Of course Calder High results aren't as good as they should be "given the catchment area". We have a two-tier system in Calderdale which is an absolute disgrace. How many people in Hebden and Royd send their kids to grammar schools and then make snide remarks about the local comprehensive? Let's have proper comprehensive education everywhere. Then Calder would be top of the list.
Posted by Tim B
This is from today's Independent:
"By the end of the 20th century, the independent sector had emerged pre-eminent in the British education system but the only vision the independent sector has today remains entrenched in the 20th century – dedicated to excellence and carrying on as we are in splendid isolation, detached from the mainstream national education system, thereby perpetuating the apartheid which has so dogged education and national life in Britain since the Second World War. It is not right for any longer for our schools to cream off the best pupils, the best teachers, the best facilities, the best results and the best university places. If you throw in the 166 remaining grammar schools, which are predominantly middle class and private schools in all but name, the stranglehold is almost total."
That last sentence says it all.
We really need to nail this assumption that the 'best' or the 'brightest' children get creamed off. Our nearest indepedent school has GCSE results that are, given the resources directed at pupils, quite shameful. Perhaps some local parents are paying to send their children to this independent school to make up for their lack of ability, not because they are brighter or better than kids at Calder High?
The local grammar school 'selects' only from those who apply, children who far from being the sharpest knives in the drawer, are surely just the offspring of aspirant parents? They 'select' only from a narrow range of middle class kids, not from the true reservoir of local talent - so why perpetuate this myth that children who go there are brighter? They just have parents who will pay for the cramming to get them through the entrance exam - I could train a quite dim kid to get in - no problem.
Let's also point to the work of local primary schools, who provide Calder High with some of the best educated pupils at 11 in England. We have a jewel in our crown, surrounded by jewels, it takes what it's given and works wonders with it. It's actually given some of the best and brightest kids in the valley, educated by some of the best teachers in the county - forget grammars and independents - we have by far the best school and the brightest kids for miles around.
"The local grammar school 'selects' only from those who apply, children who far from being the sharpest knives in the drawer, are surely just the offspring of aspirant parents?"
If this was the complete picture then those kids would not continue to achieve good results throughout their time at the school.
There is no bar on applying for the grammar schools - it's open to all, and, whilst I agree they shouldn't get more than their fair share of resources, your attitutde towards the children that go to them is bordering on discriminatory itself.
Hebweb News: Secondary school results
Hebweb Forum 2006: Education bill: selection