The Instigator
NiamC
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
CJKAllstar
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

The UK should keep Grammar schools

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
CJKAllstar
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/5/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,702 times Debate No: 51708
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

NiamC

Pro

I am for this argument. I myself, am a grammar school student in the UK. Recently, the government has been debating on whether to keep Grammar schools. So I would to have my own debate on this. Grammar schools are basically what divides 25% most intelligent students from the rest of the students in the UK (educationally speaking). The pathway to the entrance of a grammar school is most often the Eleven Plus exam taken by 11-12 year olds. Recent statistics say that more than 50% of all A-A* grades in the UK were achieved by students from Grammar schools. Please note that there are currently only 164 or so grammar schools in the UK.

Oddly enough, it has recently been said that apparently, just being a grammar school student and because of the "grammar" part, has acted as an incentive for the improvement on Academic grades.

Personally, I find that the environment of a Grammar school is much different to that of a comprehensive school in which there greater relationships between students and teachers etc. Often on of the main goals of a grammar school student is to respect others and to create relationships with other. This is set upon students because it is believed that this will create a better work environment to help cultivate and nurture academic skills. Please also note that I find nothing wrong with Comprehensive Schools, which I know maintain somewhat the same standards as a Grammar school.
CJKAllstar

Con

Although I myself attend, and believe strongly in the idea of Grammar Schools, I will play Devil's Advocate by arguing against you. This is going to be very interesting! You may put forward your points.
Debate Round No. 1
NiamC

Pro

Firstly, to be begin the second round, I would like to talk about how I find your (CJKALLSTAR'S) first round argument 'illegal', in which it is irrelevant to say that you will be against this argument but then not present your findings and reasons. Despite this, I shall carry on presenting my argument.

I have been doing recent research on many comprehensive and I have found that these comprehensive schools have included many other less academically important subjects in the Gsce syllabus such as child development (Home economics), Film Studies ( absolutely irrelevant to someone's learning, unless aspiring to be a film critic etc), catering, dance and drama. I feel that because of these schools are exerting their energy into these subjects instead of using that possible money and resources to focus on the more important subjects. As a result of this, the average grade for one of these subjects is a 'glorious' C grade. To prove my point that having subjects like this is affecting the educational quality of the more important subjects, the GSCE grade results show that 1-2 % of core subject candidates achieved an a-a* grade. Also, it says that the grade majority is a C grade for the core subjects.

This is why I find Grammar schools to be important. Seldom, these schools have these Gsce options, and in result of this, they can use more of their resources and money to focus on the core education.
This has proved to be effective in which more than 50% of all core gcse candidates achieved an a-a* grade. I also think grammar schools are worth keeping, due to the fact that, the majority of times, grammar schools (often non-paying schools) can provide better education than the majority of private (paying) or state comprehensive schools.
CJKAllstar

Con

I would first like to note to NiamC that a majority of debates in this website start with acceptance/opening statements in the first round before proceeding to debate, so I only presumed this followed the usual pattern, but I apologise if it caused any problems. I would not like to start of with some rebuttal.

Rebuttal
"I have been doing recent research on many comprehensive and I have found that these comprehensive schools have included many other less academically important subjects in the Gsce syllabus such as child development (Home economics), Film Studies ( absolutely irrelevant to someone's learning, unless aspiring to be a film critic etc), catering, dance and drama. I feel that because of these schools are exerting their energy into these subjects instead of using that possible money and resources to focus on the more important subjects."

There are many things incorrect about this statement. First of all you challenged the importance of subjects such as Home Economics, Film Studies, Catering, Dance and Drama. Firstly, GCSE subjects in relation to these are optional. Due to the addition of the English Baccalaureate, 47% percent of pupils in 2013 are doing subjects which help towards the English Baccalaureate[1]. This is English, Maths, the Sciences, a language and History/Geography. All are viewed as either core, or facilitating[2]. Factor in those who aren't doing all of them, and there is a considerable amount of the population taking an important subject, so schools do factor this in. There is not a lack of focus on these, as shown in the fact that 81.1% of pupils in England received A*-C grades, a pass[4]. Now that we've established that there isn't a problem, the importance of these subjects are relative. Saying this is a important as this is relative for the person. If someone aspires in film, catering, dance or drama, which are very broad fields, then those subjects are important for he or she. If that person even feels like what they might learn will be useful. This is completely relative and to state that some subjects are more important will be leading on to my first point.

Grammar school's promote stigma and indoctrination, leading to lower grades in other fields.
In a grammar school, there is a lot of focus on doing well academically, especially in the core subjects. I hope you do not mind, but we can take the example of our grammar school, Westcliff High School for Boys (WHSB). We have 76 A* in Physics, 75 in Mathematics, 91 in English Language, 41 in English Literature, 65 in Chemistry, 72 in Biology and 35 in Statistics, very high in relation to the amount of people taking it. But take the likes of Product Design, Religious Studies, Economics, Computing and Electronics, and you have 14, 14, 9, 4 and 9 respectively[3]. This happens for two reasons; the lack of people taking them and the lack of effort and money put into them, which again Niam, you know is true. But product designers are needed, artists, bakers and those working in DT are all needed to make society function, and our school does the exact opposite. There are 32 periods a fortnight out of 6 reserved for English, Maths and Science alone and this then attaches a stigma that working in "softer" fields is not a good thing, as you have proven. We are indoctrinated into being lawyers, doctors, politicians, etc. This creates the massive demand for law and medicine as other schools take our stigma in attempt to grow. The country accept the fact that we indoctrinate our children to believe that "professional" fields are more important than other. That the banker is more important than the game designer, but both are vital to keep our society running as it is. This will over time create a massive imbalance of work and we will simply not have enough space for all these lawyers and politicians and bankers, and have space left in art and in bakers. Even worse, the aim-for-the-prestigious-jobs mentality is extremely negative on small businesses if we are teaching our children that they are wrong. This mentality can only be stopped by abolishing grammar schools and keeping comprehensive schools which promote educational expertise as well as free choice, which is why they offer those, whereas our school has a limited option, spreading as far as citizenship. Not including drama, dance or home economics, promoting further stigma.

Grammar schools are unfair.

Take a good look at this map, and see the distribution of grammar school's. I don't need to say much, as a 1000 words a brought here. The areas grammar school's aren't in are poorer, with less infrastructure and communications, with less convenient travel and the places which do not have grammar schools. there are quite a lot of them. This is unfair on all our citizens. Grammar school's themselves completely mock the working class in poorer areas, who cannot afford the necessary tuition, which for me was £1700 (approx). And tuition is a must as the 11+ as you know features completely different topics than any school would teach at 11. They only benefit the rich and give them better education, which in turn increases the gap. By abolishing them we get rid of this and can allow everyone to have an equal education, whilst imposing other measures for the intelligent. Because some people have never heard of grammar schools.

This is a chart to show how although the richer are better off anyways, it is a steeper line for grammar schools. Grammar schools are unfair on the working class, but those who do not know about them, those in certain areas, and they are still government funded. The government funds a system of stigmatisation and producing educational standards which can easily be replicated as money is not an issue. You know without quotation that our school is the lowest paid in Southend.


In summary, I have reached my conclusion for this round. They are unfair, promote stigmatisation and are anti pure freedom with jobs, in return for standards which with the right attitude, we can reach as a nation, but only if as a nation we try and don't just help those who were lucky enough to receive tuition.

Sources:
[1]https://www.gov.uk...
[2]http://www.clare.cam.ac.uk...
[3]http://www.whsb.essex.sch.uk...
[4]http://www.bstubbs.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 2
NiamC

Pro

I understand that the grammar school entrance system may be seen as unfair in which many working class families cannot afford 11+ tuition for their child/children. So because of this, only those of the middle and upper classes will afford tuition for this. I understand that there are many people who are grammar school teachers who have offered their time and knowledge to help 11-12 year old with their 11+ exam studies. This has recently occurred over a range of areas in England and Scotland despite many these tuition groups not being funded by the government. I have noticed that it is not just teachers, who are offering this 'help', it is many different members of many different communities. I and my family were fortunate to receive minimum fee 11+ tuition yet this tuition being of reasonable quality. The people running this were two women of the local Muslim community. Yet despite this, they would accept any child of any culture or religion for free. I wish that more people could have these wonderful qualities. In retrospect of this, I would like to say that is possible for underprivileged children to be able to take the 11+ exam and pass with the help of these tuition groups. Now because of this, I would strongly believe that the grammar school system can give the lower and the middle classes as well as the upper classes a chance to higher education and then more financially stable jobs and futures. Please note that naturally, not every child would pass the exam, which is the purpose of the 11+.

To help justify my point that the Grammar School entrance system is becoming fairer. I shall use the point that many grammar schools are creating programs services which are aimed at challenging the ‘unfairness of the grammar school selection system’ by helping to encourage, motivate and inspire children who have overlooked Grammar School education to understand the benefits of grammar school education and how Grammar School education works. An example of this is the Westcliff High School for boy’s WESTCLIFF CENTRE FOR GIFTED CHILDREN. Please note that I am not entirely comfortable with providing such names, but who cares?


The purpose of education is about the individual needs of the children. Education is about identifying and cultivating individual talent. If a school levels down on this and helps all the students on the same basis and needs, the majority of the students would most likely under perform and would not reach their academic potential. Now we can see, how it would be good to have both Comprehensive and Grammar schools alike, because the comprehensive could use their resources to tailor to the needs of the perhaps less gifted children and the grammar school could conserve what would have gone to that if that school had a wider mixed ability range. We can see from this that everyone would benefit.




CJKAllstar

Con

"I understand that the grammar school entrance system may be seen as unfair in which many working class families cannot afford 11+ tuition for their child/children. So because of this, only those of the middle and upper classes will afford tuition for this. I understand that there are many people who are grammar school teachers who have offered their time and knowledge to help 11-12 year old with their 11+ exam studies. This has recently occurred over a range of areas in England and Scotland despite many these tuition groups not being funded by the government. I have noticed that it is not just teachers, who are offering this 'help', it is many different members of many different communities. I and my family were fortunate to receive minimum fee 11+ tuition yet this tuition being of reasonable quality. The people running this were two women of the local Muslim community. Yet despite this, they would accept any child of any culture or religion for free. I wish that more people could have these wonderful qualities. In retrospect of this, I would like to say that is possible for underprivileged children to be able to take the 11+ exam and pass with the help of these tuition groups. Now because of this, I would strongly believe that the grammar school system can give the lower and the middle classes as well as the upper classes a chance to higher education and then more financially stable jobs and futures. Please note that naturally, not every child would pass the exam, which is the purpose of the 11+. "



Refer to this chart Niam. The first half of that paragraph was literally conceding and accepting that I am right, before explaining how people can be tutored for free. Well they can, but refer to the chart above. If what you are saying was true then this wouldn't happen. There are less working class people and more middle class people attending grammar school's. Considering that 60% of people state they are working class[1], this inequality is only detrimental to the masses. Of course people can offer tuition, and grammar school's could be fair, but it doesn't happen. That paragraph was not an argument, it was a fanciful wish. If you take a look at the map you will see that the distribution is so clustred to specific areas that those in the west and north are at a massive disadvantage, no matter how little tuition costs. So the only way to allow these areas to grow educationally is to abolish grammar schools and to promote educational prosperity nationwide, and not have a system which is good for some, so they come out stigmatised and bigoted so those who were at a disadvantage in the first place feel worse and have been placed on a lower threshold in terms of their social standards, which is why so many people think they're lower class. Stigma and the likes of grammar and private schools set social standards which lowers the rest of the country. We need to abolish this.

"To help justify my point that the Grammar School entrance system is becoming fairer. I shall use the point that many grammar schools are creating programs services which are aimed at challenging the ‘unfairness of the grammar school selection system’ by helping to encourage, motivate and inspire children who have overlooked Grammar School education to understand the benefits of grammar school education and how Grammar School education works. An example of this is the Westcliff High School for boy’s WESTCLIFF CENTRE FOR GIFTED CHILDREN. Please note that I am not entirely comfortable with providing such names, but who cares?"


Again, no matter how much schools try to improve the level of people who know about them, it firstly does not work as shown by the graph and secondly does not affect the people who live in areas which are sparse of grammar schools, and that system is reliant on grammar schools doing this, on schools being near grammar schools, and on so many variables that it won't work on a scale which would help all the issues I have stated and you have agreed with.

"The purpose of education is about the individual needs of the children. Education is about identifying and cultivating individual talent. If a school levels down on this and helps all the students on the same basis and needs, the majority of the students would most likely under perform and would not reach their academic potential. Now we can see, how it would be good to have both Comprehensive and Grammar schools alike, because the comprehensive could use their resources to tailor to the needs of the perhaps less gifted children and the grammar school could conserve what would have gone to that if that school had a wider mixed ability range. We can see from this that everyone would benefit."

Specific and broad academic potential can all be met without special schools. Special classes, sets, etc can do this just as well, without whole scools to indoctrinate children as I have said before. It also promotes extra learning and allows the talented to feel more comfortable about themselves. And pupils won't under perform, that is just pure speculation. There can be gifted children who live in areas where grammar schools aren't rampant, or haven't heard of them, or simply do not want to atttend a grammar school. And if we follow your method, then we will focus on 164 schools rather than thousands more, definitely not benefiting the majority. We need to work on the education of everyone, and getting rid of grammar schools is a start to educational equality.

So in the end, Pro has not fulfilled any BOP he might have had, has argued that a system now works even though I have proven it doesn't, and he has conceded most of my arguments, so I urge the floor to side with me, thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by NiamC 3 years ago
NiamC
If anyone interested in looking up information on grammar schools.
Some of the sources I used included:
debatewise.org
libdemvoice
Posted by NiamC 3 years ago
NiamC
http://en.wikipedia.org...
the most accurate site in the world.
Posted by Jifpop09 3 years ago
Jifpop09
Can you inform me what a grammar school is please.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Jevinigh 3 years ago
Jevinigh
NiamCCJKAllstarTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: The language of technocracy is Data. Cj provided it, Niam did not.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
NiamCCJKAllstarTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro made far to many grammatical and spelling errors which made the arguments hard to read. For this reason S&G points go to Con. The argument points go to Con as well, as Pro failed to convince me that Grammar schools should be retained. I am sure grammar schools will probably stay, and so this was a fun debate to read. M
Vote Placed by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
NiamCCJKAllstarTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I felt arguments were equal. The only clear difference I saw was in sources. Con was the only one to provide sources for his arguments.