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  • ""There is a clear advantage to those children whose parents are motivated or able to help them."

    Every parent wants their children to do well in education so the motivation is there, sadly it's easy to get de-motivated when you realise and understand exactly what you are up against. Parents who are motivated AND can afford to send their children to private schools or afford private tuition and coaching and the associated practice papers etc... have a distinct advantage over those who can't. The system then implies that the 11+ selects on the basis of intelligence and not this intensive teaching and coaching prior to the test.
    Which leads us onto being able to help them. Not all parents can afford this, most try but, if you both work full time and can only manage to keep the wolf from the door and, maybe you need assistance from benefits to do this then I'm afraid any education for your children is your target, never mind one that is paid for.

    So to sum up;

    Yes, Grammar schools very good education

    No, the 11+ doesn't test intelligence, it tests the parents ability to pay for teaching and tuition to bring the children up to the standard required to pass this test.

    Every parent wants the best education for their child but, this has to be taken within the context of their social standing.
    Children from poorer backgrounds can make it through education and onto higher education, degree level and above, I know from personal experience but, this route needs more support and encouragement to make up for the lack of finance.

    "By putting children in with people of similar ability you allow them all to work at a similar level with less disruption or ability to coast along with making them all feel they are capable, children who are struggling in a class where they are not as able as others have a very tough time of it."

    Again, I must question the use of the term 'ability', obviously those who have received the best teaching, training and coaching are better than a child that hasn't. Virtually every child is able to attain a good education given these circumstances but, these circumstances are not there for all. The way to ensure all have this' ability' is to for all to receive the teaching. training and coaching to pass the 11+ which, isn't feasible under our current education system and economic climate.

    There would then be no need to segregate those who don't have this 'ability' from those that do have this 'ability'. That said, from my limited teaching experience I have discovered that children and adults learn more from each other than from listening to someone stood at the front of a classroom in front of a black board (are we still allowed to call them that?)
    So segregation doesn't necessarily mean that the best are held back by the worst, it works both ways, besides, with a level playing field at the primary stage of education there would be less differences in 'ability' to be concerned with later."
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South Wilts tops school league tables

First published in Education by

A SALISBURY school has topped the Government’s league tables for GCSEs, English Baccalaureate and A-levels in Wiltshire, according to figures released on Thursday.

South Wilts Grammar School came top in the county for GCSE results, with 99 per cent of pupils achieving five or more A* to C grades including maths and English.

The school was also at the top of the table for the percentage of Key Stage 4 pupils achieving the English Baccalaureate, at 76 per cent, and it also came top for its A-level results, with an average point score of 977.4.

Bishop Wordsworth’s School, which came second in the county’s list for GCSE results last year, is not included in the this year’s tables as its students take iGCSE qualifications instead.

Bishop Wordsworth’s, the city’s boys’ grammar school, came fifth in the county for A-levels with an average point score of 919.8, and The Godolphin School was ninth with 879.2.

Wellington Academy in Ludgershall was among the lowest in the county for GCSE results, with 37 per cent of pupils achieving five or more A* to C including English and maths.

Sarum Academy was also near the bottom of the league, with 50 per cent, while The Stonehenge School was at 57 per cent. Across Wiltshire, more pupils than ever achieved good GCSE and A-level grades.

The performance tables show the number of students achieving five or more A* to C grades at GCSE including English and maths has gone up by 1.7 per cent from 2012 to 2013.

And the number of students in the county achieving any five A* to C grade GCSEs has gone up by 1.1 per cent.

Students have also maintained high levels of achievements in post-16 exam results, with 83.9 per cent achieving two or three A* to E grade A-levels. Laura Mayes, Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet member for children services at Wiltshire Council, said: “The number of Wiltshire pupils achieving good grades at GCSE has increased this year and more students than ever are making the right progress from primary to secondary.

“These positive results are not just good news for all the schools involved but for each individual student these results prove an excellent springboard for their future education and careers and I would like to congratulate all these hard working students.”

Results based on GCSEs at grades A* to C (of 33 schools ranked in Wiltshire):

South Wilts Grammar School (1)

Leehurst Swan (3)

St Edmund’s (8)

St Joseph’s (14)

Avon Valley College (15)

Wyvern College (16)

The Trafalgar School (21)

The Stonehenge School (27)

Sarum Academy (29)

The Wellington Academy (33)

Results based on average point score per A-level student (of 28 schools and colleges ranked in Wiltshire):

South Wilts Grammar School (1)

Bishop Wordsworth’s Grammar School (4)

The Godolphin School (9)

The Wellington Academy (26)

Avon Valley College (27)

Wiltshire College (28)

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