A group of mothers have been together from play school days. Their children do not all go to the same school – but they have continued a tradition of meeting up once a month for a little chat and keep in touch. There is no timetable, agenda, secretary or membership. Over the years the numbers in the group have grown and grown until one month an unheard of forty three mothers arrived!
The room that had been booked was too small but the management, recognising an opportunity, rushed around and laid more places in the larger dining room. The cheerful and happy group of mothers filled the tables and ordered. Two of three had to make quick phone calls home to say that they would be late because the kitchens had said the different meals would take some time. As the mothers waited for their food the noise in the room grew a little louder as the alcohol worked on the empty stomachs.
The conversation then moved, as it would, to the eleven plus. The mothers began talking about the question of working with their children at home on eleven plus work. One mother, well fuelled by red wine, called out: “Do you find it easier to work with your child or get help?”
The sample was stratified by the mothers having children at two different schools. There were nineteen children in one school and twenty four in the other. The number who selected that it was easy to work with their child was ten in one group and twenty in the other. The problem the mothers debated was; “Is there a difference in the two schools.?”
Obtained Results from the Mothers
Yes I can work with my child
School A 10
School B 20
No I can’t work with my child
School A 9
School B 4
School A 19
School B 24
One of the mothers collated the results and then she announced that she would work out if there was a difference between the actual results and expected results. She offered an example of expected results.
Expected Results from Mothers
Yes My child will work with me
School A 13
School B 17
No My child will not work with me
School A 6
School B 7
School A 19
School B 24
When we look at these results it is likely that there won’t be much difference in the numbers of children who are prepared to work with their parents.
All the mothers knew this any way – and by the time the results were announced the conversation had moved on to holiday homes in Spain, caravan sites in Devon and the relative merits of red wine. Bit by bit as the party become more anesthetised the conversation moved to not being able to drive home because of the drink drive limits and whether to call a taxi or a partner. One of the mums started on a poll count – but then forgot what she was counting.
“Never mind. We can do it again next month.”