Ruane: what might have been

I am sure that there are those in the nationalist community who think Ruane has done a good job. Some because she has really annoyed the Prods but also some who genuinely believe that she has achieved a considerable amount. However, as Fair_deal has noted here many seem to disagree and certainly SF acknowledge that practically all the media seem to have it in for her following that infamous press conference. I am not here to launch yet another direct attack on Ruane but to ask (leaving education aside) whether or not politically Ruane has made a major blunder and snatched defeat from what might have been a victory?The DUP achieved a promise to retain academic selection at St. Andrew’s. However, that is not necessarily the same thing as the 11 plus. Indeed I am aware that some in the DUP are not dying about the 11 plus. This is unsurprising; we all know that the 11 plus was and remains an extremely blunt instrument. All of us can remember some very clever children who “failed” and those who went to grammar schools will remember some children who clearly struggled.

I am sure even the most aspiring and middle class of parents were not delighted by the way their children had to sit the 11 plus. Recently this has involved tutors and massive disruption of the primary curriculum. The old system of the verbal reasoning test was also of course very flawed. I vaguely remember getting a very poor result in the last practice test and the major worry this caused for my parents.

Because of all this; had Ruane produced a sensible, costed alternative I do suspect, as well as any possible gain to children, she would have massively wrong footed unionists in general and the DUP in particular.

I am no educationalist but just suppose she had proposed the introduction in a year of two of the Dixon plan with children going to a junior secondary school at 11 and then selection at age 14 or some such. I am sure there are multiple objections to that but it or some similar type of proposal might have made the DUP’s position much more difficult. Indeed any constructive proposal might well have been favourably received. She might have produced a rather popular alternative to the current system and forced the DUP into either backing her or being seen to create chaos. Instead Ruane has managed to create rather a lot of chaos herself with no one really knowing what is coming next. Even if she does pull a sensible rabbit out of the hat, doing so at this extremely late hour will not really help her. The DUP will legitimately be able to complain that she has kept everyone in the dark for so long that she has created chaos and confusion.

Leaving aside the problems for education but even as a political strategy her’s is completely flawed. She seems rather like a German general in the Second World War standing in front of the Maginot Line and deciding that the only solution is an all out attack, studiously ignoring the Low countries and the Ardennes.

  • I don’t like Sinn Fein and I think that Catriona Ruane is smarmy and patronising, but I think that the education debate boils down to certain sections of our society advocating a privilege for the few and distress for ten year olds.

    There will, I think be a growth of pressure to form private schools out of this and that is where Ruane has been disastrous for this society. But the pressure for that comes from societal pressures that are materialistic and selfish, and don’t have the interests of this society at heart.

    But Ruane is just the wrong person for the education portfolio.

  • Good points John but I don’t think Ms Ruane would have made a good SS field general. Servicing the troops is one thing; leading them is another.
    Always remember George Orwell’s wise words about social climbers with bombs. The only way they can appear radical is by messing around with education or otehr areas they can get a monopoly. SFIRA does not elong in any government or excuse for a government. They cannot deliver anything but blood, sweat and tears. At least Michael O’Dwyer, who served the Crown after 1803, had some ability. Ms Ruane has only spinning (words and table tennis balls)

  • a

    You really have to ask why the DUP are betraying the bulk of ordinary unionists to preserve the privileges of a few middle class “big house” types.

    And why aren’t working class unionists holding these shysters to account?

    I have no time for Sinn Fein and the reality is they sold their soul to the DUP devil so they could keep the stoops down and out. But that is no excuse for the DUP and the unionist people.

    It’s a bloody disgrace.

  • Turgon

    a,
    In fairness (and I am no DUP supporter) what exactly are the DUP to do? Ruane is proposing nothing that we can see. I do not know what the DUP would propose. At the moment Ruane seems to be helping no one. To blame the DUP is missing the point.

    Had she produced something positive the DUP could have accepted it with good grace or they might have had a problem.

    If the DUP had education and were keeping the grammars and 11 plus entirely unchanged then you might have a point. However, it is SF and Ruane who are in charge, or in this case in office but not in power.

  • a

    Turgon,

    I agree that Ruane is useless. But that doesn’t explain why the party that is supposed to be on the side of working class unionists is determined to stab three quarters of the young people of Northern Ireland in the back.

  • Rory

    What absolutely patronising twaddle, Turgon, to build an argument on the blind prejudice that nationalists rate the ability of ministers by their ability to “annoy the Prods” and that protestants are too stupid to realise where the future education of their children best lies.

    Must every single issue be reduced to the old divide and conquer of “themmuns and us uns” that you would oppose even the progress of the mass of your own people? Dreadful.

  • Consnes seems to be Ruane is useless at everything she turns her hand to. Her only defence is to say it is a Protestant plot. Provos should stick to what they do best.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Turgon,

    having followed your link to the ‘that infamous press conference’ I find only the anti-Sinn Fein Newsletter complaining about Ruane.

    I appreciate your efforts to appear non tribal in this debate but using the partisan utterances of the Newletter is hardly the best way to present a balanced introduction for the topic.

  • Jen Erik

    Are there statistics anywhere that show what support the different options have broken down by class?

  • Gregory

    It is not a Protestant plot, since when has Ruane been pro-Catholic? She’s a radical.

    She upset me by her unflinching arrogance, I’ve never felt so scalded before,

    I was talking to Catholic news editors in Canada, and Washington today, my position is that she has to go, to be gone, and afterwards, I’ll never be in the same room as her again if I see a door.

    G.

  • slug

    Again Rory makes a sane post on an insane thread.

    Well done Rory.

    Oh and by the way I am bored of Ruane threads now.

  • Turgon

    Well actually I said the opposite of what Rory has said I said.

    I pointed out that some would be pleased because she annoyed Prods; not that many I suspect but some.

    I also said that had she produced proposals unionists might well have liked them and forced the DUP to accept them or look stupid.

    Still why let what I said get in the way of what people wished I had said.

    It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it,
    Fair criticism but the Belfast Telegraph and BBC were hardly gushing about the Press conference.

  • Dave O’C

    Provos should stick to what they do best.

    Suffer from delusions of grandeur, control and persecution.

    As they do, they inflict injury and pain on all and sundry in their campaign involving the tactical use of human suffering.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Gregory,

    “It is not a Protestant plot, since when has Ruane been pro-Catholic? She’s a radical.”

    It is a common mistake to view the community divide in Non Iron as being primarily based on religious rather than political differences – though the former aggravates the latter through sectarianism. It is wiser therefore when analysing the reaction to Ruane to look for political bias against Sinn Fein rather than anti-Catholic bias.

  • cynic

    “You really have to ask why the DUP are betraying the bulk of ordinary unionists to preserve the privileges of a few middle class “big house” types”

    …because the majority of the Unionists and many other parents in the consultation voted to retain selection….which Ruane and the Depratment (sic) are ignoring

    …. and if it wasnt so serious for the children, they must be laughing their legs off at SF’s inability to do normal politics on this one. They are so bad they are making the DUPs look good without the latter even trying

  • Gregory

    Ruane is anti-Vatican, I’ll put it that way. I view her as the most anti-Catholc person I’ve had to deal with in many months.

    I didn’t oddly enough expect her to do an ‘SDLP’ waffle shuffle on me, I knew she was a radical and more extreme privately than anything she’s thus far promoted publicly.

    SF should dump her, I mean from their party, she is too much, way too soon, and hopefully never.

    She is out there with Amnesty International, the potential to deliver real damage to our thing is manifest.

    The difference is, AIUSA, is out to get even with us and Ruane is hidden by an Irish setting.

    It is only in the last two weeks I’ve been asked ( by Catholic groups) to do something now, if I do nothing again, do it now.

    I want her out of SF. Otherwise I hold it against the entire party, for what she’s done. As for DENI, well, I agree with Alex Kane, and on my own front, I’m offended & hurt by her.

    Speaking as a Catholic advocate, Ruane going, is more important than a United Ireland to me.

    I’m not interested in that illusion, our (Catholic) culture will be defended based on whaty we already have.

    Forget Nationalist, forget the GPO & 1916, think Catholic. My religion is my Motherland.

    I’m a Catholic first.

    G.

  • Gregory

    “Suffer from delusions of grandeur, control and persecution. ”

    They see standing next to Bush as a right.

    It is a bizarre thing in US politics that some sort of effort has to be put up for Irishers.

    They are a major deal, but they’re allowed to box well over their weight.

    But when it comes to the US, they’ll meet a warlord, who controls a little bit of central Asia or a pipeline route, with far less publicity and far more fervour.

    It is the difference between PR, and gasoline. So we get half-assed politicans elected with a few thou votes meeting global heavy hitters.

    Where is Obama’s little ancestor cottage going to be found? You follow.

    It is Tammany Hall forever.

    G.

  • Steve

    Greg

    Any one who has read your postings knows that you have a pathological fear of Ruane and seem to think you have some kind of mission from on high to get rid of her.

    No one has produced any proof that she is doing harm just a lot of twaddle about the schedule.

    Ruane did not kill the 11+, she inherited that position but I suspect she was more than happy about it.

    I suspect that anything Ruane proposes except status quo would be rejected by unionists as unaceptable

    Secondly I predict that even if Ruane is removed greg will immediately start a witch hunt for the next minister. He obviously knows best so lets elect him supreme overlord and give up thinking for ourselves

  • joeCanuck

    Well Turgon,,

    It jumped right out at me that you believe that some nationalists (read Catholics) would take pleasure in Ruane really annoying Protestants.
    I think such a sentiment is unbecoming and even though you believe it, it really had no place in the thread.
    And I doubt very much that it is only Protestants who have no time for Ms. Ruanes shenanigans.

  • Gregory

    “Any one who has read your postings knows that you have a pathological fear of Ruane and seem to think you have some kind of mission from on high to get rid of her.”

    The NIO have offered private briefings to journalists to talk about moi.

    They wouldn’t be doing that if the sex offender thing wasn’t a real issue.

    They stalled some of the media, but it will fall upon their heads eventually, because other journalists are just not buying it.

    So that is a threat from on low to match the mission from on high.

    I’ve a budget to get rid of her, if that’s any help and I do fear her.

    “No one has produced any proof that she is doing harm just a lot of twaddle about the schedule. ”

    She said sex offenders can compete for jobs in our schools like anybody else. She doesn’t know how many there are,

    and she doesn’t understand why people think she should. THere seems to be some doubt at DENI as to the legal definition of a child.

    “Secondly I predict that even if Ruane is removed greg will immediately start a witch hunt for the next minister. ”

    I’m perhaps doing the Alliance Party as a weak gesture to stateside retirement.

    A two minute job.

    G.

  • Observer

    I hear the DUP foot soldiers bleating that they saved academic selection at St Andrews. At the moment the only part of the community that has had academic selection reinvented is those Grammar schools that would usually take in protestant children. It seems to me, but maybe I’m missing something, the DUP haven’t saved academic selection for catholic children.

  • Dec

    Turgon

    I pointed out that some would be pleased because she annoyed Prods; not that many I suspect but some.

    What you actually wrote was:

    I am sure that there are those in the nationalist community who think Ruane has done a good job. Some because she has really annoyed the Prods but also some who genuinely believe that she has achieved a considerable amount.

    The crucial sentence implies some sort of 50:50 split on the matter. At least in your mind. Still it’s difficult for a member of the TUV to accurately guage Nationalists’ intentions as we are a ‘different breed’, apparently.

  • austin

    I had the misfortune to go to a Grammar School in North Belfast after getting an ‘A’ in the Eleven Plus. The vast majority who went there, including myself, were fairly thick and ignorant idiots. Most of the class appeared to be related to a daily newspaper-owning family, apart from a few working-class mis-fits.
    My point is that academic selection hardly seen ‘the cream of the crop’ picked through the 11+ at any stage. Therefore any alternative is better than the existing corruptible system.

  • Gregory

    Ruane doesn’t do systems, she does chaos. If we had problems before, we have more of it now.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Turgon – “I am sure that there are those in the nationalist community who think Ruane has done a good job. Some because she has really annoyed the Prods .. ”

    You only have to look on Slugger (regardless of the topic) to see how true that is. Cat Ruane was more comfortable being a facilitator for terrorists. She can’t cope with being a minister. It’s time to go ..
    ————————————–
    Belfast Telegraph – Letters

    RC school principals must take a stand

    Monday, May 05, 2008

    I cannot believe the stupidity of the Catholic grammar school principals allowing their wonderful schools to become comprehensive.

    It has taken almost a generation for them to reach equal status and beyond, both academically and more recently in terms of resources and new builds. Now, in one fell swoop, they are going to wreck what they have achieved.

    Why do they want to destroy what is working well instead of fixing what is wrong?

    Once again the non-Catholic grammar system of education will flourish and parents, from all denominations, will fight to get their children into these grammar schools which they will perceive to be offering a better education.

    Parents want what is best for their children and the majority of people in Northern Ireland voted to maintain the grammar system.

    Why is there only one strong Catholic principal at Lumen Christi College who has the sense to see what is happening?

    Are the other principals afraid of the bishops and afraid to stand up for a quality education system? Intelligent Catholic children, especially from working class backgrounds, will be denied the right to a quality education.

    PADDY CRAIG

    Belfast

  • Mark Fartlighter

    “Intelligent Catholic children, especially from working class backgrounds, will be denied the right to a quality education.”

    This letter writer inadvertedly has it spot on, if you dont get into the grammar schools you dont get a quality education.

  • PeaceandJustice

    MF – “This letter writer inadvertedly has it spot on, if you dont get into the grammar schools you dont get a quality education.”

    I agree that much more needs to be done to help non-grammar schools – Unionist politicians should be more vocal about that.

    However, comprehensive education has not worked well in England. Those with enough money buy houses near the good schools. Others opt out and send their children to private schools.

    Many people don’t like the 11 Plus. But some form of academic selection is required, either at 11 or 13.

    Cat Ruane is not capable of working out the best way forward. She is incompetent and should have the decency to resign.

  • DC

    The main issue with Ruane’s predicted approach is that her system turns education into a self-selecting end-product, rather like a buyable commodity without any price attached, well not at the pupils’ expense, which throws up concern about the level of interaction between pupil and subject.

    She seems to believe that education is like a menu in any restaurant in that education is a consumable quality, but what she fails to see is that education is participative, at home it is two way but in school largely three-way: teacher-pupil-subject. The variables are teaching quality, pupil reactions and classroom environment. So, it is not necessarily just about pro-choice, there needs to be a measure of ability. In some cases ability is linked to determination of the pupil to stick at it and if you like knuckle down, for others ability is a mental gift. Largely though preparation and study time usually help strengthen attainments which in the end provides a sense of pupil satisfaction.

    People harp on about tuition etc, which from a financial point of view poses questions but from a pupil’s point of view, if that student of whatever age is determined to get to where he or she wants to go, even with assistance, is it not only right too that a focused individual receives a boost if the outcome is gotten in the end. Some people like a good fight, whereas others can work for less mentally.

    That said, the 11plus is blunt, of course, but the equality mantra negates the notion of participative outcomes largely determined through pupils’ ability, work ethic and approaches to education, not just on having a menu wish list, which may in the end offer more choice for choice’s sake; but, it may ultimately fail to deliver results given inappropriate attainment in the chosen field.

    It doesn’t square off in the face of those who believe in academic testing as a determiner of having the ability to choose a course or subject on a qualified basis, a basis that proves a certain level of ability across several disciplines maths-English you would imagine.

    Therefore people, parents and politicians feel shaky about her proposed system as it remains to be seen just how it will pan out, yes for cost but also for the level of educational outcomes. There is also an issue about competitive identity between schools in the event of comprehensive education under equality mantra.

    Yes, I do feel there is clearly no confidence given so much uncertainty associated that particular education minister.

  • dupmember

    Peace & Justice

    Never fear Catholic patents will vote with their feet no matter what Ruane or the Bishops say they know that their children will lose out and they will not let that happen. Lumen Christie is only the tip of the Catholic Maintained Schools others will not be far behind or else their children will go to the likes of Methody etc were all religions and none are educated.

    Catholic schools cannot opt out of the Grammar school stream unless they become mainstream secondary schools and as I said I cannot see the parents of those children not being part of the Grammar schools system

  • Driftwood

    Are the other principals afraid of the bishops and afraid to stand up for a quality education system? Intelligent Catholic children, especially from working class backgrounds, will be denied the right to a quality education.

    That term Intelligent Catholic Children, like Intelligent Protestant Children, is a bit chilling.Or Intelligent Voodoo children? Are there no Intelligent Atheist Children? Or Intelligent Agnostic Children? If these children are so intelligent , they would drop those medieval terms by the time they are 13.

    A quality education will teach them evolution, and that religion/superstition is all nonsense and only indoctrination is holding them back from breaking free of Allah, Thor, Jupiter, Jesus/God, ju ju monsters etc.
    Slowly we are getting there, despite the bishops and the pastors. They are dying out faster than polar bears. Hopefully the latter can survive. If only because they have more intelligence than the god delusionists.
    As for Ruane, at least Brontosaurus had a modicum of social skills.

  • Turgon

    joe,
    As someone who’s views I respect I am sorry if you took that from the post. Sometimes my grammar and phrasing let me all down (they do for us all at times I suggest).

    To both you and Dec, I very much doubt there is a 50:50 split. I guess a small minority of nationalists think she is doing a good job by annoying Prods. A somewhat larger minority of nationalists and a few unionists probably do believe she is doing a good job by children. Most nationalists and indeed unionists, I suspect (but I agree, I have no proof for this) think she is doing a poor job because she is as far as anyone can see doing nothing constructive.

    Whilst there will always be some from of selection (GCSEs and A levels if not before) I think she had an opportunity to achieve something with this (maybe a Dickson plan like idea with selection at 13/14?) and has failed spectacularly. Had she achieved something she might well have helped children and parents and either won over or embarrassed unionists. I do not think she has any prospects of achieving these aims now.

  • FraserValley

    Every child should be educated to the fullness of his or her ablility regardless of how talented or capable they are at the age of eleven. Canada doesn’t have a selection system, and the schools all manage to place children in university. That said, Ruane seems to be making a right bollocks of things.

  • Rory

    “I guess a small minority of nationalists think she is doing a good job by annoying Prods.

    Do you, indeed? How interesting.

    Would you by any chance guess the winning numbers in next Saturday’s Lotto?

  • Gregory

    “A quality education will teach them evolution”

    Like that pregant man in Candada?

    Wait a minute, Darwinism, gays have an opt out on that right? I’m with ya,

    evolution when it suits, and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, when it doesn’t.

  • Comprehensive education has worked comparatively well in England, it is ten times better than the system it replaced. There are problems but these have less to do with the comprehensive system and a great deal to do with the continuation of selective education by the back door.

    With respect before sluggerites make ill informed statements about the failure of comprehensives in England they should take a look at the number of children going on to university today and before comprehensives were introduced.

    If the UK is ever going to get a first class eduction system it must root out the public, [private] schools. whilst I accept that it is unlikely that these schools will be banned they should loose their charity status as they are clearly run as a business.

    These schools totally distort the UKs eduction system due to the political and establishment pull. For example some of our most intelligent students are denied a place at oxbridge due to the unofficial quota given each year to the public schools. Thus so is the English and I mean English class system perpetuated.[old boy network etc] It also means some of the brightest kids are lost to the nation as they are snatched up by overseas universities. But hey why worry as long as Lord Snooties brat gets his place at oxbridge.

    Before anyone jumps on me over this I would just ask how is it possibly that five public schools provide the majority of people who man the upper ranks of the UK military, civil service, media banking and commerce.

    Sadly many middle class unionists are still in awe of the English establishment and by fighting to retain selective education their aim is to create a mini establishment in the north, much like existed in the past, although this time the odd shop keeper and county solicitor will be let in the door.

    As to Ms Ruane, good luck to her, the longer she can string this thing out the more she makes many unionists look like unreconstructed bigots who do not give a shit about working class people whether protestant or nationalist.

    For make no mistake the main victims of selection have been the Protestant working class, indeed I would go farther, they have gained less from the troubles than any section of the northern community and have sacrificed more, it is clear from the behavior of the DUP and UUP that they intend few crumbs to reach the WC from their table.

  • Briso

    Turgon wrote:
    I am sure that there are those in the nationalist community who think Ruane has done a good job. Some because she has really annoyed the Prods

    Yes. We love it when the person entrusted with the education of our children uses them to ‘annoy the Prods’. That’s because we’re bigots.

    Turgon wrote:
    Because of all this; had Ruane produced a sensible, costed alternative I do suspect, as well as any possible gain to children, she would have massively wrong footed unionists in general and the DUP in particular.

    Why would she have wrongfooted unionists by producing a sensible costed alternative for goodness sake? And why would she want to? I don’t believe you speak for unionists any more Turgon. I really believe you should stay away from the TUV. You have become steadily more inflammatory in tone since you took up with them.

  • Turgon

    Briso,
    I have already pointed out that I think only a minority of nationalists will ahve bbeen pleased by an “annoy the prods” strategy. However, do not let that prevent your rant.

    Why would she have wrong footed unionists? Well they fought to retain academic selection and also told us Ruane would be a disaster. Had Ruane produced something which did away with the 11 plus yet retained some (a fairer) academic selection that would have made unionists look foolish in decrying her.

    Why would she want to do this? Well one of the aims of politicians is to out wit their opponents in debate and in proposals. This happens the world over. In addition to have produced sensible proposals might have helped children’s education. I would have thought that that would have been a reasonable aim for an Education minister.

    And do not worry I have never proclaimed that I speak for anyone other than myself.

  • “Why would she want to do this? Well one of the aims of politicians is to out wit their opponents in debate and in proposals. ”

    Turgon

    True enough as far as normal democracies go, but just because people have a vote by itself does not a democracy make. SF and the DUP are not political opponents in the normal sense, in that they are not plying for the votes of the same constituency. The UUP is the DUPs main opponents and the SDLP SF’s.

    As long as the DUP and SF can gain more votes than their opponent then it matters not a jot what they do. They will still be able to claim the ministries.

    As time goes by the more ridiculous will the Stormont system appear.

  • Reader

    Mick hall: If the UK is ever going to get a first class eduction system it must root out the public, [private] schools. whilst I accept that it is unlikely that these schools will be banned they should loose their charity status as they are clearly run as a business.
    Firstly, it seems strange to seek to provide a first class education system by getting rid of some of the best schools.
    Secondly, those schools are no longer interested in charitable status, since it comes with so many strings attached. Would you settle for allowing them to opt out of charitable status (at present, they can’t), to see what happens then? Once our curiosity is satisfied, simply remove the option of retaining charitable status.

  • reader,

    Are you saying the public schools are ready and willing to opt out of charitable status and cannot wait to act like any limited company? Im not sure what you are saying.

    It is not really about whether they are good schools, my point is they are harmful to the overall education system and the nation as a whole. Most reputable educationalist now agree on this.

    I note you failed to deal with my point about creating elite’s and the stifling of the career prospects of children not educated in the private sector.

    Best regards

  • lamh dearg

    Mick Hall

    Where to start?

    “Comprehensive education has worked comparatively well in England, it is ten times better than the system it replaced” – Any evidence for this statement?
    The number of children going to university has increased by virtue of a political decision to increase it and whatever school system was in place would have supplied the students.

    “For example some of our most intelligent students are denied a place at oxbridge due to the unofficial quota given each year to the public schools” – again any evidence rather than anecdote? Both Oxford and Cambridge have made great efforts with a fair degree of success in widening access while I agree much more remains to be done.

    “Sadly many middle class unionists are still in awe of the English establishment and by fighting to retain selective education their aim is to create a mini establishment in the north, much like existed in the past, although this time the odd shop keeper and county solicitor will be let in the door.” – and what about the catholic parents and the Lumen Christis? Another attempt to suggest that SF and the catholic church have “that sde of the house sorted”. Again this is not a nationalist v unionist issue.

    “As to Ms Ruane, good luck to her, the longer she can string this thing out the more she makes many unionists look like unreconstructed bigots who do not give a shit about working class people whether protestant or nationalist.” – and this is going to help our children how? You seem to suggest that confusion, chaos and fear and the cynical use of our children is actually part of the SF plan to discredit Unionists, you and Turgon both (and there’s a strange alliance)suggesting sectarian malice rather than ineptitude. Again, have you evidence of this shocking suggestion?

    All in all a post that is breath taking in its outdated political extremist envy and its ignorance about the subject under debate.

  • Reader

    Mick Hall: Are you saying the public schools are ready and willing to opt out of charitable status and cannot wait to act like any limited company? Im not sure what you are saying.
    It would make sense:
    http://ghostcabinet.blogspot.com/2007/06/public-schools-and-charitable-status.html
    Mick Hall:
    It is not really about whether they are good schools, my point is they are harmful to the overall education system and the nation as a whole. Most reputable educationalist now agree on this.

    Then they are talking bollocks. Having Public schools catering to aspiration is clearly a poor second place to a Grammar school system, but better than a comprehensive system. The Government’s tame educationalists aren’t likely to say that.
    Or, if the complaint is that teachers are attracted to the non-state system by a better classroom environment, then the educationalists could try to fix that. Here in NI, of course, there is still a surplus of teachers.
    Mick Hall: I note you failed to deal with my point about creating elite’s and the stifling of the career prospects of children not educated in the private sector.
    Why? If better results are obtainable outside the state system, then the state system is at fault. If the non-state system improves the prospects of its participants by extra work and better classroom control, then the same should be available within the state system. Of course, here in Northern Ireland, it still is. This was the system created by the postwar labour government – guess why?
    They were actually onto a good thing, but then the class warriors started to notice that the products of the Grammar school system were literate, articulate and successful in various ways. What a surprise, what a disaster – levelling wasn’t the outcome! John Hume, John Major, George Galloway…

  • Gregory

    “With respect before sluggerites make ill informed statements about the failure of comprehensives in England they should take a look at the number of children going on to university today and before comprehensives were introduced. ”

    I’ve done a study on the use of 5.56 ammunition by Her Majesty’s forces, they didn’t use it at all until the introduction of that arse about face assault rifle that replaced the 7.62 SLR.

    So what we have is two different periods. One with lots of silly looking rifles and one with far more university places etc.

    I’m 51, I use to be viewed as well educated, people would remark that I’d went to college etc. In relation to the under 30s on this forum, I might be a complete duffer.

    Two different periods.

    Gregory

  • barnshee

    Anybody here actually taught in a “comprehensive” or a “secondary”- Thought not.

    The shortest experience of these cess pools of adolecent behaviour is enough to drive anyone who can afford it (AND A LOT WHO CANNOT) to pay where necessary to ensure that thir children avoid these places like the plague.

    Stop dressing it up– the middle classes want to avoid the behaviour problems associated with “mixed ability” schooling.. The 11+ elite can give enough problems without exacerbating the situation

  • pól

    Every single one of your posts is downright rubbish Turgon. They scream of a pathological fear of Nationalists. Maybe try and conceal your petty tribalism in future posts?

    Slugger has become much less readable since you took up your pen.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    pl, steady on – Turgon is the absolute star of this show and as his reply to an earlier post from my good self indicates if he lets his ideology get the better of him and this is pointed out to him he will readily acknowledge it.

  • Adrian McMenamin

    However, comprehensive education has not worked well in England. Those with enough money buy houses near the good schools. Others opt out and send their children to private schools.

    I went to both a grammar school in the North of Ireland and an English comprehensive (oh, and a grammar in England – easily the worst of the three).

    There was a lot of money spent on St. Mary’s for sure. But I doubt it made much of a fundamental difference to the end results.

    Comprehensive schools work.

  • Adrian McMenamin

    The shortest experience of these cess pools of adolecent behaviour

    If you are a teacher I suggest you retire now. Children haters like you deserve to go somewhere else – like cleaning out real cess pools for instance.

  • “Then they are talking bollocks.”

    Reader

    Shit the force of your argument knocked me into a top hat, how does one respond to that!

    “Having Public schools catering to aspiration”

    Aspiration has nothing to do with public schools, indeed our US sluggerites should understand just how double dealing the English ruling class is, for they turned language on its head by calling private schools public, think about that one, they are to ashamed to call these schools what they are elitist, where entry is brought by money or tammany politics.

    Banshee

    Not only have I been to a secondary school but i have been on a comprehensives governing board, [although it was some years ago when my kids where of school age] so please stop stamping your feet. Instead why not engage in the debate.

    “If better results are obtainable outside the state system, then the state system is at fault.”

    Really and why is that, or do you not give a fig about the majority of children, yes children, who attend our schools? I do not accept that comprehensive education has failed as the facts speak otherwise, but as I wrote the Private[Public] sector of education acts as a dead weight.

  • To conclude my part in this thread, perhaps Ms Ruane and the SF party should stop pussy footing about over selection etc, for the real question we need to ask here is this, It is time for Sinn Fein to mount a campaign to bring an end to grammar schools and selection in the north, if they were to do so they would win hands down.

    This is no longer an argument for the corridors of power and the media elite, it is time it was taken to the street.

    Mick Hall

  • Mick Hall

    It is time for Sinn Fein to mount a campaign to bring an end to grammar schools and selection in the north, if they were to do so they would win hands down.

    Belfast Telegraph suggests tonight that 64% of SF voters are in favour of some sort of academic selection.

    You’re living in cuckoo land if you think that they can bring this one to the streets. They might but it would be foolish.

  • Reader

    Mick Hall: Aspiration has nothing to do with public schools, indeed our US sluggerites should understand just how double dealing the English ruling class is, for they turned language on its head by calling private schools public,
    They were called public schools because they were not church schools. See the 5th paragraph of the following:
    http://www.publicschools.co.uk/
    So US sluggerites should not be willing to be misinformed by an unreconstructed class warrior who takes care not to understand the topic, or the past.
    Mick Hall: Really and why is that, or do you not give a fig about the majority of children, yes children, who attend our schools?
    Answer the following: Better results are obtainable in A than in B; is A or B at fault?
    And whereas I care about education, you seem only to care about ideology. I have 4 children in school.
    Mick Hall: the Private[Public] sector of education acts as a dead weight.
    Every child educated in public schools saves the state the cost of educating that child in the state sector. The charity subsidy, as you would see it, is more than offset by by the bursaries provided by the public schools. Parents who send their children to public schools are paying twice for education. If the envious left sees that as dead weight they aren’t fit to be trusted with an economy. Whoops – that didn’t come as a surprise…

  • reader,

    When will you get it through you head that this debate has nothing to do with left or right or indeed envy, which incidentally is the second refuge of a scoundrel for when ever a conservative accuses a leftist of envy it is because they have no argument in their armory.

    Still let us stay with it, why would I envy anyone who sends their child away from home to be looked after by strangers, to a place where the parent has no say as to what may happen to the poor mite.(true not all children at PS are boarders] Why would I envy someone who segregates their child from their peers and makes their head spin by sending them to a single sex school, why?

    Still we are all different, but for me bringing my children up [and playing a role in my grandchildren’s life] is such a joy that I would not have missed a single day and I treasured them so much I would never have turned their care over to strangers.

    By the way they all went to comprehensives, my son has his own business [oh the shame of it;} My daughter is a psychiatric social worker, I have one grand-daughter at university and another taking her O levels at this moment.

    So please do not insult me with talk of envy and I will not in turn call you a selfish git. I have no doubt you are trying to educate your children in the best manner possible as you see it. I just do not see things your way.

    If you wish to quote web sites you will have to do a little better than one that promotes private schools, if you wish to make a firm argument that is. Lets agree to differ for a moment and let me ask you this, you clearly believe the educational system is failing, otherwise you would make use of it.

    Do you believe that the thousands of working class children who leave school barely able to read or right are fools, born delinquents and half wits? or is there a reason why our system is failing and if so, what can be done about it?

    I believe with all my heart that in todays world, [not some future socialist utopia] a good comprehensive education would offer all of our children an equal crack at lives chances, a level playing field is all I ask.

    Thus it is immoral and stupid to deny all of our children a first rate education. Not as happens now, only those children’s who can either afford one, or who are lucky enough to have parents who understand the importance of education.

    By the way I officially left school at 15 [but in reality left at 13] barely able to read and write, it was only a chance meeting which enabled me to ‘half’ educate myself.

    Best regards

  • Reader

    Mick Hall: When will you get it through you head that this debate has nothing to do with left or right or indeed envy../
    I will acknowledge it when you stop blaming public schools for the state of the state schools, and Grammar schools for the condition of Secondaries.
    Mick Hall: Still let us stay with it, why would I envy anyone who sends their child away from home to be looked after by strangers, to a place where the parent has no say as to what may happen to the poor mite.(true not all children at PS are boarders]
    These days, the majority – possibly substantial majority – of public school pupils are not boarders.
    Mick Hall: If you wish to quote web sites you will have to do a little better than one that promotes private schools, if you wish to make a firm argument that is.
    I used it to put numbers to the charitable status vs. bursaries argument. So far, you have added *nothing* to that argument.
    Mick Hall: Lets agree to differ for a moment and let me ask you this, you clearly believe the educational system is failing, otherwise you would make use of it.
    I do make use of it. All my children attend state schools of one sort or another. If I lived in England instead of NI, I would have some very difficult and costly decisions to make.
    Mick Hall: Do you believe that the thousands of working class children who leave school barely able to read or right are fools, born delinquents and half wits?
    Not at all, there is a vast amount of talent wasted in the current system.
    Mick Hall: Thus it is immoral and stupid to deny all of our children a first rate education. Not as happens now, only those children’s who can either afford one, or who are lucky enough to have parents who understand the importance of education.
    Well, precisely. The nub of the problem at last. I remember the WEA – a shadow of its former self. The courses I went to were well attended by the middle aged, middle class. The problem is, I can’t help thinking you like the parents who don’t value education more than those who do – your recourse to carrots and sticks implies that. The public is not (quite) ready to have the children confiscated from the parents and raised in state créches, while the parents concentrate on the modern equivalent of bread and circuses. So some children will continue to be more fortunate in their choice of parents. *You cannot change that.* And after 18 years, it will have made a difference.

  • Gregory

    “It is time for Sinn Fein to mount a campaign to bring an end to grammar schools and selection in the north, if they were to do so they would win hands down. ”

    Like master of their own ship? Nah, they’re not smart enough, the Free Staters saw through that.

    I anticipate Ruane might be roasted a little for blindly copying DCSF advice that has made some schools in England Sikh free zones.

    They might as well opt for to be a little colony and give Ruane a feathered admiralty hat, like they have Mutiny on the Bounty.

    No mutiny at DENI, subservience to the DFES/DCSF

    Order of the day

    G.

  • Mick Hall: If you are uneducated, then, like Martin McGuinness et al, you should not pontificate on it. Education is like rugby: the upper lcass do not want to be contaminated by having to associate with loud riff raff of whatever (or no) denomination. Ruane, FARC’s friend,is only her master’s voice.
    The Micky Muds and Paddy Stiniks did not want too be educated (or washed) in Joyce’s time. Little has changed.
    Any well meaning Ballymurphy parent wants their kids to escape the Provie gulag and, as not all of them can be MP for West Belfast or on the IRA Armyy Council, education offers the best way out.
    The Christian Brothers, Ireland’s true revolutionaries, tried to offer a way out tied to social obligations.

  • Gregory

    “The Christian Brothers, Ireland’s true revolutionaries, tried to offer a way out tied to social obligations. ”

    They were bankrupted in Canada. Where are they here, do they have a secret address?

    G.