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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Eleven Plus Education

Irrespective of the Eleven Plus examinations eleven year old children from many different social backgrounds and academic abilities will be meeting each other in their new schools over the next few days.

The Eleven Plus examinations allow a distinction to be made between children of different abilities. In theory the successful are educated in grammar schools in a different way to the `unsuccessful’. In practice very able children who were not part of the grammar school race – or who did not gain a grammar school pace, still have the opportunity of an accelerated education.

More selection takes place after the GCSE examinations – where children are offered a wider range of educational opportunities – from 6th forms to college. Once again the children will meet and mix with other children from different backgrounds. For some it may be a girl attending a grammar school for boys, while a different girl could start on a more vocational course at college.

What does seem likely is that a child will respond and gain value from the social environment engineered by the parents – and this in turn will be reinforced by the educational institution itself.

As your children go to school this week in their new school uniforms – with clean and smiling faces – parents will naturally be very aware that their children will be making new friends – and encountering different social values.

As Gustave Flaubert said: “Life must be a constant education; one must learn everything, from speaking to dying.”

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