Fees and feeder schools

Discussion in 'Shooting the Breeze' started by cremeegg, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. cremeegg

    cremeegg Frequent Poster

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    The IT has its annual report on the leading feeder schools. The marvellous methodology used means that many schools are reported as having more than 100% of their students progressing to third level. So a bit of a dumb report really.

    Of course the accompanying analysis labours the relative success of fee paying schools. Though cremeegg suspects that their Irish language teaching is just as useless as the commonalty and does not produce fluent speakers either.

    Hats off to Limerick however, 3 of the top 4 non fee paying schools are in the ancient city.
     
  2. Firefly

    Firefly Frequent Poster

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    3rd level could mean anything these days really with all the options out there. What I liked about the IT supplement however was that it listed (on the 3rd page) the number of students from each school who went to each college.
     
  3. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    It doesn't tell you how many of those kids had to get grinds to compensate for bad teaching. It also doesn't take into account the ability of the parents to help those kids with homework and revision.
    Basically there is more to it than just the school.
     
  4. Firefly

    Firefly Frequent Poster

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    There are good and bad teachers in every school. God knows we had plenty in my school and the less than 10% of students who have gone to university every year since the 80s are testament to this. I would imagine there is a higher scrutiny on teachers in private schools given that parents are paying fees though.

    I agree. I think a lot of parents could do better when it comes to helping their kids with education as it's not just the school's job.

    I agree however if 90% of students from school A go to university whilst only 5% go from school B, all things considered, I think I'd know which one I would hedge my bets with!
     
  5. gnf_ireland

    gnf_ireland Frequent Poster

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    Your school was completely different to mine in that case :) back in my day there was no such thing as a bad student or a good teacher !
    The teacher got all the blame for the poor results, and the student got all the credit for the good ones

    I think this is absolutely key. I am from rural Ireland - my father is a farmer, my mother was a teacher. A large number of my aunts & uncles on both sides went to university and were involved in education in some shape or form - which was unusual given you are talking about 1960's/1970's rural Ireland. Education always was a focus of our youth (mid 80's early 90's), whether we liked it or not, and many a dispute arose when Dad wanted us to help on the farm and Mam wanted us to study. Mam mostly won!
    When I compare the results we got to our neighbours/friends, ours were always higher - because of the parental support we received. I knew many a very capable student fall by the wayside because of lack of interest/parents could not care less.

    In my view (and experience), an academic child can excel in an average school with the right parental support. Whether an average student can excel in a 'high achiever' school is another matter. The bigger challenge is where everyone around them has no interest, very hard for a single student to make a difference - although I have seen it happen a number of times, again normally with strong parental support and disclipine.

    The school I went to, maybe 10% went to university, 25% went to an RTC, 25% went to the local Ag College and the rest either looked for a job or went on the dole. It was also a small school with maybe 350 students in total in the school.
    The challenge for any academic student here was the there was one history/economics/accounting/tech drawing class for both honours & pass, with only Irish/English & Maths split into honours and pass. This means the teacher is trying to bring all students along at a reasonable pace and not losing the academically weaker ones in the class.
    The other challenge for the student is having like minded students to interact with, and create a sense of competition between the group.

    So yes, the school and interests of the group of friends plays a part in academic success, but in my personal view parents make the major difference. Even the literacy report that came out during the week clearly mentioned the role of parents.


    Back to the 90% and 5% - I wonder how many stories the 90% class got read each night before bedtime versus the 5% class? How many of the 90% class were encouraged to make up stories for their parents versus the 5% class. Education starts at a very young age !
     
    Firefly, Purple and Ceist Beag like this.
  6. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    While it is easy to say that parents should support their children's education it's hard for parents who are functionally illiterate to help their children with reading.

    It is also false to make a distinction between fee paying schools and non fee paying schools. There are basically two types of schools. There are the ones where you get slagged for doing your homework and the ones where you don't get slagged for doing your homework.
    If anyone thinks that there is a bigger gap between Blackrock College and Newpark Comprehensive (a local public school) and Newpark and Killinarden Community School in Tallaght then they are deluding themselves.
    I'm not knocking Newpark, I'm sure it is a fine school and does a fine job educating young people, but I'd say they get more money from raffles, Christmas Fairs, Cake Sales etc than Killinarden Community School. I'd say it is more likely that they have a chartered accountant or a solicitor or barrister on their board of Management. I'd say they find it easier to get sponsorship from businesses.
    Then there's the families themselves. I'd say that the parents of the children that go there are more likely to have a third level degree, more likely to be able to pay for grinds, more likely to send their child to France or Spain during their transition year. I'd say it is more likely that their child has their own room and is better fed. I'd say those children are less likely to be exposed to substance abuse and domestic abuse. I don't think the school itself influences these factors and I don't think sending a particular child to one school or another changes their domestic circumstances either.

    There are plenty of things that parents should do for and with their children but there are some parents who are unable to do those things.
     
  7. Firefly

    Firefly Frequent Poster

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    Very true. One thing though, there are children in both of my children's classes who are from the middle east and are flying with their Irish.
    It may be a controversial thing to say but I believe most people do things they want to and if their children's education was a top priority for them, they would work out a way to make it happen. It will be more difficult for them, but where there's a will....

    I really couldn't agree more. I think the over-subscribed schools are over-subscribed precisely because of this...parents want to send their children there as doing well and excelling is normal.
     
  8. Firefly

    Firefly Frequent Poster

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    I think that's a very valid point. Whether it's chicken (the school) or egg (the parents), those schools at the top of the table tend to stay there because parents who want their children to succeed tend to send them there. Which in itself creates a cycle.

    I am not for a second saying that the school is everything. For me, there are 4 sides to the puzzle:
    The child themselves.
    The parents / family
    The school
    Their friends

    The last 3 go hand-in-hand. The parents in a lot of cases would like to send their children to a school where they believe they will mix with children from a similar background.
     
  9. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    So a school with a "good" catchment area or, failing that, a fee paying school or a Gaelscoil.
     
  10. Firefly

    Firefly Frequent Poster

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    Exactly. Not saying it's right or wrong, just the way it seems to be. Happens with holiday locations too come to think of it.
     
  11. cremeegg

    cremeegg Frequent Poster

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    Schools in disadvantaged areas get additional state funding, so perhaps Newpark needs the raffle money etc. to keep up with Killinarden.
     
  12. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    I seriously doubt it!