Get your education questions answered

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schoolsshow
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Get your education questions answered

Postby schoolsshow » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:55 am

The increasing number of outstanding schools makes the final selection painfully difficult for every parent.

This is why our programme of talks at the Independent Schools Show on 10th & 11th November will be the most structured in our twelve year history, focussing on choice, admission, affordability, challenges and value.

Topics in our two education theatres include:

Choice:
  • How to choose the right school for your child
  • Alternatives for London parents and the weekly boarding option
  • Independent state curricular: are they really that different?
Admission:
  • How to play the senior school admissions system
  • Why change at Sixth Form?
  • Nursery, pre-prep and prep explained
  • US University admissions and preparation
Affordability:
  • Why schools are more affordable than we are led to believe
  • Can fee assistance make independent education affordable?
  • What is the most effective way to pay for your child's education?
Challenges:
  • Helping summer-born children reach their potential 
  • SEN support: how parents and schools can work together
  • Adolescence in the digital age
  • Is there a right way to push your child?
Value:
  • Do league tables really matter?
  • Do independent schools prepare our young for the commercial world?
  • Are academic children in anyway disadvantaged by going to a less academic school?
You can see the full 2018 programme here.

Tickets are FREE to those who register in advance. 

#schoolsshow
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livegreen
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Re: Get your education questions answered

Postby livegreen » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:40 pm

I would be interested in hearing the answer to why State School students do better at university than students from Independent Schools. We are always told that Independent schools help our children become better independent learners and more resilient but the evidence is the opposite.

From the Daily Telegraph

State school pupils are likely to do better at university than privately educated pupils who start with similar grades, the University of Cambridge has found.

For every two independent school pupils who go into a Russell Group University with an A* at A level, three state school pupils who start at the same level will get a first class degree.

Previous research has argued privately educated students may have less incentives to perform well at university and therefore spend more time socialising or they may have been over tutored and subsequently struggle after leaving school.

Dr Vidal Rodeiro, from Cambridge Assessment, the department of the University of Cambridge which carried out the research, said: “In both Russell and non-Russell Group universities, students from independent schools were less likely to achieve either a first class degree or at least an upper second class degree than students from comprehensive schools with similar prior attainment."

From the BBC

State school pupils do better at university than independent school candidates who have achieved the same A-level grades, a study shows.

The Higher Education Funding Council (Hefce) tracked 130,000 students beginning degrees in 2007, looking at schooling, background and ethnicity.

It found state pupils were significantly more likely to get a 2:1 than their private school peers.

Of those students who achieved ABB at A-level, some 69% of students from independent schools went on to gain 2:1 or a above compared with about 77% of students educated at state schools.

And at three Bs, 61% of independent students pupils got a 2:1 or above compared with 70% of state school students

Prof Madeleine Atkins, Hefce chief executive, said the findings confirmed an earlier study by her organisation.

But she stressed that this research, tracking around 80% of English-based undergraduates starting at all UK universities in a single year, was the most comprehensive of its kind.

The findings are important because it adds to the debate about how universities select their candidates.
SW12Pops
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Re: Get your education questions answered

Postby SW12Pops » Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:48 pm

My understanding is that it's because independent schools will get better grades out of children of the same ability than state but when the children get to uni they all get the same teaching.

Therefore the state kids, who are naturally brighter, but were less well taught at school, then outperform.

This for me is a great advert for independent schools because two children of the same ability the one privately taught will do better.

 
livegreen
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Re: Get your education questions answered

Postby livegreen » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:49 pm

Interesting- so you are saying that the Independent pupils are taught how to pass exams well but when they start to have to to learn by themselves, and compete on a level playing field they struggle against the more resilient state school pupils?

That to me is not a great advert for Independent schools but the evidence is clear and irrefutable.

Basically an admissions tutor at the top universities or an employer should generally be advised to choose a state educated student over an independent educated one (if they have similar results).

In 6th Form in particular, would pupils not be better off attending the local state schools as the best preparation for University or employment?

This may be provocative to some but if it costs £300k net to privately educate a child one would expect them to be better prepared for University. The evidence seems to suggest differently.

I’ve been trying to obtain the numbers on University drop out rates, as anecdotally I’ve been told it highlights this too. However most research focused on disadvantaged students drop out rates.
SW12Pops
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Re: Get your education questions answered

Postby SW12Pops » Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:20 pm

"Independent pupils are taught how to pass exams well"

Not so much, they're just taught better all round. How to pass exams, how to think, how to problem solve etc etc. I know these are huge generalisations but the sheer amount of money spent on them means better resources, lower staff/pupils ratios, time out for trips etc etc.

So if I continue that generalisation, if you have two pupils who are the same and one goes to state and the other indy then the indy one will get to a "better" university for the same intelligence. They then do less well as the playing fields are levelled. 

An admissions tutor at a university could focus on state, and some do this to some extent in extreme circumstances, but universities tend to offer the same grades for the same courses so they're not discriminating against indy pupils - which is why indy schools are only getting bigger/better/more successful.

Work is a different kettle of fish and this is where the real injustice lies.

If the only driver of work-success were academic grades then it might suit employers to discriminate but there are around 30 factors that drive success at work. (We all have those friends who left school at 16 but are highly successful). So employers CAN discriminate against state pupils by not prioritising them over indy pupils because it doesn't harm their businesses, academic skills aren't that good an indicator of work success. There is a contradiction in there, I think, because one would expect the state pupils to get the better degrees that would lead to the better jobs, but I wonder if that's because the difference between the two cohorts isn't massive so maybe it doesn't cross the degree grade boundaries in a way that is material?

Whenever this discussion starts, usually over a glass of wine, I'm always surprised that people are so anti-independent schools. They only exist because they're better. It would be simple to get rid of them by making state schools amazing - but that costs more in terms of taxes and most people aren't prepared to swallow that cost.

The sad fact, if you go to a state school, is that the indy schools are more likely to make you a success at whatever you decide to do.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-35641061
 
rooting4tooting
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Re: Get your education questions answered

Postby rooting4tooting » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:54 am

independent 6th form, or independent secondary, or independent primary or independent all the way through??
Why do I bring this up?
Because many independent educated children are switching to a state 6th form (grammar or other) in order to get the Russell group place via the slanted entrance system.

I saw the university success board at St Francis Xavier and the number of openly independent secondary kids was high.
Mummyinarush
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Re: Get your education questions answered

Postby Mummyinarush » Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:57 am

These findings are unsurprising. If you push and coach children through their school years then you’re not giving them space to be proactive, self motivated learners. When they arrive at university and no one is standing over them making them do prep, inevitably some of them will lose their way and lack the motivation (and in some cases the ability) to achieve the best grades at university.

I saw surprisingly high numbers of friends from private school fail their first year exams and retake the year or drop out when I was at university. Some of them probably should not have been there in the first place, and if they’d attended a state school would most probably not have got in. An experience like that can destroy a young persons confidence.

As a parent it’s incredibly hard to know what the best approach is for your child, and all children are different, but whichever school they go to setting unrealistically high expectations for them to live up to is likely to have negative consequences in the long run. Far more constructive to help them discover what they love and nurture a passion for learning that will enable them to achieve it!
livegreen
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Re: Get your education questions answered

Postby livegreen » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:20 am

@SW12Pops

You do make a huge generalisation that Independent pupils are “just taught better all round. How to pass exams, how to think, how to problem solve etc etc.” However the considerable evidence totally contradicts this – there is little doubt that State School pupils do better than Independent pupils at University. I have added another piece of evidence below to show that this is mirrored at Medical Schools where high achieving State educated students again outperform high achievers from independent schools.

Note this is not anti-independent schools but the research is fascinating in that it does contradict the marketing materials that we all swallow with little challenge from the Independent Schools.

With regard to overall longer term outcomes this is a much more nuanced point and evidence is actually that it has more to do with the wealth of your parents than where you are educated – perhaps a separate discussion altogether.

From the Daily telegraph and British Medical Journal

Medical students from state funded schools do better when attending medical school than their counterparts from independent schools, research published in BMJ Open has shown.1

UK researchers found that, while students from independent schools tended to enter medical training scoring slightly higher in entry tests, students from state schools were around twice as likely to graduate in the top 10% of their class.

Evidence suggests that the make up of medical students has become increasingly diverse in terms of gender, ethnicity, and age, but that progress has not been replicated by a similar change in the socioeconomic background of medical students.

The medical profession has been criticised for being socially exclusive and dominated by people from affluent backgrounds.

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen looked at the relationship between students’ secondary school grades, the school they attended, and their performance through medical school. They analysed data from students who graduated from 33 UK medical schools between 2012 and 2013.

The study considered candidates’ demographics; pre-entry grades (UCAS tariff scores); and their pre-admission test scores (UK clinical aptitude test and graduate medical school admissions test). The study used the score each student achieved in their educational performance measure on their completion of medical school as the overall measurement of success.

The researchers found that although there was no significant difference between UCAS scores, students from independent schools scored significantly higher in their pre-admission tests compared with students from state schools.

However, over the course of medical school, state school students were more likely to outperform their independently schooled classmates.

The findings are in line with a study 2 3 of 4811 students at 12 UK medical schools, published in 2013, that also found that students from private and grammar schools performed less well at medical school than students from non-selective schools.

Jen Cleland, chair of medical education at the University of Aberdeen and lead author of the paper, said: “While this study didn’t look at why students from state schools significantly outperform students from independent schools, one possibility is that once given equal access to resources, state educated students take advantage of the opportunities available to them.

“All students who get into medical school have had to work hard, but those from state schools may have had less support, and so once they get to university, they may already have well developed non-academic attributes such as motivation and resilience, which set them up to manage medical school effectively.”

Ben Kumwenda, one of the study authors, told The BMJ: “We need to encourage more applications from state funded schools. At the moment, there is a sizeable number of students from state schools who tend to think medicine is not meant for people like them and give up thinking it would be difficult. We need to change that.”
Heavens to Betsy
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Re: Get your education questions answered

Postby Heavens to Betsy » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:39 am

I don't think the economic factor can be ignored. 

Students taking on a loan of 9k a year for tuition fees plus 8k for a maintenance loan, which would be  most state school educated university undergraduates, will have to pay back, focusses the mind admirably I would think.

These Students will work to get the very best results possible, to optimise their opportunities in the workplace, to make having a debt of 50k plus on graduation (assuming a bachelors degree NOT masters) worthwhile! 

Something children from more affluent families take for granted (often having fully funded places from wealthy parents) and so the work imperative is not so acute amongst them.
kirstysimone
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Re: Get your education questions answered

Postby kirstysimone » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:52 am

I also feel that private schools kids have so much pressure put on them at an early age to constantly achieve good grades at the 7+, 11+ gcse and a levels . ( to secure scholarships etc) That when they get to university they simply want to have a good time and rebel a little.
And not study so hard.
A fair few friends who went to London’s tops private secondary schools and did exactly that .
Again a huge generalisation but I do think there is some truth in my thinking.
SW12Pops
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Re: Get your education questions answered

Postby SW12Pops » Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:33 am

"I would be interested in hearing the answer to why State School students do better at university than students from Independent Schools."

@LiveGreen, yes I am generalising but I can only try to be helpful by answering your question via generalisations as the theme is so broad.

"However the considerable evidence totally contradicts this"

I don't think it does, we've already agreed (I think) that indy school children get better results for the same base level of intelligence. Without any other proxy for quality of teaching the evidence shows exactly the opposite - children do better.

I'll give you a specific example. There is a large indy school in SW London in which, during GSCE season, the teachers will get the first paper of a GCSE topic then "question spot" which topics they think will come up in question 2. This isn't pupils, btw, it's the teachers.

Then they run a clinic on a Saturday morning between the two papers where they teach the children how to answer the question they've predicted will come up.

The average difference between the grades achieved by their pupils between paper 1 and paper 2 is 10%. That can be two grade boundaries. It is a totally unfair but incredibly effective advantage. The children don't have to go to the clinic, it's totally optional, but they do go with their own accord (and believe me they're motivated to go) because 50% of the time the teachers are right. It's incredibly effective but you need resources and money and staff who aren't running around like headless chickens to do it.

I understand why people may claim that indy children "aren't motivated" or are "coached and pushed too hard" but if you've seen an indy class of 15 children quietly working away in lessons under the guidance of a happy, motivated teacher versus a state teacher who is silently screaming 

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2 ... udget-cuts

then you'll see why it's a weird argument as it just doesn't resonate with what we see in real life.

Private education is one of those areas of UK life where many many people have irresolute and chippy opinions without having any experience of it first hand.

I will agree with anyone till the cows come home that it's a) unfair b) elitist c) socially divisive because it is. But I won't agree that it somehow gives a poorer education - it just doesn't. Attack it for it's unfairness but not on the quality of the product.

If I can now flip to other side, I think the very best schools, out of state/indy/grammar are large mixed comprehensives with strong discipline, academic rigour, an inspirational head and supportive parents. The problem is it's incredibly hard to get that mix in London on any scale, there is the odd one (and it's where left wing politicians send their own children).

 
Nev123
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Re: Get your education questions answered

Postby Nev123 » Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:19 pm

Isn't that a rather strange argument to make SW12Pops if you follow it through?

Even if you accept that with the same baseline intelligence a privately educated pupil will do better at school than a state one (I don't, the evidence doesn't support it either), you argue that the privately educated one has only done better because of the resource thrown at him/her such as the clinics etc described above.

That then results, at best, in him/her getting in to a slightly 'better' uni but at that point, on your argument any advantage completely falls away.  Effectively, you say, they revert to baseline.  In fact by your argument their cohort of state educated uni peers will in fact be considerably brighter/have a higher baseline intelligence than the privately educated one who only got there on the basis of being pushed to do so. 

I am not sure that's a position worth paying ~£300k for.

 
SW12Pops
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Re: Get your education questions answered

Postby SW12Pops » Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:43 pm

" you argue that the privately educated one has only done better because of the resource thrown at him/her such as the clinics etc described above."

yes - private schools get better results for same baseline intelligence because of extra resources.

Their cohort of state educated uni peers will in fact be considerably brighter/have a higher baseline intelligence than the privately educated one who only got there on the basis of being pushed to do so. 

not considerably - I don't know the details of the gap - but yes I agree there will be those that only got there because of their indy school background.

any advantage completely falls away.

No - I don't think it does. I did address this earlier when I said there is an apparent contradiction in my argument that you would expect companies to bias recruitment away from indy pupils at uni but that isn't the case. In fact we're seeing the opposite as all the professions (and may of the arts) are subject to an increasing stranglehold from the independent sector (that's the BBC article posted earlier).

I suspect (but don't know) that this is because pure academic performance isn't an especially good proxy for career success. Perhaps simple opportunity and awareness of different careers is a bigger driver (I don't know) and that simply knowing about and having access to internships etc means that more and it'll tend to be the parents of these indy pupils who can help more in this regard.

I am not sure that's a position worth paying ~£300k for.

To some extent I agree. If I go back to my position that the best school is

...large mixed comprehensives with strong discipline, academic rigour, an inspirational head and supportive parents. 

then that is what I would always choose. However because the government won't fund education properly then these schools are impossible to have at any sensible scale and one only sees it in isolated instances.

Therefore it's absolutely worth paying for it - because of the advantages it gives.

Look at these tables here:

https://www.compare-school-performance. ... ersepolicy

"Achieving AAB or higher in at least 2 facilitating subjects" 3 of the top 5 are independent schools and they're not even the REALLY selective schools (there is no JAGS, Alleyns, Dulwich, Whitgift which are the top picks for more academic SW London pupils). It's heartbreaking that we can't get more of the local comprehensives higher up the table. 




 
Needcoffeenow
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Re: Get your education questions answered

Postby Needcoffeenow » Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:27 pm

Can I just add to the debate that privately educated children are twice as likely to be privately tutored than state school children (data: Sutton Trust 2016). So in addition to paying private school fees for supposedly superior teaching and smaller classes, many parents of privately educated children still feel the need to give them extra support. Ironically, around 40% of private tutors are state school teachers tutoring to earn extra income.
SW12Pops
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Re: Get your education questions answered

Postby SW12Pops » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:15 pm

"for supposedly superior teaching and smaller classes"

The class sizes are smaller. Not supposedly smaller. Just actually smaller.

I don't believe that the private school teachers are "better" - in many cases I am sure that the individual teachers are stronger in state - they have to be.

BUT, and this is the important point, the classes in private sector are smaller, the teachers have more resources, they have more spare time to prepare and they're not stupidly over-worked. 

These indy children are also heavily tutored - yes but they're not tutored because they're failing (generalisation alert) they're tutored to help them achieve. Borderline Oxbridge and medicine/law prospective candidates are tutored to get them on these courses/colleges. borderline Russell Group kids are tutored to get them in etc etc. It's about getting the best result for each child.

I think the government should be ashamed that state teachers are helping to boost the success of the private sector through private tutoring. If they were properly paid then they wouldn't need the extra work.

And again, I'll keep saying it until I'm blue in the face, the whole private sector could be mostly eradicated by spending much much more of our tax dollars on education.