failure when they don’t pass the 11+ or equivalent?


b)     If an 11 year old doesn’t make it to a grammar school what is the alternative?


Answer to a -  you can’t, not with any degree of success anyway because the message is – you failed, but lots of your mates passed, therefore you are pants.


Answer to b -  a huge amount of money to pay for private education, or the real alternative which is a massive secondary modernesque school full of all the other kids who now have low self esteem.


No, the days of social segregation have gone for good. What we should be concentrating on is using the grammar schools which exist today, and which all provide an excellent holistic education, as models upon which to fashion every school in the country in the future.

kinglear said:
Responded: Monday, 19 February 2007
Too right. Selection and praise for success are the cornerstones of progress.
steppenwolff said:
Responded: Tuesday, 20 February 2007
As a resident of Northern Ireland who went through the 11+ in 1991 and a pupil of a grammar school from 1992-1999 I am deeply disappointed that this government is doing away with both these things. NI has the best GCSE and A-Level results in the UK for a reason and GB universities clamour for NI students.
Anonymous said:
Responded: Tuesday, 20 February 2007
Killing Grammar schools has made social exclusion worse, not better. I agree the 'sheep and goats' argument is well made. But Tony Benn wanted 3 types of school. Grammar, Technical and Secondary Modern. So people would have gone to a school which best suited their ability. But, as ever, politics got in the way, and the idea of the 'technical' schools was folded into the Sec Mod, and the 'pass' / 'fail' concept gained currency. I am sure this is bound up with the English OBSESSION with class. Wales doesn't have that. A family can be farmers, one son can be a teacher, the daughter a doctor, another son can be a plumber and another can take on the farm. And they don't spend any time obsessing about what 'class' they are in. The idea that kids can be protected from low self esteem by having them all in one school is pants anyway. As soon as the 'cream' get siphoned off to the private sector, as happens in Bristol, they will get that message soon enough anyway.
Tony Sharp said:
Responded: Tuesday, 20 February 2007
I would have no problem with setting if it was not being used as a tool to get slower children out of the way of the faster learners who might be grammar school material. At my daughter's school if you are not in the top set you are pretty much abandoned. I have been shocked to see her maths ability go backwards since being streamed. Her homework is self marked so the teacher has no idea whether or not she is grasping the lessons. With grammar schools taking faster learners maybe there would be a chance for kids who need additional support to get it. As a nation should we not be nurturing our brightest children to be the scientists and leaders of tomorrow, helping this nation be more competitive? Levelling downwards damages us all.
Ashley N. Green said:
Responded: Wednesday, 21 February 2007
Grammar Schools are the least socially divisive institution as many children, whose parents could not afford private tuition, were given the opportunity to excel academically and develop those talents wherewith God has blessed them. Opportunities for children to develop at ages 13, 16 and older were always there, but a Labour Government, stuffed with socialist intellectuals, annihilated a good system. This country now reaps the harvest sown then. We have children who cannot spell; construct sentences; and fail to communicate. Our children are the losers from this piece of State vandalism. We can never give back to them the opportunity snatched from them. I do hope that you will understand how deeply I feel about the Socialist Party and their desecration of our whole education system. Please do not give them credence in their arguments.
Tom Paine said:
Responded: Tuesday, 27 February 2007
What kind of preparation for life is screening children from the truth? We all have to come to terms with our strengths and weaknesses. By abolishing grammar schools we have destroyed the best tool of social mobility our country ever had.
Paul Holden said:
Responded: Tuesday, 27 February 2007
Sorry Nadine you (and the boy Cameron) are completely wrong on this one. Education should be about one thing only: producing the very best results from their pupils, and like it or not, the best way to produce academic excellence is through segregation. Just as the best way to produce sporting excellence is through sporting segregation. Educate or train children according to their inate abilities.
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