Right! Before I start let’s make it clear this IS a contentious issue. I make no apologies for it and the only reason I offer for raising it is to spark a mature and reasoned debate (even if that debate is only with myself).
Early entry …. **pauses and waits for sharp intake of breath**
The media, some teachers and even (but that’s not surprising) Gove appear to be against it – but Ofsted reports from some schools where it is used have praised them for the manner in which it is used. Other schools reports where it is used are not so glowing. Ofsted is a whole different debate, and not for here and now.
Early entry and then stopping teaching the student any more maths once a student has a C grade is not what I am advocating. I am surprised that any teacher would want that. We use early entry for some students but even if they get the golden “C” they carry on learning maths and do the exam at the end year 11. Many of these then go on to improve on this and get a B or even an A.
So why do I support this? Wouldn’t you want a student who comes from a challenging background to have the opportunity to succeed in life, to better themselves? What about a young girl who for whatever reason isn’t going to make it to the end of year 11, but is very able – shouldn’t she be allowed to sit it early, so that she has some qualifications?
There will be those of you that think these situations are rare. I’d have thought that too several years ago but I know of ONE form group of 27 students in which 2 girls and 1 boy (for a different reason obviously) didn’t finish school in the traditional manner. I know that in the ideal world, we would want these students’ maths skills to mature and then reach a B or an A, but we don’t live in the ideal world and I can sleep at night knowing that they have got “something”.
Have you ever considered where you stand on the matter of early entry?