Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Grammar School

I am a little confused by the current educational reforms in Northern Ireland. NI has always had a grammar school system and when I was a child all children sat the 11+ - the primary schools coached us to pass it. It was brutal but it was fair. Those who passed went to grammar school where academic expectation was exceedingly high -that's my school crest at the top - the inscription in Latin means Salt Flavours Everything...
Our new system follows a different ethos - and I'm quoting here from the booklet Transfer 2011 Advice for Parents:
Academic selection is educationally unsound. It does not meet the needs of a modern society. It sustains and generates inequality. It has no place in our education system.

Further in I read:
The Department has recommended that schools use their admissions criteria to make sure that they admit a fair number of children registered as entitled to Free School Meals
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this mean the NI education system is now financially selective not educationally selective?

1 comment:

  1. I wrote an article for the BT saying that grammar school places were not golden tickets to well-paid jobs - that pupils only got there with hard work - and would only get good jobs by working hard - no matter if they were from posh homes or poor homes. I went to a grammar school and ended up at Art College. My husband didn't and he ended up with a Masters in IT. Having said that, his punctuation could improve...

    It's not a perfect system as it's based on available places and not just marks but I think it's no use sending pupils to grammar schools if they fail the entrance exam. How will they manage 11 GCSEs?

    Some readers called me a snob.