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  • The third year becoming Year Nine and all that

    In which academic year were school years "decimalised"? In other words, when did the third year of comprehensive school become Year 9? I am certain that it was the 1991-1992 academic year - that was when my school and my local LEA started to adapt to the system, although I am certain that it had been used for the previous academic year at least, although I think it was John Major's government (along with the National Curriculum and the Education Reform Act 1988) which were responsible for the changes.

    I was confused at first as I thought that by 1991, I had been in the local education system ten years (three different schools, an Infants, a Juniors, and a Comprehensive), and I thought that I had been in the Infants for three years, not counting the nursery part, or I was counting the nursery part as Year 1 and not the first year of the Infant part as Year 1 - I know that some had said that the Infants had a third year back then. I used to laugh when my late mother used to find pronouncing the word "curriculum" very difficult! At a parents evening, she used to get confused about the Year 9 or 10 situation - "but he hasn't been at your school for nine/ten years". Cue teaching staff member explaining the new system to her.

    I know that, for example, pupils who had been, let's say, in form 3X of comprehensive school used to write on the front of their English, Mathematics, History, etc exercise books, both 3X and 9X together (3X/9X), "translating" both if you like. I am certain that it had been in use in 1990, although my school didn't use it until the following year - did any schools or LEAs resist the year numbering changes at first, I wonder? I suppose that it was done like that to avoid confusion - if one said that they were in the third year at school, people wouldn't know whether it was third year at Infants, Juniors or Comprehensive level, and so the system allowed continuity from the start to end of one's education. I for one was confused, assuming at first that I had six years' summer holiday rather than six weeks in August of that year! Ironically, 1991 had been nine years since my sister started comprehensive school, although she had left for four years by then!

    I have to admit that it did make us sound more "senior" at comprehensive school level instead of going "back to square one" and being first years again after a year of being fourth years - there was something rather rewarding about all that! And now we have academies with a "one size fits all" education system...
    Last edited by George 1978; 06-09-2020, 16:44.
    I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
    There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
    I'm having so much fun
    My lucky number's one
    Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

  • #2
    Re: The third year becoming Year Nine and all that

    I remember I went from Year 1 to Year 8 in 1990, so maybe my school was a bit early introducing it.

    It always seemed to be one year out, as I had 7 years at primary school, unless the first year of primary school was a year 0.
    The Trickster On The Roof

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    • #3
      Re: The third year becoming Year Nine and all that

      That's interesting, Richard because I thought it was 1991 - that's when my school adopted it. Grange Hill (as the news series always coincided with calendar year, and only the autumn repeat coincided with the start of the academic year), probably didn't follow this trend until the 1992 series, perhaps?

      I have never heard of a Year 0 to describe primary, or even a nursery or reception class - I believe that the sixth form was referred to as Year 12?
      I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
      There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
      I'm having so much fun
      My lucky number's one
      Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The third year becoming Year Nine and all that

        I think I am ultra-certain George it was the 1990-1991 School Year and Grange Hill had the first change in 1991 from it being the 3rd year in old currency!!

        Not as I remember much about it in the 1990 segmount of the "School Year 1990-1991", as I missed most of the first half of it for personal reasons from Sept to Feb/March, but yep do recall begrudgingly having to put 9 to represent the Year instead of 3rd year - though i accepted but still think it sounds silly today!

        80sChav

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        • #5
          Re: The third year becoming Year Nine and all that

          I’d say it was the 1989-1990 school year. That’s when it was in my school anyway. I went from 2nd year up into year 9.
          Last edited by Trickyvee; 22-09-2020, 21:45.
          1976 Vintage

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          • #6
            Re: The third year becoming Year Nine and all that

            Did different LEAs around the country introduce the system at different times, I wonder? Nottinghamshire County Council (pre-Nottingham City unitary authority) definitely did so in September 1991 - perhaps the London and southern LEAs did that the year before?

            I wondered there were a north-south divide with adapting to it, and that the northern LEAs were reluctant to the changes?
            I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
            There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
            I'm having so much fun
            My lucky number's one
            Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The third year becoming Year Nine and all that

              Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
              Did different LEAs around the country introduce the system at different times, I wonder? Nottinghamshire County Council (pre-Nottingham City unitary authority) definitely did so in September 1991 - perhaps the London and southern LEAs did that the year before?

              I wondered there were a north-south divide with adapting to it, and that the northern LEAs were reluctant to the changes?
              It was easily 1991 for me George or when I lived in East Yorks/Humberside at that "hour of day"! I can recall though Grange Hill never had the new system until Series 14 in 1991, so obviously they had advance knowledge as every Series was filmed the year before - so that potentialy rules out a North-South divide issue as everything is more often than not rolled out in London before anywhere else - even though GH was fictional.

              Though if it was North-South divided where would the divide be as for you in Nottingham, even with regional Football Divisions North and South 3, both Nottingham Teams went South as did Mansfield sometimes (which I consider crazy as it's only 20 mins from Sheffield) as did Shrewsbury, who I had a friend from and he hated being classed as South - though all these Towns are justifably Midlands Towns and City's and not North or South!!

              80sChav

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              • #8
                Re: The third year becoming Year Nine and all that

                Stoke City and Port Vale were also shuffled between the 3rd Divisions North & South to balance things out.
                The Trickster On The Roof

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                • #9
                  Re: The third year becoming Year Nine and all that

                  Originally posted by Richard1978 View Post
                  Stoke City and Port Vale were also shuffled between the 3rd Divisions North & South to balance things out.
                  As was Walsall, Coventry and Shrewsbury to name but 3 more too Richard, yeah!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm sure this has been discussed before a few years ago.

                    The new year group system came into use in September 1990. Some LEAs, or even individual schools, may have been hesitant at adopting it in everyday use for a few years, but it still existed formally.

                    Secondary schools previously used form, not year, and were prefixed - first form to fifth form (or occasionally I form to V form, always in Roman numerals) for Year 7 to Year 11 respectively.

                    Any ideas what year group numbering system was formerly used in LEAs with first, middle, and high schools instead of primary and secondary schools?

                    The so called "third year infants" was Y2 as a result of counting the reception class as the first year. It still somewhat exists in infant schools today but not in primary schools.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Nobody has come up with an answer to the question: what year group numbering system was formerly used in LEAs with first, middle, and high schools instead of primary and secondary schools?

                      Some anecdotal information I have is:

                      High schools used 3rd form to 5th form for Y9 to Y11 even though they didn’t have a 1st form and a 2nd form, as this was covered by middle school. The same numbering system used by secondary schools.

                      Middle schools used 1st year to 4th year for Y5 to Y8. 1st form and 2nd form for Y7 and Y8 were rarely used even though they were almost always used for students in these year groups who attended secondary schools – even in the same LEA.

                      First schools used 1st year to 4th year for Y1 to Y4. Some used 1st year to 5th year if they counted reception class as 1st year. First schools tended not to differentiate between infant and junior year groups like many primary schools did. They often used class number or teacher name, rather than year group, for correspondence in the same way as primary schools did.

                      It appears a bit strange moving from 4th year at middle school (Y8) into 3rd form at high school (Y9)…

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think that it is because there is no definitive answer - there seems to be regional variations around the country, just like there is when half-tern holidays happen.

                        Even the difference between Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County post-April 1998 is more than apparent. I bet that if Nottingham City Council had been a unitary authority back in 1991, they would have had a different pace as to the County Council when it came to the changes in year numbers.
                        I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
                        There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
                        I'm having so much fun
                        My lucky number's one
                        Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm not sure if LEAs adopted a standard system of year group numbering for all their schools prior to September 1990 or devolved the matter to individual schools. After all, students could be 2nd form at a secondary school and 4th year at a middle school in the same LEA.

                          I used to take the national year group numbering for granted when I was at school as it was the only system I had experience of. My mother always used it and never referred to Y10 as 4th form or Y4 as 2nd year juniors or Y2 as upper infants, and the like. I'm actually surprised that the national year group numbering was only introduced as recently as 1990. Formal education publications from before that date tend to refer to children by their chronological age rather than any system of year groups.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
                            although I think it was John Major's government (along with the National Curriculum and the Education Reform Act 1988) which were responsible for the changes.
                            The Act introduced the 4 key stages (although they did somewhat exist in schools before then) but I don't think it introduced the year group numbering system used from September 1990.

                            There might be some information in old copies of the TES about the legislation introducing a new year group numbering system.

                            I was verbally informed by a friend about some confusion with the police that took place in the early months of 1991. His school was independent and still used 1st to 5th form rather than Y7 to Y11. A kid at the school told the police in an interview that he was in 4th form and it was later misinterpreted as being Y4 rather than Y10. Therefore the new year group system must have been used in the LEA and the police force which covered it was already aware of it.

                            Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
                            Grange Hill (as the news series always coincided with calendar year, and only the autumn repeat coincided with the start of the academic year), probably didn't follow this trend until the 1992 series, perhaps?
                            Were year groups ever mentioned in Grange Hill around this time?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Arran View Post

                              Were year groups ever mentioned in Grange Hill around this time?

                              I can't be certain but GH must have adapted to it by the mid 1990s but it must have taken longer than their real life counterparts. The 1995 series, perhaps?

                              By the way, form groups were known for example as A1 in the series rather than 1A, apart from the first series where it was One Alpha - did London LEAs have the letter first followed by the number, hence GH doing that?

                              I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
                              There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
                              I'm having so much fun
                              My lucky number's one
                              Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

                              Comment

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