Thursday, August 17, 2006

What buys a Uni place?

No doubt tomorrow's Stamford Mercury and Bourne Local will focus on the high-fliers who have been awarded a hatful of "A stars" for their efforts.

Every teenager who has worked hard to achieve their potential deserves our congratulations, regardless of whether they studied in Stamford, Bourne or Deepings.

In Lincolnshire, the odds are stacked against Comprehensives. Schools like Deepings - and the excellent Robert Manning at Bourne - don't cream off the brightest eleven year olds as Bourne Grammar or Stamford Endowed Schools do.

Deepings School of course accepts all-comers with no entrance exam.

So when you compare the results from schools in our area, remember that some of the brightest 11-year-olds who live in the Deepings are selected for places at Bourne Grammar.

That process has to lower the average ability of any cohort of 11-year-olds at Deepings School.

I wonder how many teenagers who would have failed the 11-plus are today celebrating success at passing their "A" levels?

I'd be interested in taking a sample of students with identical "A" level results and comparing their University placements.

What difference, if any, does it make if you achieved your "A stars" at:

1. a true Comprehensive like Deepings,
2. a state Grammar School like Bourne or
3. a private Grammar School such as Stamford Endowed Schools (er, private but subsidised by the public!).

Do individual results count, or do old school ties still buy red-brick University places?

Just a thought...


Editor said...

Your prejudices are showing, Phil!

And "red brick" is a deregatory term for the newer Uni's that those without "old school ties" are alleged to go.

But I do agree with the media's (unfair) prediliction with high flyers and the selective nature of coverage. That is one of the deficits from The Deepings not having a locally-produced newspaper - except Deepings News, of course.

I do get the school newsletter posted hard copy, but by the time it reaches me it is out of date and they have never got the hang of e-mail. Strange from a technology/business specialist comprehensive with a large and expensive IT facility. But then my prejudices are showing :)

fairdealphil said...

thanks for your comment...and for rightly pointing out my slip on mixing red bricks and old school ties...

i suppose i really meant Oxbridge as opposed to red brick.

(but then as an 11-plus failure, you may just be right about my prejudices showing!).

i agree with you about lack of home grown newspaper - a slightly different point, but one of the reasons i started my own blog was frustration at lack of informed coverage on county council and police authority matters, both of which are administered almost 50 miles from the local community their decisions affect.

Take the point on the school newsletter and technology and will raise it with Head Teacher Chris - by email!!!