Continuing our theme this week…most of the arguments pro two-tier are based on half-truths. This is an excellent way to mislead, because the unwary recognise the half that is true and fail to spot the logical inconsistency in the other 50%.
Example number 3:
Pro two-tier: GCSE choices are very difficult in Year 9 because teachers don’t know the children well enough.
Pro three-tier: Teachers in secondary schools of 2000 pupils do not “know” their pupils very well at all. They turn up each September with almost entirely new faces in each of their classes and start from scratch again, learning new names and adjusting to new personalities. That’s if the teachers themselves aren’t new themselves…in fact it’s probably a struggle to know the names of all one’s colleagues in such large schools !
As for GCSE choices, Secondary Schools rarely begin to think about these until the start of Year 9 and there are now also a range of post-14 options, many of which are not taught to younger pupils, so these would be unfamiliar to everyone.
GCSE choices are always concerning for children and parents – and there is no reason why the process cannot start in Year 8 as part of the transition to upper school – it’s a pretty flimsy reason on which to base massive disruption of a generation of schooldchildren.