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