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Thread: Edinburgh's catholic primaries unable to keep up with demand

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    Edinburgh's catholic primaries unable to keep up with demand

    Before Smurf roars in demanding something should be BANNED and right NOW, I'm hoping against hope this doesn't
    Descend into well worn arguments about whether Catholics schools should be BANNED.

    I'm more interested in what it signals. It may be a manifestation of how much the polish influx is changing is changing or social make up, but I doubt it's solely that. I think what is potentially more interesting is if , as numbers suggest, parents with no interest in religion are picking catholic schools, then what does that say about state education more generally? Why are they doing it, and what lessons can the wider state sector take from that?


    http://www.scotsman.com/edinburgh-ev...mand-1-2791054

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    Catholic schools are in old buildings that are unable to expand to meet demand?St.John's is a two stream school whereas as Towerbank has 4 (maybe 5) p1 classes.

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    It would be interesting to find out the religious and ethic make up of the schools however IIRC I put in a FoI following a similar conversation.

    The information is not held centrally by Lothian and there were doubts individual schools hold that information in a way that could be released.

    Nah, I didn't believe it either.

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    Edinburgh's catholic primaries unable to keep up with demand

    Quite a few numbers and context missing from that report, but I'd say one of the conclusions is non RC parents are much more likely to attempt to place their children in an RC school than a generation ago.

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    I know that in the 90s when my kids were at Catholic primary their head teacher told me that 40% of the school pupils were not Catholic. I dont know the % for their High School Holy Rood but based on their school pals id guess 30% as a conservative estimate.

    Its often suggested that its the non RC middle classes who are sending their kids to the Catholic schools but looking at the list of fully subscribed schools in the article even the Nids (St Francis) and your Jambo Bar Ox types (St Marks) are choosing to go green grape when it comes to schooling.

    Ironically the people keeping Catholic schools full and thriving arent those pesky papes but people of other faiths and in my experience even some atheists , who choose to send their children there.

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    They schools should be banned!!

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    Re: Edinburgh's catholic primaries unable to keep up with demand

    The RC high schools are becoming over subscribed as well.

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Purple & Green View Post
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    Quite a few numbers and context missing from that report, but I'd say one of the conclusions is non RC parents are much more likely to attempt to place their children in an RC school than a generation ago.
    I'd say there's no doubt that's the case. In fact that's the key assumption behind my question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brizo View Post
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    I know that in the 90s when my kids were at Catholic primary their head teacher told me that 40% of the school pupils were not Catholic. I dont know the % for their High School Holy Rood but based on their school pals id guess 30% as a conservative estimate.

    Its often suggested that its the non RC middle classes who are sending their kids to the Catholic schools but looking at the list of fully subscribed schools in the article even the Nids (St Francis) and your Jambo Bar Ox types (St Marks) are choosing to go green grape when it comes to schooling.

    Ironically the people keeping Catholic schools full and thriving arent those pesky papes but people of other faiths and in my experience even some atheists , who choose to send their children there.
    I agree - so the question is, what are catholic schools doing right that attracts people in this way, and what can the rest of the system learn from it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smurfy View Post
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    They schools should be banned!!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Smurfy View Post
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    They schools should be banned!!
    I do sympathise smurf, they do tick all the boxes and it must be hard for you to take;

    - Successful
    - Popular
    - Not completely subordinated to the state
    - Examples of real diversity (it's different - it scares me - kill it with fire)

    Not to worry though, zanu lab have so $#@!ed the life chances of less affluent children that a bit of half decent schooling won't save em. You'll still get your serfs.


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    Quote Originally Posted by egb_hibs View Post
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    I agree - so the question is, what are catholic schools doing right that attracts people in this way, and what can the rest of the system learn from it?
    Providing a social mix instead of social segregation. Ironically
    Hibs are standing on the brink of history...

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    Quote Originally Posted by egb_hibs View Post
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    I agree - so the question is, what are catholic schools doing right that attracts people in this way, and what can the rest of the system learn from it?
    Discipline. Even out here in the sticks it's not gone unnoticed that there is less of a discipline problem in Catholic schools than non denomination schools. Whether that means that Catholic families have a stricter regime, I couldn't say, but it's quite apparent in differentiating between schools. The Catholic secondary schools also achieve better exam results. Btw, I'm not Catholic so it's a neutral view I have.
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    Quote Originally Posted by egb_hibs View Post
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    I agree - so the question is, what are catholic schools doing right that attracts people in this way, and what can the rest of the system learn from it?
    That question would be best answered by non Catholic bouncers who choose to send their kids to Catholic schools. There must be a fair few about but unfortunately few if any seem to contribute to these discussions.

    Edit : The previous poster Beagle has given a view from what I take it is that perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SKII View Post
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    Providing a social mix instead of social segregation. Ironically
    Quote Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
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    Discipline. Even out here in the sticks it's not gone unnoticed that there is less of a discipline problem in Catholic schools than non denomination schools. Whether that means that Catholic families have a stricter regime, I couldn't say, but it's quite apparent in differentiating between schools. The Catholic secondary schools also achieve better exam results. Btw, I'm not Catholic so it's a neutral view I have.
    I carry out technical reviews of schools as part of my job. As a rule, the Catholic schools are in a better state of repair generally and I put it down to stricter discipline, although there are exceptions both here and in Ireland. Btw, I am a lapsed 'cultural' catholic (Copyright Kevin Robertson), so my view may not be entirely neutral.
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    My ex GFs 3 kids go to St Davids,they're not catholics but she picked it over Pirniehall (It's a shared building/campus) as she thought the St Davids kids were better behaved and achieved better results.
    Her eldest is now going to Auggies in the summer instead of Craigroyston 5 mins along the road....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
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    Discipline. Even out here in the sticks it's not gone unnoticed that there is less of a discipline problem in Catholic schools than non denomination schools. Whether that means that Catholic families have a stricter regime, I couldn't say, but it's quite apparent in differentiating between schools.
    That's interesting anecdotal evidence regarding the bigger picture but Edinburgh schools are very different to the rest of the country and it's not comparing like with like (unfortunately). 25% of Edinburgh's school population isn't even in the state sector - unprecedented compared to the rest of the country. It is also far more affected by the impact of the Parents' Charter. Pupils in small towns across the country tend to go to the schools in their catchment - because that is what people do. In Edinburgh, however, the race for social segregation has resulted in very polarised demographics in schools - the Parents Charter effectively created "sink schools" as the more aspirational in communities opted to try and get out-of-catchment places in more affluent areas. The one aspect of Edinburgh schooling where this trend is bucked, is in RC schools, where affluent catholics still choose denominational education over private education and provides vital social mix in those schools that is missing in other schools in the city.

    The Catholic secondary schools also achieve better exam results. Btw, I'm not Catholic so it's a neutral view I have.
    They will in some areas but not always in others. Edinburgh only has 3 RC high schools and only one is in the top echelons in terms of Edinburgh/Scottish exam results - and not surprisingly it is the one in the most affluent area. I know areas where, comparing like with like, RC results are better but in Edinburgh it is difficult to demonstrate this due to the skewed demographics in the non-denominational sector.

    Interestingly, just down the road, East Lothian has no RC high schools at all. Whilst there is an option for RC pupils in that LA to be bussed to St David's in Midlothian, very few parents actually exercise the right for some reason. Not sure if it is cultural, logistical or otherwise but it is a reality.
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    Re: Edinburgh's catholic primaries unable to keep up with demand

    Having taught in non denom and RC schools i have found the RC experience a better one. Bigger social (plenty of hugely wealthy kids mixing with and forming friendships with kids who have next to feck all) and religious mix (I teach heaps of Muslim kids) and less discipline issues.

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    Why is that bb?

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    Re: Edinburgh's catholic primaries unable to keep up with demand

    Quote Originally Posted by egb_hibs View Post
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    Why is that bb?
    At the risk of sounding cheesy, the atmosphere of the school (created by staff and pupils) is nothing like the other schools I've worked in. It really makes me feel good. I'm not saying that I would never get that in a non denom school, but can only go on the experience I've had of working in 1 RC school vs 3 non denom. Arguments are abound about how RC schools perpetuate bigotry, but if anything our kids embrace all other faiths. They learn huge amounts about other religions and the support for the Muslim kids in Ramadan is first class. I would be asking Muslim/Sikh parents why they choose to send their kids to RC school. Maybe a more reliable source?

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    I wouldn't dignify prejudice as argument. It is heartening to hear anecdote supporting the empirical evidence. It won't stop the bigots who will never be satiated even if the whole world could be re shaped around their neuroses. But it is important to keep countering their onslaught given the large numbers of impressionable or indifferent who will follow fashion.

    I don't know if it is typical but I was disturbed on visiting one of Edinburghs more prestigious non- denoms to find a frankly soviet style environment where literally every surface was covered in murals commanding obedience to the platitudinous cult of diversity - which of course is violently intolerant of anything bar a variety of skin tones as dressing on captured and uniform spirits.

    If you've got to shout that loud there's something wrong I rather think, and while catholic schools are fully paid up members of the multi cult, seemingly giving as much time to Diwali as to Easter, they seem to wear it a little more lightly. There seems to be less anxiety.

    That said I went to a private school open day and to be blunt, given a choice there would be no choice. Which goes to underscore its not solely about religion - I think in the state sector it's appeal to irreligious parents is the partial brake it puts upon progressive attitudes which entrench privilege and class based destiny. One can understand why the statists hate them so.

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    Thankfully SKII has already mentioned sink schools and I think that's the issue more than anything. I recall getting a doing for mentioning them before.

    IMO, in a very general sweeping statement, it creates a vicious circle as these schools reputation becomes worse as any parents in the catchment are with a bit of ambition for there kids will do what they can to avoid them.

    Although this thread is about RC schools, again, I'd be interested to know the figures behind the non RC schools with good reputations. What percentage of their kids are outwith the area?

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    The RC ones i know of are impossible to get into if you're out of catchment jack - they're oversubscribed within it. Definitely loads of non Catholics too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by egb_hibs View Post
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    The RC ones i know of are impossible to get into if you're out of catchment jack - they're oversubscribed within it. Definitely loads of non Catholics too.
    Nearly impossible to get into even if you're in the catchment...comes down to if you have siblings there already for a big % I'd guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by egb_hibs View Post
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    I do sympathise smurf, they do tick all the boxes and it must be hard for you to take;

    - Successful
    - Popular
    - Not completely subordinated to the state
    - Examples of real diversity (it's different - it scares me - kill it with fire)

    Not to worry though, zanu lab have so $#@!ed the life chances of less affluent children that a bit of half decent schooling won't save em. You'll still get your serfs.

    I would have no hesitation in my son going to a RC school. If it was the better option or the option then why would I? I think the Edinburgh situation is skewed in that RC parents appear more likely to send their kids to state RC schools than opt for the private option unlike non RC parents who can afford it.

    Of course I would ban RC schools and private ones. But you know that!

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    Lol. But isn't that skew interesting ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
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    Thankfully SKII has already mentioned sink schools and I think that's the issue more than anything. I recall getting a doing for mentioning them before.

    IMO, in a very general sweeping statement, it creates a vicious circle as these schools reputation becomes worse as any parents in the catchment are with a bit of ambition for there kids will do what they can to avoid them.

    Although this thread is about RC schools, again, I'd be interested to know the figures behind the non RC schools with good reputations. What percentage of their kids are outwith the area?
    If you're talking about the Boroughmuir and Gillespies of this world, they are always over-subscribed and have large numbers of out-of-catchment placement requests.

    Sciennes Primary has been bursting at the seams for longer than any other state primary school, regardless of persuasion.

    Edinburgh is definitely affected more by this social segregation race (to escape the people you don't want your children educated with, rather than educated by). However, RC parents appear to put RC education ahead of all other options, including private education.

    I know an awful lot of people from BB's school. It is in the same catchment as a non-denom situated in the New Town. You'd think the positioning of the non-denom in the New Town would mean it would be flourishing but relative to other schools it isn't because the occupants of New Town houses in the main go private. Meanwhile, BB's school is full of the children of university professors, doctors, vets and lawyers...because their RC parents didn't go private. This impacts positively on the whole of the school for a range of reasons - the effectiveness of parent input to the school, the expectations, the access to social networks for the school, the culture of the school.

    In reality, the current RC model (in terms of social integration) is effectively similar to what things were more like in the city pre-1982. People went to their catchments school, meaning better social mix in all areas. Since 1982, the great social escape race has skewed Edinburgh schooling into something the rest of Scotland really wouldnt recognise to be honest.

    For what it is worth, this is only underlined even more by the hard facts that in Scotland the very best performing schools, overall, are the leafy rural ones. The ones where there is a sense of community, real identity, parents are very engaged in their school and community and nobody bails into the town for a private education.
    Hibs are standing on the brink of history...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Purple & Green View Post
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    Quite a few numbers and context missing from that report, but I'd say one of the conclusions is non RC parents are much more likely to attempt to place their children in an RC school than a generation ago.
    Very popular with muslim parents in glasgow - esp. Notre Dame

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    Quote Originally Posted by egb_hibs View Post
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    I agree - so the question is, what are catholic schools doing right that attracts people in this way, and what can the rest of the system learn from it?
    If it works it should be encouraged and expanded. Problem down south is that you don't get in if your not catholic (or C of E) ENOUGH such is the pressure on places.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SKII View Post
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    Providing a social mix instead of social segregation. Ironically
    Depends where.

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    To put another side.This is an interesting post.

    http://www.brokenbarnet.blogspot.co....making-of.html

    I've heard similar stories from other working class people educated in the system in the 1960s and 70s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt View Post
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    Depends where.
    We're discussing RC school admissions in Edinburgh.
    Hibs are standing on the brink of history...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SKII View Post
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    We're discussing RC school admissions in Edinburgh.
    Edinburgh is not an island and egb is masking a boarder implication (as usual).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt View Post
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    Edinburgh is not an island and egb is masking a boarder implication (as usual).
    Ah...however you quoted me, not EGB's wider fishing...

    I was only talking about the unique situation in Edinburgh , as the original item referred to the over-subscription to Edinburgh RC schools. It may not be an island but it has a very unique set of circumstances, not replicated anywhere else in Scotland because of the unparalleled use of the private sector. I was suggesting that, in the most socially segregated (educationally speaking) part of the country (Scotland), RC schools are one of the few places to provide social integration. Something many who cross swords on here with EGB might suggest cannot be the case - hence the smiley.

    I personally was not extrapolating any further than that. I wouldn't dream of making comparisons with anywhere else in the UK - it would be like comparing apples and oranges for starters. The education systems in Scotland, England, NI and Wales are now very much headed in four very different directions on every level. Scotland's system, in particular, bears little resemblance to what goes on elsewhere in the UK.
    Hibs are standing on the brink of history...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Purple & Green View Post
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    Quite a few numbers and context missing from that report, but I'd say one of the conclusions is non RC parents are much more likely to attempt to place their children in an RC school than a generation ago.
    Definitely seems to be the case in non-Weegie land. Doubt much has changed in Weegieland though buddy.

    Quote Originally Posted by broonieboy View Post
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    hey learn huge amounts about other religions and the support for the Muslim kids in Ramadan is first class. I would be asking Muslim/Sikh parents why they choose to send their kids to RC school. Maybe a more reliable source?
    I have an Asian pal whose kids go to one of the catholic schools in Edinburgh. He says it is because of the perception that RC schools are more traditional around sex and sex education? That for his daughters in particular he is keen a more "moral" stance is taken about sex in their schooling? Could see that being a real attraction for any faith because most religions have similar stances on sexual relations. So you'd not need to be RC to have common ground in that respect?

    Quote Originally Posted by egb_hibs View Post
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    The RC ones i know of are impossible to get into if you're out of catchment jack - they're oversubscribed within it. Definitely loads of non Catholics too.
    Not just RC schools though eegiebee?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt View Post
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    Very popular with muslim parents in glasgow - esp. Notre Dame
    Maybe with Muslims in Glasgow but I'd wonder if its the same for other non_RC parts of the Weegie community?

    Far more RC schools in Glasgow than anywhere else and a different view on separate schooling me would think. Go west of the Barnton roundabout and its a different attitude to one we have in the capital mate. Just have to look at the integration of Hibs into the community in Edinburgh compared to Celtc's situation in the Weegie

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt View Post
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    If it works it should be encouraged and expanded. Problem down south is that you don't get in if your not catholic (or C of E) ENOUGH such is the pressure on places.
    Instead of going over catchment areas yet again, it might be useful to the topic to learn what appealed to you about CoE primaries ?

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    It would be interesting to know what % of kids in private schools in Edinburgh are RC.

    The conclusion I draw from this thread is that abolition of private schools would improve the standard in the state sector.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smurfy View Post
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    It would be interesting to know what % of kids in private schools in Edinburgh are RC.

    The conclusion I draw from this thread is that abolition of private schools would improve the standard in the state sector.
    It would certainly change the demographics in the state system and therefore the chances of schools delivering better exam results would improve as a matter of course. That's a no brainer. However, the whole picture is FAR more complicated than even simply waving a magic wand by doing that...schools, in reality, only have limited impact on a child's life chances and ultimately their educational outcomes. So many other factors also prevail.

    The Scottish Government has been doing a massive piece of work looking at life chances and breaking the cycle of poverty breeding more poverty and is going to be directing money away from schools into the pre-school sector as a priority in the immediate near future. Here are some of the documents that explain the rationale if anyone is interested in the work behind this.

    www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/215889/0057733.pdf

    http://www.laria.gov.uk/laria/aio/978814


    http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/...klet_tcm4-6334...



    http://www.unicef.org/dprk/ecd.pdf

    The reasons for this move away from school intervention to pre-school intervention are firmly founded in extensive research that shows (amongst other things)


    • a child's brain development is around 90% complete by the age of 3 and different home circumstances during that time affect brain development and physiology that has long term impact on a child's chances in life - the gap is there and significant before they even start school and, if things at home stay the same, the gap only widens
    • level of affluence in the household has a direct link to brain development and has strong links to literacy development and communication skills


    If you want to read more, see the links above or look up the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland Dr Sir Harry Burns' work on "The Depressed Monkey" and the links to educational attainment in the poorest areas. Wee162 has also heard him talk about his work and can confirm how compelling his research is.

    http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6029272 (see the information in the paragraph about social and economic disadvantage)

    The Scottish Government are going to re-direct money from school age interventions into the pre-school years to try and close the gap at the time when the brain development is happening by providing parenting classes in areas determined to need them most - including delivering them to school pupils as part of the curriculum in that demographic area.

    There is also going to be a number of initiatives to encourage pre-school literacy in the most deprived areas, paying particular attention to young parents who have had children in their teens and may themselves have not completed their own education or had a great upbringing.

    The importance of access to good nutrition and the link to a child's development is also needing addressed - which is why the Scottish Government brought in the Health Promoting Schools initiative but they are extending it into nutritional support for parents in the pre-school too. Most local authorities are setting up or have set up food banks and those who are identified as part of the early intervention programme will be made aware of how to access food from these.

    It seems to be all about trying to break the cycle of poverty by tackling it at the earliest possible point.

    However, this is all off-topic - but only goes to illustrate how complex everything regarding child development is and that no single factor can be identified in total isolation as being a reason for academic success. People have to make the best choices for their own children based on their own understanding of what is right - and different people will have different views in that respect.

    Anyway, back on topic...I think EGB wants someone (anyone) to answer regarding what the specific attraction of denominational schooling was for them
    .
    Hibs are standing on the brink of history...

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    Harry, Dr, Sir is the man :-)

    Had many a chat with him and if he says it, its true.
    Space to let

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smurfy View Post
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    It would be interesting to know what % of kids in private schools in Edinburgh are RC.

    The conclusion I draw from this thread is that abolition of private schools would improve the standard in the state sector.
    Lolz. Can you really not see the madness inherent in the lefty statist concluding that all he has to do to repair his failing system is to destroy all the alternatives that work better?

    A rather more obvious conclusion is the state should not be allowed near the education system without some mediating agency being involved. A second would be that schools reflect the social disaster of recent decades.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
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    Harry, Dr, Sir is the man :-)

    Had many a chat with him and if he says it, its true.


    He is an outstanding scientist and most remarkable in his ability to communicate to a range of audiences - professionals and lay persons alike. Most inspiring individual.

    Everyone should hear him speak about the needs of Scotland in terms of mental and physical wellbeing
    Hibs are standing on the brink of history...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smurfy View Post
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    It would be interesting to know what % of kids in private schools in Edinburgh are RC.

    The conclusion I draw from this thread is that abolition of private schools would improve the standard in the state sector.
    HOw do you come to that conclusion Smurfy?

    It just changes the kind of kids going to the state schools for the better. Assuming thats what your actually meaning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeythibs View Post
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    HOw do you come to that conclusion Smurfy?

    It just changes the kind of kids going to the state schools for the better. Assuming thats what your actually meaning.
    Ok...

    RC parents financially able to opt for the private option, would appear more likely to use the state sector than non RC. Presumably because they want RC education...

    This results in a much better social mix of demographic at RC schools. Results in better overall results and standards. And therefore this sees more demand for such schools for non RC?

    So if all kids went to the same local school then there would be similar social demographic mix leading to standards improved?

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    You cannot take away the RC dimension from this though?

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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-21491127

    Reactions to this might be different in one type of school compared to the other?

    Looks like neither RC or ND schools condone this but you just know one is definitely going to fight something like this more vehemently. Is the kind of thing I reckon non-christian non-RCs find attractive in RC schools.

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    When and why did they start letting non RC pupils into RC schools? I don't get that! Surely to attend a RC school you have to be RC no?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MixuDave View Post
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    When and why did they start letting non RC pupils into RC schools? I don't get that! Surely to attend a RC school you have to be RC no?
    Good question and I'm not sure. I suspect it has long been possible but demand is more recent, and now the demand is there I think there are some kind of quotas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by egb_hibs View Post
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    Good question and I'm not sure. I suspect it has long been possible but demand is more recent, and now the demand is there I think there are some kind of quotas.
    But why the demand? Am not RC as you know lol and I would not send my daughter to an RC school, unless she asked to go to 1. I can't get my head round non RC parents almost demanding there kids get a place, in schools intended to have strong RC teachings???

    And just to qualify my posistion about my own daughter. I haven't and will not force any sort of religion on her, it should be her own choice. And whatever she decides I will support 100%, whether I personally agree or not.

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    IMO this isn't a sign that RC schools are good, just that they are "less bad" than their non-denominational equivalents. If you want your child to have a decent education you still need to either have a local state school (RC or non-denom, it doesn't really matter) in an affluent area or go independent.

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