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AM Glass Box

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Eddie Mair | 06:14 UK time, Friday, 27 August 2010


What ideas, related to today's news, do you have for PM tonight?

This virtual glass box emulates the real glass box we sit in at 11.00 for our main editorial meeting of the day. Your comments can contribute to that meeting.

Glenn Campbell is your host tonight. Please provide him with lots of good ideas.


  • 1. At 07:13am on 27 Aug 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    Morning Eddie, et al. When you've finished with the box, can you leave it readable please? I like to browse it in the afternoon.


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  • 2. At 07:38am on 27 Aug 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    How about reporting on this.

    Is it time the dominant BBC started to become accountable to those who pay for it. Perhaps a start could be with telling us how much WE pay BBC employees. The BBC have special dispensations (along with channel 4) for the privilege of being a 'so called public broadcaster'. Why shouldn't we know when BBC funding id guaranteed.


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  • 3. At 08:08am on 27 Aug 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Perhaps you might want to cover this too. The poor are being disportionately marginalised in state education. Whats new?


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  • 4. At 08:14am on 27 Aug 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    There was an article on Today this morning about a report sponsored by Barnardos which essentially said that all secondary schools should be obliged to take admissions from across the ability spectrum and then see to it that the classes within those schools are also mixed ability (as opposed to setting/streaming, I assume).

    The report says that this will improve the achievement of the students from the lowest end of the scale by providing them with role models. Leaving aside that this does not chime with my experience:

    a. Is there any evidence to support this assertion?

    b. What does this do to the levels of achievement of the highest performing students?

    It would seem that mixed ability classes might force the less able to proceed too quickly, whilst holding back (and therefore damaging the prospects) of the most able. Is this mediocrity for all (the favoured policy of the Major government) which will fail to narrow the rich/poor divide but make us all feel good about our inclusiveness? Discuss.

    You may pick up your pens. ;-)

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  • 5. At 08:18am on 27 Aug 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    Oops - I meant income spectrum, not ability spectrum!

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  • 6. At 08:25am on 27 Aug 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    Actually, no I didn't.

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  • 7. At 08:27am on 27 Aug 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Alan N (4)

    I didn't think we were allowed to discuss anything anymore on the glass box as, I thought we were told that they only want us to suggest topics inclusion in the program. I fear if I start discussing things, I will end up being accused of hijacking the blog and having a massive chip on my shoulder cause I don't know how to speak proper if you know what I mean. But if its not too bolshie, I belive education should be life-long if a person finds their second wind later and that the state may have a duty in enabling this. the other thing is, if the intention is to close the gaps in education between the poor and the pushy aspiring classes, dosen't this take a recognition that being poor dosen't automatically mean your thick? I don't think the Bernardo's report was talking about brighter and less able students. It concentrated I think on the poor as opposed to achedemic ability.

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  • 8. At 08:28am on 27 Aug 2010, Trevor Mansell wrote:

    Hi Alan-N. Your experience certainly chimes with mine. I went to my local Grammar school, more years ago than I care to remember. That school was streamed, the lower streams given more intensive tuition. I was in the bottom stream in some subjects and the higher stream for others.

    I get the impression nowadays that the intention is to bring everyone down to the lowest common denominator.

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  • 9. At 08:31am on 27 Aug 2010, Phil Burt wrote:

    A story with some real meat on its bones:

    • "A 43-year-old man, epileptic and incontinent, often barely lucid, has been in hospital for 21 weeks, alone in a room for most of that time, deprived of the intensive therapy he needs, because of a bureaucratic nightmare unworthy of a civilised country.
      This is the deepening scandal of Robert Lapsley."

    Kenneth Roy reports

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  • 10. At 08:36am on 27 Aug 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Alan N (6)

    You are right about ability spectrum. The barnardo's report does place importance on the ability spectrum probably over the income spectrum.

    However, income levels and achievement levels for the most part seem to go hand in hand.

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  • 11. At 08:41am on 27 Aug 2010, Trevor Mansell wrote:

    FJD. I was born and bought up in inner city Birmingham. My parents were working class and not pushy and aspiring,although I was encouraged by them and my teachersd to make the best of my abilities. It is only natural for parents to want the best for their offspring. I did so with my two sons without being pushy. I have fared better than my parents and my sons have fared better, both educationally and finacially, than I.

    Most of the kids in my primary school were of the same working class. I took the 11+ along with the majority of my peers. I was fortunate in getting into my local grammar. Given the time (Late 50's - early 60's) and if my memory serves me correctly, most of the children in this school were of working class parents.

    Those of my friends at primary school who didn't get through the 11+ had a second chance at 13+ to try and gain entrance to a technical school.

    I consider this system to be fair and reasonable. The reason we now have the so called "pushy, aspiring classes" is that successive governments have decimated the grammar school system. Thus there are far fewer places for them to aspire to.

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  • 12. At 08:42am on 27 Aug 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    I see there is another push to shove Niger up the news agenda and play on our heart strings to dig in our pocket for more Aid. As I pointed out in the previous attempt we have tried Aid there before in the 1970's following the 1968-73 drought, then some $7.5 billion was poured into the Sahel region, by the late 70's Aid was reaching a level of some $40 per person per year, with the area crawling with Aid missions, Burkino Fasso received 340 Aid missions, and what did all this Aid achieve? The chance to do it all again 25 years later. $7.5 billion is a rather expensive bit of sticking plaster that doesn't work, the only trouble is that we need an even bigger bit of sticking plaster now, for the population in Niger in the 70's was 5 million, its now 15 million and exponentially growing.

    This shows two things, firstly that Aid doesn’t work, and isn't a long term solution to anything, and secondly there is a serious issue of over population, not just in Niger, for as the immigration figures here showed it is a problem we are facing. Unfortunately these are two issues that our politicians aren't being made to face up to, for the media people who claim to hold our political class to account are uncritically in favour of both.

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  • 13. At 08:44am on 27 Aug 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Phil Burt (9)

    Thank you for the link. Absolutely disgraceful. this sort of thing is all too common. But still, should be brought to light.

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  • 14. At 09:03am on 27 Aug 2010, Phil Burt wrote:

    12. IMOORE

    • "This shows two things, firstly that Aid doesn’t work, and isn't a long term solution to anything, and secondly there is a serious issue of over population,"

    Agreed, but do you have any constructive solutions? I'm afraid it may already be out of our hands

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  • 15. At 09:09am on 27 Aug 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Trever Mansall (11)

    I'm glad you got to where you did through the system. But the problem with the grammar school system and the 11/13+ system was to write off those who failed this exam on one afternoon in a school day for the rest of their lives. I failed the 11+ and my secondary modern eduction deemed that we never, ever were required to do any home work. we were deliberately educated to a glass ceiling achievement level. There was no incentive to want to achieve regardless of your ability. through that education it was instilled (although never really stated) that I/we were not capable of having any more achievement ability than what had been planned out for me/us. Namely we were meant to become the factory floor fodder. We were told that this is where our abilities lay. Yet I being so young wasn't aware that this was state policy. however, I believe many people were let down, and had any aspiration over what that state policy was crushed in those children. Due to the abominable level of education I received as a child through the secondary modern education, it wasn't until I was in my forties that I became aware of what I might be capable of when I first went on to higher education. I so enjoyed the discovery of my capabilities and that I was capable of so much more than what I thought was. However, there was also the feeling of regret in that, I had discovered this capability had been there all along but more that half my life had gone before I was shown this. As Billy Connolly once said, 'we will never know if there is a great mind in the high rises and back streets of places like Glasgow because we never see them'. 'We don't seek them out'. we don't go looking for them. I agree with him.

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  • 16. At 09:15am on 27 Aug 2010, IMOORE wrote:


    Perhaps if we have money to burn as Aid then we should invest it in fertility clinics so women in these countries can get control of their fertility. At the very least any Aid should be linked to population sustainability.

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  • 17. At 09:16am on 27 Aug 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Dear Team PM,

    Re: the Barnardos report on education.

    No doubt you will hear of how wonderful grammar schools were for lifting working class kids into higher education. However, most kids during the 50s and 60s actually went to secondary modern schools (or similar).

    Therefore in the interests of balance please talk to people like me or funnyJoedunn who experienced education that the majority went through.

    Unfortunatly the education debate is dominated by past public school and grammar school students. They may be experts at talking about education but some of us are experts of the actual reality.

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  • 18. At 09:27am on 27 Aug 2010, Looternite wrote:

    15. funnyJoedunn

    I'm with you on this, mate.

    At least you sat the 11+, my junior school headmaster advised that I was not "grammar school material" and so was not entered in the 11+ exam.

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  • 19. At 09:32am on 27 Aug 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    I see support for the EU has fallen across Europe to less than 50%. The EU cannot get majority support yet it is taking more an more powers for its self, in the UK it is 20%. This seems to be heading towards a democratic crisis.

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  • 20. At 09:34am on 27 Aug 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Looter (18)

    Yes, and having to carry that stigma with you through the rest of your schooling. If we talk in these (real) terms though, we are often accused of having a that great big chip, bolshie pinkos and the like.

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  • 21. At 09:38am on 27 Aug 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    The problem with the selective system revolved around the mediocrity (to put it politely) of the offer made to those who failed the 11 plus. Had the British model been closer to the German model, where technical schools were of the same calibre as the grammar (equivalent) schools, there would be little cause for complaint.

    Nowadays, in general, we have a fairer, but more mediocre, system than in the days of selection. Political parties can tinker around at the edges, but without the will to invest heavily in structures appropriate to all levels of ability and aptitude - along with a reduction in class sizes - we are unlikely to find the educational nirvana to which we aspire.

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  • 22. At 09:50am on 27 Aug 2010, Looternite wrote:

    20. funnyJoedunn

    I notice that we are only accused of having a chip by people who went to public school or grammar school!

    It aint a chip if it is based your real experience.

    What is interesting is that a boy from our school went on to university. He was older than me. I met him at a school reunion and he became a scientist at an Agricultural Research Institute.

    After getting his "O" levels he had to do his "A" levels at a grammar school. He told me that he had to be interviewed by the school headmasters. The first school decided they did not have a place and so he ended up at his second choice which was a lot further away.

    So you see even if you are bright the system will still put a few huddles in the way.

    Thank god for sending us Saint Harold Wilson who recognised the failings of our education system and for the "White Heat of the Technological Revolution" that meant that many of us could get really good apprenticeships.

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  • 23. At 09:56am on 27 Aug 2010, CG wrote:

    #17, looternite, i went through a secondary modern education and it saw me through life ok. As I remember it the 11 plus was compulsory, it was the technical school 13 plus exam that was optional. But I took my 11 plus in the 50s and was out of school just before the 60s began, so it could have changed by the time you were ready for it. Was it under a Labour government that you were denied you big educational chance?

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  • 24. At 10:02am on 27 Aug 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    As we move into the Bank Holiday weekend, I'm wondering is there any evidence that people are choosing to holiday in the UK rather than travel abroad. Some reports indicate that tour companies have a lot of unsold packages and a few carriers have gone under recently.

    Is there concrete evidence of this downturn in foreign holidays?
    Is there a corresponding increase in UK residents booking holidays in the UK?
    Or are people just forgoing holidays?

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  • 25. At 10:11am on 27 Aug 2010, elcej wrote:

    15 fjd

    I do hear what you say and agree the system was (still is?) wrong.

    But the fault lay in the opportunities for kids that failed the 11+.
    I'd vote for keeping the 11+ & 13+ but that greater funding (per child) for those that failed the 11+/13+ and with a greater emphasis for vocational education (with the opportunity of academic subjects too)

    I see the 11+ as the greatest opportunity for social mobility. Much better to provide the opportunity for people to rise up the scale than pull down those that are higher up.

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  • 26. At 10:17am on 27 Aug 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    The US is reported to be slipping into another recession, the fiscal package doesn't seem to be working, with unemployment at 10% and peoples confidence low, are we seeing the effects of corporate greed where the combination of business having off shored jobs and high levels of immigration has killed off the golden goose?

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  • 27. At 10:19am on 27 Aug 2010, Looternite wrote:

    23. bankingballs

    I can assure you that the 11+ was not compulsory in the county I grew up in. My parents had the right to insist that I sat the 11+ but they like most working class parents would have taken the advice of the headmaster.

    Grammar school places were not being provided to keep up with the growth in 11 year olds in the home counties. Partly due to the baby boom and also London overspill.

    In the 1950s and early 60s not only did you have to pass the 11+ but you also had to pass an interview at the grammar school. A boy the same age as my oldest brother passed the exam but flunked the interview and so he ended up at the secondary modern. One of his daughters was in a popular beat combo, apparently. Marvelous what you learn at a school reunion.

    The 11+ was discriminatory to girls and was a classic example of "Post Code Lottery" before post codes had been invented.

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  • 28. At 10:23am on 27 Aug 2010, CG wrote:

    #26, the US is just following us down the greasy pole of military and economic might - every dog has its day, and theirs is coming to an end, just like ours did years ago.

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  • 29. At 10:23am on 27 Aug 2010, IMOORE wrote:


    Agreed, the 11+ worked for those who went to Grammar schools, the failure was not having a policy for those that didn't pass, and dumping them in secondary moderns.

    As I pointed out before Germany streams its children, but it selects all its children, streaming them into schools most suitable for their needs, into the equivalent of Grammar,and technical etc.

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  • 30. At 10:27am on 27 Aug 2010, CG wrote:

    #27, looternite, I have a very good friend who passed the 11 plus but his parents wouldn't send him to grammar school, and the authorities begged them to send him, even offering to help them financially, so I guess you just grew up in a shabby council area, was it Labour?

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  • 31. At 10:30am on 27 Aug 2010, CG wrote:

    #27, looternite, and could we have a change of Horold Wislow slogans, please, the white heat of technology is getting a bit worn out - how about the pound in your pocket one he came out with after devaluation, that's always good for a laugh

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  • 32. At 10:41am on 27 Aug 2010, Trevor Mansell wrote:

    FJD/Looternite. I don't think you have a chip. More likely you both appear to have been victims of circumstance. I don't recall having to have an interview. Girls had the same opportunities as boys, I think there were just as many girls only/co-ed grammar schools in Birmingham.

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  • 33. At 10:43am on 27 Aug 2010, jonnie wrote:

    Oh here it is....

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  • 34. At 10:44am on 27 Aug 2010, mittfh wrote:

    A ten fold rise in weight loss operations, eh?

    Someone please send whoever came up with that headline back to remedial maths classes (unless, like the billion, we've redefined the term to divorce it from its origins). A rise from 238 to 2,543 is 10x (or, if you prefer, 1,000%). Ten fold is significantly higher (1,204x). It works on powers of two - just try folding a real piece of paper for the logic:

    1-fold is 2x (2^1)
    2-fold is 4x (2^2)
    3-fold is 8x (2^3)
    4-fold is 16x (2^4)
    5-fold is 32x (2^5)
    6-fold is 64x (2^6)
    7-fold is 128x (2^7)
    8-fold is 256x (2^8)
    9-fold is 512x (2^9)
    10-fold is 1024x (2^10)

    Which reminds me...
    There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary and those who don't...

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  • 35. At 10:47am on 27 Aug 2010, Phil Burt wrote:

    22. Looternite

    • "It aint a chip if it is based your real experience."

    Did you pick it up in Woodwork?

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  • 36. At 10:50am on 27 Aug 2010, Phil Burt wrote:

    25. edwardjecle

    • "greater funding (per child) for those that failed the 11+/13+ and with a greater emphasis for vocational education (with the opportunity of academic subjects too)"

    Seconded, and might we get a better term than "failed"? I know it's largely 'cosmetic', but words matter.

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  • 37. At 10:53am on 27 Aug 2010, DiY wrote:

    Perhaps you may like to follow this one up?
    Half of UK road users support usage-based road charging

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  • 38. At 10:55am on 27 Aug 2010, Phil Burt wrote:

    26. IMOORE

    • "killed off the golden goose? "

    I reckon it was the golden goose what killed The Economy.
    • ""Though I can see no way to defend the economy, I recognize the need to be concerned for the suffering that would be produced by its failure. But I ask if it is necessary for it to fail in order to change: I am assuming that if it does not change it must sooner or later fail, and that a great deal that is more valuable will fail with it. As a deity the economy is a sort of egotistical French monarch, for it apparently can see no alternative to itself except chaos, and perhaps that is its chief weakness. For, of course, chaos is not the only alternative to it. A better alternative is a better economy. But we will not conceive the possibility of a better economy, and therefore will not begin to change, until we quit deifying the present one." "

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  • 39. At 10:56am on 27 Aug 2010, CarolineOfBrunswick wrote:

    Chilcot inquiry accused of fixating on west and ignoring real victims

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  • 40. At 10:57am on 27 Aug 2010, Looternite wrote:

    23. bankingballs

    By the way not only was the Tories in power when I was at primary school and most of my secondary education but the county council was Tory.

    Bored out of my brains by school I left at age 15 in 1965.

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  • 41. At 10:58am on 27 Aug 2010, mittfh wrote:

    Talking of the 11+, what it turned out to be was far different from what turned out. The original idea in the Education Act 1944 was for the exam to pigeonhole people into one of four types of school: Secondary Modern, Secondary Technical, Grammar and Comprehensive (combining the other three strands - usually for very low population areas where it would be impractical to have the others). The Act also provided for community colleges, offering education for both children and adults, a measure that was only followed through by a few LEAs.

    Unfortunately, money was short, and lots of schools needed rebuilding, so "in practice the number of grammar schools, for the academically inclined, remained unchanged, and few technical schools or comprehensive schools were established. As a result, most pupils went to secondary modern schools, whether they were suitable or not, meaning that the majority of education funding went to the secondary modern schools."

    "Although the Butler Act planned a parity of esteem between this and the other sections of the tripartite system, in practice the secondary modern came to be seen as the school for failures. Those who had "failed" their eleven plus were sent there to learn rudimentary skills before advancing to factory or menial jobs."

    "In 1944 these schools existed only on paper, and had not yet been built. But whereas the other two branches of the tripartite system would be built over the next decade, the technical schools barely materialised. At their peak, only 2-3% of children attended one. As a result, in most LEA areas, pupils were not selected from the eleven plus as originally proposed, but from a separate, voluntary set of examinations taken at the age of 12 or 13."

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  • 42. At 10:58am on 27 Aug 2010, Phil Burt wrote:

    32. Trevor Mansell

    • "victims of circumstance"

    "People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are.
    I don't believe in circumstances.
    The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look
    for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them,
    make them. "
    -- George Bernard Shaw

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  • 43. At 10:59am on 27 Aug 2010, IMOORE wrote:


    I think you might be correct, when a surplus country becomes a deficit country surviving on credit the writing is on the wall for their demise, but I can't help but feel the US corporates in the practices they have pursued have crapped in their own back yard.

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  • 44. At 11:02am on 27 Aug 2010, Phil Burt wrote:

    Time to close the box?

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  • 45. At 11:03am on 27 Aug 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Phil@42: hear, hear.

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  • 46. At 11:08am on 27 Aug 2010, Phil Burt wrote:


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  • 47. At 11:21am on 27 Aug 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Eddie, Get rid of that annoying 'You have already made that comment...' Browser thing! It is extremely annoying and doesn't mean anything.

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  • 48. At 11:27am on 27 Aug 2010, davmcn wrote:

    mittfh 00100010, I think you mean two types...

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  • 49. At 11:40am on 27 Aug 2010, elcej wrote:

    42 Phil Burt
    I believe "victims of circumstance" is correct.

    Surely this is mostly a nature/nurture argument

    We are mostly the products of our parents since they are our primary role models and, as I've said before, we don't get to choose our parents. We are therefore victims of circumstance.

    The most influential period that shapes who we become is probably pre-school although some of the lessons of life can be learned later.

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  • 50. At 11:41am on 27 Aug 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    mittfh (34) - Not sure if the headline writer should go to remedial Maths or you should go to remedial English.

    -foldsuffix forming adjectives and adverbs from cardinal numbers: 1 in an amount multiplied by:threefold. 2 consisting of so many parts:twofold
    -ORIGIN Old English

    The headline writer was correct.

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  • 51. At 12:51pm on 27 Aug 2010, Phil Burt wrote:

    Will the last one out please switch off the lights....

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  • 52. At 1:18pm on 27 Aug 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    Friends - I wasn't advocating a return to the old (and not very good) system - just wondering about the effects of the proposals in and assertions of the Barnardos report.

    I happen to think Big Sis (@ 21) is on to something - the German system seems (to my unschooled eye) to be pretty successful.

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  • 53. At 4:26pm on 27 Aug 2010, cherrytree wrote:

    What do you think goes on today in a secondary school? In the community comprehensive school where I am a governor there is setting from the time the children join in Year 7. This means exactly what some of you think used to happen but no more.It does happen. Children may be in the top set for say Mathematics and poissibly the bottom one for English or science. There is a lot of truth I think in the Barnados report. Free school meals are a pretty accurate indicator of performance unfortunately, and a "good" school will have fewer disadvantaged children. If you look at a school's GCSE or A level performance there is a correlation between the prosperity of its intake and results.If you are in an area with grammar schools, find out about the number of children entitled to free meals. Life is very unfair.

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  • 54. At 4:54pm on 27 Aug 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    I'd like to say thanks for all the educational comments. the consensus seems to be that we had and still have an unfair system of education. Its nonsense to say to 11 year old kids life is going to be what you make when the system is deliberately greased against them. Apart from it being meaningless to them, it is unfair. And when you are older the doors to many opportunities and the rungs of the ladder have been reserved by those who get there by wealth and privilege for their mates from the same political/social backgrounds. This isn;t a chip, its a reality. Do the research.

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  • 55. At 4:55pm on 27 Aug 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    cherrytree: I certainly know what happens today in a secondary school - I've taught in that sector for many years. ;o)

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  • 56. At 5:02pm on 27 Aug 2010, Phil Burt wrote:

    I think Eddie needs one of these


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  • 57. At 5:05pm on 27 Aug 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Joe (54): It is pure exaggeration to say the system is "deliberately" greased against them.

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  • 58. At 5:16pm on 27 Aug 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Big Sis, (57)

    I agree to disagree.

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  • 59. At 5:29pm on 27 Aug 2010, Patrick Too wrote:

    Glenn Campbell? He hasn't started singing yet has he?

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  • 60. At 5:35pm on 27 Aug 2010, Phil Burt wrote:

    I hope he doesn't!

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  • 61. At 6:54pm on 27 Aug 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Big Sis (57)

    57. At 5:05pm on 27 Aug 2010, Big Sister wrote:
    Joe (54): It is pure exaggeration to say the system is "deliberately" greased against them.

    Big Sis, on reflection
    I understand how my comment may be construed, Without a long qualification to explain this. Perhaps 'deliberately' might have been too strong a word. So in the light of this I agreeably withdraw the word 'deliberately'.

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  • 62. At 6:58pm on 27 Aug 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Thanks, Joe. I do agree, though, with your general point.

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  • 63. At 10:34pm on 27 Aug 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    Did you hear all that, PM? There are disenfranchised working-classes in the home counties!

    You can ignore the north of England completely now.

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  • 64. At 00:10am on 28 Aug 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    Except you might like to explain to them where Parkistarn is - I think a few Parkistarnis might appreciate that too.

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  • 65. At 00:11am on 28 Aug 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    Is it anywhere near Karbl?

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  • 66. At 05:57am on 28 Aug 2010, openwood wrote:

    The BBC News page has a headline about 'Food Pipe Cancer'. I don't mean to make light of oesophageal cancer; clearly it's a very serious subject. But 'Food Pipe' in a headline? Come on, guys - if we can find our way to the BBC News website and read its content, please can we be trusted to understand the grown-up terms for grown-up things?

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  • 67. At 09:56am on 28 Aug 2010, CG wrote:

    #17, looternite, you may be right about the non compulsory nature of the 11 plus, I have just been talking to a bloke in the queue for the library before I got on this computer, and he couldn't be sure, but he seems to remember hearing somebody being told they almost were not put in the exam. I was in an A form, although I only just about held my position in it, every year I expected to be sent down. Perhaps A formers were automatically put up for the exam, and B formers were filtered out, especially the ones always at the bottom of the class. I am going to email my mate to see what he remembers, but it is a sore topic for him seeing as he passed but never got the opportunity to go to grammar school.

    My educational history is just about the same as yours, but in hindsight I think it was good for the ones who wanted to learn to get the opportunity to study without kids like me always playing about in the class.

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  • 68. At 11:12am on 28 Aug 2010, elcej wrote:

    67. bankingballs wrote in hindsight I think it was good for the ones who wanted to learn to get the opportunity to study without kids like me always playing about in the class.

    This reminds me of Olympic diver Tom Daley from Plymouth. He was 14 years old when he dived for England in the Beijing Olympics. Clearly a star....and with the fortunate position of having supportive parents. But unfortunate that he was bullied so much at his comprehensive school....just for being outstanding....that he had to change schools. I wonder how much of this goes on. Kids being bullied or brought down by dimwits just because they want to achieve something.

    Is this an argument for grammar schools... so that anyone from any background who wants to achieve can get on with it..... and those that are not motivated can be taught in a way that suits them (and not be forgotten).

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  • 69. At 12:58pm on 28 Aug 2010, U14595260 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 70. At 2:35pm on 28 Aug 2010, U14595260 wrote:



    Surely disagreement needs expression rather than referral to the Mods.

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  • 71. At 3:20pm on 28 Aug 2010, Phil Burt wrote:

    What did you say? Did you get an email explaining (sort of) wht was wrong?


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