Bucks Grammar Schools consulting on new test in 11+ shake-up

John Hampden is one of the schools consulting on a new admissions policy

John Hampden is one of the schools consulting on a new admissions policy

First published in News by

GRAMMAR Schools in Buckinghamshire are to consult on a new admissions policy which could mean children sitting the 11+ next year will be faced with a different kind of test.

Currently children sit two 50-minute long verbal reasoning tests, with their top score put forward to determine whether they will win a place in grammar school.

According to the consultation document on John Hampden Grammar School’s website, the newly proposed exams will consist of two 45-minute long tests.

It says: “The tests are comprised of elements of verbal, numerical and non-verbal ability. “Each child’s raw scores in the two tests are added together and the resulting score is converted into an age standardised score thus setting all children on an equal footing regardless of when their birthday falls in the year.”

Currently many parents pay for coaching sessions for their children to help them through the 11+ process – what impact any revised tests would have on this training is unclear at present.

As grammar schools in the county have now become academies they can control their own admissions, which are are no longer under the control of the local education authority, Buckinghamshire County Council, which was previously solely responsible for administering the test.

However, the schools have agreed that BCC will continue to manage the test.

Earlier this year Highcrest Academy in High Wycombe introduced its own admissions test for prospective pupils, which would band it's 2013 intake of pupils into one of four different levels of ability.

This move prompted complaints from many upper schools in the county, although these were not upheld by the schools adjudicator.

To see the John Hampden consultation document, which runs until March 7, 2013, go to http://web.jhgs.bucks.sch.uk/SiteAssets/SitePages/Admissions/Admissions%202014.pdf

Comments (24)

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10:43pm Fri 21 Dec 12

geoffW says...

Some of the people involved in this have said in the past that tutoring makes no difference, which has always been the council's line and that of the National Foundation for Educational Research who have set the test for decades. Strange that, isn't it.

All that will happen if the test is made more geared to classroom topics, with harder questions that are less formulaic is that the "rich" will, instead of sending their child to a tutor once a week, will send their child three times a week or all Saturday morning to cover as much as they can.

There is a problem when a child might attend a primary school that is considered not to be as good as another. Will parents be able to sue their primary school if Ofsted say that lessons in that school were less than good or not as good as another school?

Results based on a test of the child's previous education don't show suitability for a grammar school education. They reflect the effectiveness of the school.

Children who are educated in primary schools where the teaching is not as good as in others, or where there is a greater amount of disruption from unruly pupils, or greater emphasis placed on teaching children who's first language is not English, etc, etc, will be penalised. It is not the child's fault.

If a school has a poor Ofsted report or falls in the league tables then action can be taken, but it is too late for the children who have already passed through or are passing through whilst measures are taken to improve.

The fight to get into secondary schools will be extanded into a dog fight to get into certain primary schools - even moreso than at present. Children not in the "right" primary school won't stand a chance, except those that can afford tutors to help boost there general education. So, no difference.

If your child doesn't pass and the primary school in not considered to be one of the better ones in the county, then sue the school for failing your child.
Some of the people involved in this have said in the past that tutoring makes no difference, which has always been the council's line and that of the National Foundation for Educational Research who have set the test for decades. Strange that, isn't it. All that will happen if the test is made more geared to classroom topics, with harder questions that are less formulaic is that the "rich" will, instead of sending their child to a tutor once a week, will send their child three times a week or all Saturday morning to cover as much as they can. There is a problem when a child might attend a primary school that is considered not to be as good as another. Will parents be able to sue their primary school if Ofsted say that lessons in that school were less than good or not as good as another school? Results based on a test of the child's previous education don't show suitability for a grammar school education. They reflect the effectiveness of the school. Children who are educated in primary schools where the teaching is not as good as in others, or where there is a greater amount of disruption from unruly pupils, or greater emphasis placed on teaching children who's first language is not English, etc, etc, will be penalised. It is not the child's fault. If a school has a poor Ofsted report or falls in the league tables then action can be taken, but it is too late for the children who have already passed through or are passing through whilst measures are taken to improve. The fight to get into secondary schools will be extanded into a dog fight to get into certain primary schools - even moreso than at present. Children not in the "right" primary school won't stand a chance, except those that can afford tutors to help boost there general education. So, no difference. If your child doesn't pass and the primary school in not considered to be one of the better ones in the county, then sue the school for failing your child. geoffW
  • Score: 0

6:44am Sat 22 Dec 12

whingefree says...

geoffW: I don't think there is any intention to make the 11+ 'more geared to classroom topics'.

The LA has acknowledged for some time that coaching can make a difference. The official line changed a few years ago.

The fact remains that the selective system is inherently unfair and incredibly outdated. We shouldn't be tinkering with the test, we should be getting rid of it.
geoffW: I don't think there is any intention to make the 11+ 'more geared to classroom topics'. The LA has acknowledged for some time that coaching can make a difference. The official line changed a few years ago. The fact remains that the selective system is inherently unfair and incredibly outdated. We shouldn't be tinkering with the test, we should be getting rid of it. whingefree
  • Score: 0

9:49am Sat 22 Dec 12

geoffW says...

whingefree wrote:
geoffW: I don't think there is any intention to make the 11+ 'more geared to classroom topics'. The LA has acknowledged for some time that coaching can make a difference. The official line changed a few years ago. The fact remains that the selective system is inherently unfair and incredibly outdated. We shouldn't be tinkering with the test, we should be getting rid of it.
Wait and see!
[quote][p][bold]whingefree[/bold] wrote: geoffW: I don't think there is any intention to make the 11+ 'more geared to classroom topics'. The LA has acknowledged for some time that coaching can make a difference. The official line changed a few years ago. The fact remains that the selective system is inherently unfair and incredibly outdated. We shouldn't be tinkering with the test, we should be getting rid of it.[/p][/quote]Wait and see! geoffW
  • Score: 0

3:05pm Sat 22 Dec 12

deecee01 says...

Whatever the changes are, some parents will still tutor the hell out their kids, just so they can boast to friends and neighbours that their child is in a Grammar School. Never mind the poor child has a miserable few years in a school where they can't cope with the pressure. But as long as Mummy and Daddy are happy.
Whatever the changes are, some parents will still tutor the hell out their kids, just so they can boast to friends and neighbours that their child is in a Grammar School. Never mind the poor child has a miserable few years in a school where they can't cope with the pressure. But as long as Mummy and Daddy are happy. deecee01
  • Score: 0

4:12pm Sat 22 Dec 12

whingefree says...

geoffW wrote:
whingefree wrote:
geoffW: I don't think there is any intention to make the 11+ 'more geared to classroom topics'. The LA has acknowledged for some time that coaching can make a difference. The official line changed a few years ago. The fact remains that the selective system is inherently unfair and incredibly outdated. We shouldn't be tinkering with the test, we should be getting rid of it.
Wait and see!
Nothing to wait and see about. The intention is spelled out above... verbal, quantitative and non-verbal reasoning.

Never a mention of classroom topics, and never would it be permissible, for all the reasons you state in your panicked response!
[quote][p][bold]geoffW[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]whingefree[/bold] wrote: geoffW: I don't think there is any intention to make the 11+ 'more geared to classroom topics'. The LA has acknowledged for some time that coaching can make a difference. The official line changed a few years ago. The fact remains that the selective system is inherently unfair and incredibly outdated. We shouldn't be tinkering with the test, we should be getting rid of it.[/p][/quote]Wait and see![/p][/quote]Nothing to wait and see about. The intention is spelled out above... verbal, quantitative and non-verbal reasoning. Never a mention of classroom topics, and never would it be permissible, for all the reasons you state in your panicked response! whingefree
  • Score: 0

10:08pm Sat 22 Dec 12

Voyeur says...

Here is an example of a non verbal reasoning test. Many adults on this website would probably have difficulty with them.

http://www.athey-edu
cational.co.uk/noacc
ess/nvmult1x.htm
Here is an example of a non verbal reasoning test. Many adults on this website would probably have difficulty with them. http://www.athey-edu cational.co.uk/noacc ess/nvmult1x.htm Voyeur
  • Score: 0

11:14pm Sat 22 Dec 12

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

whingefree wrote:
geoffW: I don't think there is any intention to make the 11+ 'more geared to classroom topics'.

The LA has acknowledged for some time that coaching can make a difference. The official line changed a few years ago.

The fact remains that the selective system is inherently unfair and incredibly outdated. We shouldn't be tinkering with the test, we should be getting rid of it.
I think a majority of people locally would agree with that - they vote for the Conservatives because they are Conservatives in spite of the fact that they are perpetuating a completely senseless system.
[quote][p][bold]whingefree[/bold] wrote: geoffW: I don't think there is any intention to make the 11+ 'more geared to classroom topics'. The LA has acknowledged for some time that coaching can make a difference. The official line changed a few years ago. The fact remains that the selective system is inherently unfair and incredibly outdated. We shouldn't be tinkering with the test, we should be getting rid of it.[/p][/quote]I think a majority of people locally would agree with that - they vote for the Conservatives because they are Conservatives in spite of the fact that they are perpetuating a completely senseless system. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

8:21pm Sun 23 Dec 12

HerculePoirot says...

I agree with the general tenor of all these comments: they should get rid of the test not fiddle with it.

Of course changing the test is an admission that the current one is not fit for purpose. We should probably go back and look for quotes from the pro-selectionistas! I can kick this off with the following in a letter to me from a local grammar head (still in post): "Any replacement for VR testing is likely to be more susceptible to ‘coaching’."
I agree with the general tenor of all these comments: they should get rid of the test not fiddle with it. Of course changing the test is an admission that the current one is not fit for purpose. We should probably go back and look for quotes from the pro-selectionistas! I can kick this off with the following in a letter to me from a local grammar head (still in post): "Any replacement for VR testing is likely to be more susceptible to ‘coaching’." HerculePoirot
  • Score: 0

8:29pm Sun 23 Dec 12

HerculePoirot says...

They're also moving the test forward to September by the look of it. I wonder when the first 9-year old will sit the "11-plus"?!
They're also moving the test forward to September by the look of it. I wonder when the first 9-year old will sit the "11-plus"?! HerculePoirot
  • Score: 0

8:35pm Sun 23 Dec 12

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

“Each child’s raw scores in the two tests are added together and the resulting score is converted into an age standardised score thus setting all children on an equal footing regardless of when their birthday falls in the year.”

Does that mean they average it so that a child who is bad at maths or a weak speller has the final score reduced so they go to a secondary modern school?
[italic] [quote] “Each child’s raw scores in the two tests are added together and the resulting score is converted into an age standardised score thus setting all children on an equal footing regardless of when their birthday falls in the year.” [/quote][/italic] Does that mean they average it so that a child who is bad at maths or a weak speller has the final score reduced so they go to a secondary modern school? ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

8:53pm Sun 23 Dec 12

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

whingefree wrote:
geoffW: I don't think there is any intention to make the 11+ 'more geared to classroom topics'.

The LA has acknowledged for some time that coaching can make a difference. The official line changed a few years ago.

The fact remains that the selective system is inherently unfair and incredibly outdated. We shouldn't be tinkering with the test, we should be getting rid of it.
A lot of people do well out of it and are willing to go to some lengths to maintain their advantage.
[quote][p][bold]whingefree[/bold] wrote: geoffW: I don't think there is any intention to make the 11+ 'more geared to classroom topics'. The LA has acknowledged for some time that coaching can make a difference. The official line changed a few years ago. The fact remains that the selective system is inherently unfair and incredibly outdated. We shouldn't be tinkering with the test, we should be getting rid of it.[/p][/quote]A lot of people do well out of it and are willing to go to some lengths to maintain their advantage. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

12:02pm Mon 24 Dec 12

doogiedoo says...

geoffW wrote:
Some of the people involved in this have said in the past that tutoring makes no difference, which has always been the council's line and that of the National Foundation for Educational Research who have set the test for decades. Strange that, isn't it.

All that will happen if the test is made more geared to classroom topics, with harder questions that are less formulaic is that the "rich" will, instead of sending their child to a tutor once a week, will send their child three times a week or all Saturday morning to cover as much as they can.

There is a problem when a child might attend a primary school that is considered not to be as good as another. Will parents be able to sue their primary school if Ofsted say that lessons in that school were less than good or not as good as another school?

Results based on a test of the child's previous education don't show suitability for a grammar school education. They reflect the effectiveness of the school.

Children who are educated in primary schools where the teaching is not as good as in others, or where there is a greater amount of disruption from unruly pupils, or greater emphasis placed on teaching children who's first language is not English, etc, etc, will be penalised. It is not the child's fault.

If a school has a poor Ofsted report or falls in the league tables then action can be taken, but it is too late for the children who have already passed through or are passing through whilst measures are taken to improve.

The fight to get into secondary schools will be extanded into a dog fight to get into certain primary schools - even moreso than at present. Children not in the "right" primary school won't stand a chance, except those that can afford tutors to help boost there general education. So, no difference.

If your child doesn't pass and the primary school in not considered to be one of the better ones in the county, then sue the school for failing your child.
I suggest before you post rubbish like this that you learn the difference between 'who's' and 'whose', 'extanded' (??) and 'extended' and 'there' and 'their'. I guess it must be someone else's fault that you weren't taught English grammar correctly!
Parents that send their children for extra help are not automatically 'rich'. This facile explanation exists only in your warped and envious view of the world. It is rather that they care and are engaged in their children's education and often forego other things in life in order to ensure their kids get a good start. It's about the choices you make and it's about time people took some joint responsibility with the school for their children's development rather than contemplating legal action. By the way, if your kids aren't academically inclined then they will absolutely hate grammar school, so why not develop their strengths instead of forcing them into something that isn't right for them?
[quote][p][bold]geoffW[/bold] wrote: Some of the people involved in this have said in the past that tutoring makes no difference, which has always been the council's line and that of the National Foundation for Educational Research who have set the test for decades. Strange that, isn't it. All that will happen if the test is made more geared to classroom topics, with harder questions that are less formulaic is that the "rich" will, instead of sending their child to a tutor once a week, will send their child three times a week or all Saturday morning to cover as much as they can. There is a problem when a child might attend a primary school that is considered not to be as good as another. Will parents be able to sue their primary school if Ofsted say that lessons in that school were less than good or not as good as another school? Results based on a test of the child's previous education don't show suitability for a grammar school education. They reflect the effectiveness of the school. Children who are educated in primary schools where the teaching is not as good as in others, or where there is a greater amount of disruption from unruly pupils, or greater emphasis placed on teaching children who's first language is not English, etc, etc, will be penalised. It is not the child's fault. If a school has a poor Ofsted report or falls in the league tables then action can be taken, but it is too late for the children who have already passed through or are passing through whilst measures are taken to improve. The fight to get into secondary schools will be extanded into a dog fight to get into certain primary schools - even moreso than at present. Children not in the "right" primary school won't stand a chance, except those that can afford tutors to help boost there general education. So, no difference. If your child doesn't pass and the primary school in not considered to be one of the better ones in the county, then sue the school for failing your child.[/p][/quote]I suggest before you post rubbish like this that you learn the difference between 'who's' and 'whose', 'extanded' (??) and 'extended' and 'there' and 'their'. I guess it must be someone else's fault that you weren't taught English grammar correctly! Parents that send their children for extra help are not automatically 'rich'. This facile explanation exists only in your warped and envious view of the world. It is rather that they care and are engaged in their children's education and often forego other things in life in order to ensure their kids get a good start. It's about the choices you make and it's about time people took some joint responsibility with the school for their children's development rather than contemplating legal action. By the way, if your kids aren't academically inclined then they will absolutely hate grammar school, so why not develop their strengths instead of forcing them into something that isn't right for them? doogiedoo
  • Score: 0

1:05pm Mon 24 Dec 12

Honey33 says...

This is an interesting topic, I have known parents from one particular community who have tutored children for 11+ test 2/3 times a week and when he or she passed the test they will celebrate as the job is done and will show off to friends that how clever their child is and how much hard work they have done for the tests. It’s such a cruel strategy that when the child gets to grammar school all the help and tuition is finished and poor child is left on their own. As a result child struggles and drags the school standard down over the years. Such children have an average ability as that of one in a local secondary school and grammar schools are left with the dilemma of dealing with these challenging situations. I am glad that grammar schools are now introducing extra entry tests and it will filter out the children with the borderline abilities and will bring forward real able children who will succeed and raise the schools standards as well. Its better late than never so well done to local grammar schools for introducing their own entry tests.
This is an interesting topic, I have known parents from one particular community who have tutored children for 11+ test 2/3 times a week and when he or she passed the test they will celebrate as the job is done and will show off to friends that how clever their child is and how much hard work they have done for the tests. It’s such a cruel strategy that when the child gets to grammar school all the help and tuition is finished and poor child is left on their own. As a result child struggles and drags the school standard down over the years. Such children have an average ability as that of one in a local secondary school and grammar schools are left with the dilemma of dealing with these challenging situations. I am glad that grammar schools are now introducing extra entry tests and it will filter out the children with the borderline abilities and will bring forward real able children who will succeed and raise the schools standards as well. Its better late than never so well done to local grammar schools for introducing their own entry tests. Honey33
  • Score: 0

3:43pm Mon 24 Dec 12

whingefree says...

Doogiedoo, I'm not sure that correcting spelling and grammar, and being generally unkind and condescending, is adding anything to the debate. I guess it must be someone else's fault that you were not taught manners correctly. The fact remains, 'despite your facile explanation', that there are parents who care deeply about their children's well-being and education but do not have the resources to pay for their children to get into a grammar school. Just take a look at the socio-economic backgrounds of grammar schools and upper schools which serve similar catchments and you'll see the problem.

Honey33, the Grammar schools have not chosen to introduce their own entry tests. Now that all the schools are academies, they have no choice but to establish their own admission criteria. The same proportion of children will attend those schools. The test may change a little, but not greatly. Their main consideration will be to make it cheap - as the local authority no longer has to fund the testing system, it will be down to those schools to make it pay.
Doogiedoo, I'm not sure that correcting spelling and grammar, and being generally unkind and condescending, is adding anything to the debate. I guess it must be someone else's fault that you were not taught manners correctly. The fact remains, 'despite your facile explanation', that there are parents who care deeply about their children's well-being and education but do not have the resources to pay for their children to get into a grammar school. Just take a look at the socio-economic backgrounds of grammar schools and upper schools which serve similar catchments and you'll see the problem. Honey33, the Grammar schools have not chosen to introduce their own entry tests. Now that all the schools are academies, they have no choice but to establish their own admission criteria. The same proportion of children will attend those schools. The test may change a little, but not greatly. Their main consideration will be to make it cheap - as the local authority no longer has to fund the testing system, it will be down to those schools to make it pay. whingefree
  • Score: 0

11:50am Tue 25 Dec 12

Honey33 says...

Doogiedoo, people are having healthy debate and you are more concerned about spelling and grammer mistakes.Come on, appreciate the discussion on such an important subject,
Doogiedoo, people are having healthy debate and you are more concerned about spelling and grammer mistakes.Come on, appreciate the discussion on such an important subject, Honey33
  • Score: 0

11:52am Tue 25 Dec 12

Honey33 says...

Doogiedoo, people are having healthy debate and you are more concerned about spelling and grammer mistakes.Come on, appreciate the discussion on such an important subject,
Doogiedoo, people are having healthy debate and you are more concerned about spelling and grammer mistakes.Come on, appreciate the discussion on such an important subject, Honey33
  • Score: 0

10:11pm Tue 25 Dec 12

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

whingefree wrote:
geoffW wrote:
whingefree wrote:
geoffW: I don't think there is any intention to make the 11+ 'more geared to classroom topics'. The LA has acknowledged for some time that coaching can make a difference. The official line changed a few years ago. The fact remains that the selective system is inherently unfair and incredibly outdated. We shouldn't be tinkering with the test, we should be getting rid of it.
Wait and see!
Nothing to wait and see about. The intention is spelled out above... verbal, quantitative and non-verbal reasoning.

Never a mention of classroom topics, and never would it be permissible, for all the reasons you state in your panicked response!
'Panicked'?
[quote][p][bold]whingefree[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]geoffW[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]whingefree[/bold] wrote: geoffW: I don't think there is any intention to make the 11+ 'more geared to classroom topics'. The LA has acknowledged for some time that coaching can make a difference. The official line changed a few years ago. The fact remains that the selective system is inherently unfair and incredibly outdated. We shouldn't be tinkering with the test, we should be getting rid of it.[/p][/quote]Wait and see![/p][/quote]Nothing to wait and see about. The intention is spelled out above... verbal, quantitative and non-verbal reasoning. Never a mention of classroom topics, and never would it be permissible, for all the reasons you state in your panicked response![/p][/quote]'Panicked'? ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

10:43pm Tue 25 Dec 12

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

doogiedoo wrote:
geoffW wrote:
Some of the people involved in this have said in the past that tutoring makes no difference, which has always been the council's line and that of the National Foundation for Educational Research who have set the test for decades. Strange that, isn't it.

All that will happen if the test is made more geared to classroom topics, with harder questions that are less formulaic is that the "rich" will, instead of sending their child to a tutor once a week, will send their child three times a week or all Saturday morning to cover as much as they can.

There is a problem when a child might attend a primary school that is considered not to be as good as another. Will parents be able to sue their primary school if Ofsted say that lessons in that school were less than good or not as good as another school?

Results based on a test of the child's previous education don't show suitability for a grammar school education. They reflect the effectiveness of the school.

Children who are educated in primary schools where the teaching is not as good as in others, or where there is a greater amount of disruption from unruly pupils, or greater emphasis placed on teaching children who's first language is not English, etc, etc, will be penalised. It is not the child's fault.

If a school has a poor Ofsted report or falls in the league tables then action can be taken, but it is too late for the children who have already passed through or are passing through whilst measures are taken to improve.

The fight to get into secondary schools will be extanded into a dog fight to get into certain primary schools - even moreso than at present. Children not in the "right" primary school won't stand a chance, except those that can afford tutors to help boost there general education. So, no difference.

If your child doesn't pass and the primary school in not considered to be one of the better ones in the county, then sue the school for failing your child.
I suggest before you post rubbish like this that you learn the difference between 'who's' and 'whose', 'extanded' (??) and 'extended' and 'there' and 'their'. I guess it must be someone else's fault that you weren't taught English grammar correctly!
Parents that send their children for extra help are not automatically 'rich'. This facile explanation exists only in your warped and envious view of the world. It is rather that they care and are engaged in their children's education and often forego other things in life in order to ensure their kids get a good start. It's about the choices you make and it's about time people took some joint responsibility with the school for their children's development rather than contemplating legal action. By the way, if your kids aren't academically inclined then they will absolutely hate grammar school, so why not develop their strengths instead of forcing them into something that isn't right for them?
‘Doggiedoo’ restates the classic argument - in use since the 1950s to my knowledge and restated here within the last twelve months - that it isn’t solely the rich or well-off who send their kids to grammar schools. People no longer doggedly(no pun intended!) insist that the exam is based PURELY on intellectual merit but I was half-expecting a story of how ‘doggiedoo’ knew a child/was himself a child of humble origins who passed the 11+ through sheer talent and guts and became the first member of his family to go to university/become some sort of professional person. What he says is true it’s not ALL to do with money but the 11+ makes the difference between the possibility of an education at a good university and the chance at a professional career most of the time, and that is the reason why you see adverts for tuition for both Common Entrance and the 11+ on the pages of this site - well-off parents make sure their children pass the 11+ if at all possible - otherwise they are compelled to pay for private education or let their children go to one of the often failing and often rebranded Secondary Modern – sorry – Upper – sorry - Community Schools.


‘GeoffW’ does make some grammatical mistakes in his use of English. He doesn’t make any mistakes in his use of logic though as the main thrust of his argument is that it might be a good idea in this post Thatcher modern Britain where we are all ruthlessly competing social and economic units to sue, in the name of efficiency and accountability, the junior school that your child went to if they fail the 11+.
[quote][p][bold]doogiedoo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]geoffW[/bold] wrote: Some of the people involved in this have said in the past that tutoring makes no difference, which has always been the council's line and that of the National Foundation for Educational Research who have set the test for decades. Strange that, isn't it. All that will happen if the test is made more geared to classroom topics, with harder questions that are less formulaic is that the "rich" will, instead of sending their child to a tutor once a week, will send their child three times a week or all Saturday morning to cover as much as they can. There is a problem when a child might attend a primary school that is considered not to be as good as another. Will parents be able to sue their primary school if Ofsted say that lessons in that school were less than good or not as good as another school? Results based on a test of the child's previous education don't show suitability for a grammar school education. They reflect the effectiveness of the school. Children who are educated in primary schools where the teaching is not as good as in others, or where there is a greater amount of disruption from unruly pupils, or greater emphasis placed on teaching children who's first language is not English, etc, etc, will be penalised. It is not the child's fault. If a school has a poor Ofsted report or falls in the league tables then action can be taken, but it is too late for the children who have already passed through or are passing through whilst measures are taken to improve. The fight to get into secondary schools will be extanded into a dog fight to get into certain primary schools - even moreso than at present. Children not in the "right" primary school won't stand a chance, except those that can afford tutors to help boost there general education. So, no difference. If your child doesn't pass and the primary school in not considered to be one of the better ones in the county, then sue the school for failing your child.[/p][/quote]I suggest before you post rubbish like this that you learn the difference between 'who's' and 'whose', 'extanded' (??) and 'extended' and 'there' and 'their'. I guess it must be someone else's fault that you weren't taught English grammar correctly! Parents that send their children for extra help are not automatically 'rich'. This facile explanation exists only in your warped and envious view of the world. It is rather that they care and are engaged in their children's education and often forego other things in life in order to ensure their kids get a good start. It's about the choices you make and it's about time people took some joint responsibility with the school for their children's development rather than contemplating legal action. By the way, if your kids aren't academically inclined then they will absolutely hate grammar school, so why not develop their strengths instead of forcing them into something that isn't right for them?[/p][/quote]‘Doggiedoo’ restates the classic argument - in use since the 1950s to my knowledge and restated here within the last twelve months - that it [italic] isn’t [/italic] solely the rich or well-off who send their kids to grammar schools. People no longer doggedly(no pun intended!) insist that the exam is based PURELY on intellectual merit but I was half-expecting a story of how ‘doggiedoo’ knew a child/was himself a child of humble origins who passed the 11+ through sheer talent and guts and became the first member of his family to go to university/become some sort of professional person. What he says is true it’s not ALL to do with money but the 11+ makes the difference between the possibility of an education at a good university and the chance at a professional career most of the time, and that is the reason why you see adverts for tuition for both Common Entrance and the 11+ on the pages of this site - well-off parents make sure their children pass the 11+ if at all possible - otherwise they are compelled to pay for private education or let their children go to one of the often failing and often rebranded Secondary Modern – sorry – Upper – sorry - Community Schools. ‘GeoffW’ [italic] does [/italic] make some grammatical mistakes in his use of English. He doesn’t make any mistakes in his use of logic though as the main thrust of his argument is that it might be a good idea in this post Thatcher modern Britain where we are all ruthlessly competing social and economic units to sue, in the name of efficiency and accountability, the junior school that your child went to if they fail the 11+. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

10:52pm Tue 25 Dec 12

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

deecee01 wrote:
Whatever the changes are, some parents will still tutor the hell out their kids, just so they can boast to friends and neighbours that their child is in a Grammar School. Never mind the poor child has a miserable few years in a school where they can't cope with the pressure. But as long as Mummy and Daddy are happy.
‘Deecee01’ is repeating another hoary chestnut - in the pure stratospheres of academic and intellectual excellence that are grammar schools, ‘children who are coached struggle ’ - and ‘it’s not fair on children who are unsuited to an academic education’ to coach them so they get one.


‘Doggiedoo’ says something similar when he says: ‘…why not develop their strengths instead of forcing them into something that isn't right for them?’ This only makes sense if it is based on the senseless assumption that the 11+ is an infallible indicator of a child’s talent and what a young person’s aptitudes are going to be when they are 18 – if a child passes the 11+ they will get a chance to find out what their strengths are instead of being forced into what a paternalistic education system assumes must be ‘their strengths’.


‘Deecee01’ attributes this to vanity alone on the part of the parents - as if any child not coached (how many conscientious parents would overlook that if they had a choice I wonder?) who passes the 11+ is suited to an academic education – after all they’ve been talent-spotted by the 11+ which is always completely right and accurate and any child who scrapes through as the result of coaching is the victim of a cruel delusion.
‘Deecee01’ like ‘Doggiedoo’ treats the 11+as if it were some sort of purely intellectual and educational phenomenon of importance in no other way and often said to be connected with ‘ability’ or ‘pace’ or ‘aptitude’ – as I said above the reason people with money are willing to spend it on 11+ tuition is that education before the age of eighteen is the key to one’s life in many ways afterward.
[quote][p][bold]deecee01[/bold] wrote: Whatever the changes are, some parents will still tutor the hell out their kids, just so they can boast to friends and neighbours that their child is in a Grammar School. Never mind the poor child has a miserable few years in a school where they can't cope with the pressure. But as long as Mummy and Daddy are happy.[/p][/quote]‘Deecee01’ is repeating another hoary chestnut - in the pure stratospheres of academic and intellectual excellence that are grammar schools, ‘children who are coached struggle ’ - and ‘it’s not fair on children who are unsuited to an academic education’ to coach them so they get one. ‘Doggiedoo’ says something similar when he says: ‘…why not develop their strengths instead of forcing them into something that isn't right for them?’ This only makes sense if it is based on the senseless assumption that the 11+ is an infallible indicator of a child’s talent and what a young person’s aptitudes are going to be when they are 18 – if a child passes the 11+ they will get a chance to find out what their strengths are instead of being forced into what a paternalistic education system assumes must be ‘their strengths’. ‘Deecee01’ attributes this to vanity alone on the part of the parents - as if any child [italic] not [/italic] coached (how many conscientious parents would overlook that if they had a choice I wonder?) who passes the 11+ is suited to an academic education – after all they’ve been talent-spotted by the 11+ which is always completely right and accurate and any child who scrapes through as the result of coaching is the victim of a cruel delusion. ‘Deecee01’ like ‘Doggiedoo’ treats the 11+as if it were some sort of purely intellectual and educational phenomenon of importance in no other way and often said to be connected with ‘ability’ or ‘pace’ or ‘aptitude’ – as I said above the reason people with money are willing to spend it on 11+ tuition is that education before the age of eighteen is the key to one’s life in many ways afterward. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

11:17pm Tue 25 Dec 12

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

Honey33 wrote:
This is an interesting topic, I have known parents from one particular community who have tutored children for 11+ test 2/3 times a week and when he or she passed the test they will celebrate as the job is done and will show off to friends that how clever their child is and how much hard work they have done for the tests. It’s such a cruel strategy that when the child gets to grammar school all the help and tuition is finished and poor child is left on their own. As a result child struggles and drags the school standard down over the years. Such children have an average ability as that of one in a local secondary school and grammar schools are left with the dilemma of dealing with these challenging situations. I am glad that grammar schools are now introducing extra entry tests and it will filter out the children with the borderline abilities and will bring forward real able children who will succeed and raise the schools standards as well. Its better late than never so well done to local grammar schools for introducing their own entry tests.
Are these people ‘from one particular community’ (what does that mean?) people you really know or are they people you have imagined to justify or illustrate a case?

If these parents want their children to succeed academically then they would tutor them after they passed the 11+ and presumably they would be people of decent education themselves, if they value education and want a good one for their children, who would bring up their children in an atmosphere of learning and curiosity – but you say they have their children tutored and then ignore them. And are you really worried that a struggling child ‘drags the school standard down over the years’? Do you regard education as a sort of league table?

I am glad that grammar schools are now introducing extra entry tests and it will filter out the children with the borderline abilities and will bring forward real able children who will succeed and raise the schools standards as well.


'Extra tests', as other people say on here, are simply tinkering with an idiosyncratic system that really speaking is discredited and widely abandoned in large parts of the UK.

How will these ‘extra tests’ ‘filter out the children with the borderline abilities’ and ‘and raise the schools standards as well’? I thought that was what the 11+ was supposed to be doing already. How will it get rid of children with ‘borderline abilities’ – at the moment it is supposed to highly accurately differentiate between children with an IQ of 121 or above and those with an IQ of 120 or below – what are the new tests going to do in your estimation – ensure that children with IQs of more than 125 get through in future – then the ones with an IQ of 126 will become ‘borderline’ then?

You say these people are ‘from one particular community’ – is this weird piece of writing from you by any chance just a whinge at black or Asian people doing well at the 11+ when in your view they shouldn’t?
[quote][p][bold]Honey33[/bold] wrote: This is an interesting topic, I have known parents from one particular community who have tutored children for 11+ test 2/3 times a week and when he or she passed the test they will celebrate as the job is done and will show off to friends that how clever their child is and how much hard work they have done for the tests. It’s such a cruel strategy that when the child gets to grammar school all the help and tuition is finished and poor child is left on their own. As a result child struggles and drags the school standard down over the years. Such children have an average ability as that of one in a local secondary school and grammar schools are left with the dilemma of dealing with these challenging situations. I am glad that grammar schools are now introducing extra entry tests and it will filter out the children with the borderline abilities and will bring forward real able children who will succeed and raise the schools standards as well. Its better late than never so well done to local grammar schools for introducing their own entry tests.[/p][/quote]Are these people ‘from one particular community’ (what does that mean?) people you [italic]really[/italic] know or are they people you have imagined to justify or illustrate a case? If these parents want their children to succeed academically then they would tutor them after they passed the 11+ and presumably they would be people of decent education themselves, if they value education and want a good one for their children, who would bring up their children in an atmosphere of learning and curiosity – but you say they have their children tutored and then ignore them. And are you really worried that a struggling child ‘drags the school standard down over the years’? Do you regard education as a sort of league table? [italic] [quote] I am glad that grammar schools are now introducing extra entry tests and it will filter out the children with the borderline abilities and will bring forward real able children who will succeed and raise the schools standards as well. [/quote][/italic] 'Extra tests', as other people say on here, are simply tinkering with an idiosyncratic system that really speaking is discredited and widely abandoned in large parts of the UK. How will these ‘extra tests’ ‘filter out the children with the borderline abilities’ and ‘and raise the schools standards as well’? I thought that was what the 11+ was supposed to be doing already. How will it get rid of children with ‘borderline abilities’ – at the moment it is supposed to highly accurately differentiate between children with an IQ of 121 or above and those with an IQ of 120 or below – what are the new tests going to do in your estimation – ensure that children with IQs of more than 125 get through in future – then the ones with an IQ of 126 will become ‘borderline’ then? You say these people are ‘from one particular community’ – is this weird piece of writing from you by any chance just a whinge at black or Asian people doing well at the 11+ when in your view they shouldn’t? ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

11:28pm Tue 25 Dec 12

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

ImpeturbableLawrence wrote:
whingefree wrote:
geoffW: I don't think there is any intention to make the 11+ 'more geared to classroom topics'.

The LA has acknowledged for some time that coaching can make a difference. The official line changed a few years ago.

The fact remains that the selective system is inherently unfair and incredibly outdated. We shouldn't be tinkering with the test, we should be getting rid of it.
I think a majority of people locally would agree with that - they vote for the Conservatives because they are Conservatives in spite of the fact that they are perpetuating a completely senseless system.
This is easily one of the most intelligent posts on here along with the other posts in agreement with it - why the hell don’t the Conservatives in Bucks make getting rid of this bloody stupid exam a part of their party manifesto and let our kids get on with their lives reasonably normally between the ages of ten and eighteen – they would still win the election?
[quote][p][bold]ImpeturbableLawrence[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]whingefree[/bold] wrote: geoffW: I don't think there is any intention to make the 11+ 'more geared to classroom topics'. The LA has acknowledged for some time that coaching can make a difference. The official line changed a few years ago. The fact remains that the selective system is inherently unfair and incredibly outdated. We shouldn't be tinkering with the test, we should be getting rid of it.[/p][/quote]I think a majority of people locally would agree with that - they vote for the Conservatives because they are Conservatives in spite of the fact that they are perpetuating a completely senseless system.[/p][/quote]This is easily one of the most intelligent posts on here along with the other posts in agreement with it - why the hell don’t the Conservatives in Bucks make getting rid of this bloody stupid exam a part of their party manifesto and let our kids get on with their lives reasonably normally between the ages of ten and eighteen – they would still win the election? ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

6:21pm Wed 26 Dec 12

curious:) says...

Grammar schools rock! Next best thing to private education, for the not so rich!! who can't afford private education and want their children to do well and become someone (professional) in life!!
Every child deserves a chance and it is up to the parents to provide that opportunity or not!
Grammar schools rock! Next best thing to private education, for the not so rich!! who can't afford private education and want their children to do well and become someone (professional) in life!! Every child deserves a chance and it is up to the parents to provide that opportunity or not! curious:)
  • Score: 0

6:23pm Wed 26 Dec 12

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

curious:) wrote:
Grammar schools rock! Next best thing to private education, for the not so rich!! who can't afford private education and want their children to do well and become someone (professional) in life!!
Every child deserves a chance and it is up to the parents to provide that opportunity or not!
Not true today if it ever was.
[quote][p][bold]curious:)[/bold] wrote: Grammar schools rock! Next best thing to private education, for the not so rich!! who can't afford private education and want their children to do well and become someone (professional) in life!! Every child deserves a chance and it is up to the parents to provide that opportunity or not![/p][/quote]Not true today if it ever was. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

10:50am Tue 1 Jan 13

HerculePoirot says...

This is on the schools websites: "Following a rigorous tendering process, the grammar schools have commissioned CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at Durham University) to design and provide a new test for grammar school entry. CEM has a long and successful record for monitoring and analysing pupil progress and for developing tests for use in academic selection. The test assesses verbal, numerical and non-verbal ability. This enables children to demonstrate their ability in a range of concepts. The grammar schools see this as a most positive development."
This is on the schools websites: "Following a rigorous tendering process, the grammar schools have commissioned CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at Durham University) to design and provide a new test for grammar school entry. CEM has a long and successful record for monitoring and analysing pupil progress and for developing tests for use in academic selection. The test assesses verbal, numerical and non-verbal ability. This enables children to demonstrate their ability in a range of concepts. The grammar schools see this as a most positive development." HerculePoirot
  • Score: 0

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