New 11+ test to be designed at Durham University

Cllr Mike Appleyard

Cllr Mike Appleyard

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by

AN educational assessment organisation at Durham University is to create a new test that will potentially replace the current 11+ selection exam from this coming September.

On the final day of the last school term, the 13 grammar schools across Bucks announced they were consulting on a new admissions policy which would include a change to the format of the current test for the 2014 intake of pupils.

Sir William Borlase's Grammar School says on its website that the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at Durham University has been commissioned to design and provide the new test for grammar school entry, following "a rigorous tendering process".

Each grammar school now serves as its own admissions authority, as they now have Academy status, but are continuing to work with Buckinghamshire County Council in setting up the new assessment.

The new test will assess verbal, numerical and non-verbal ability - as opposed to the current one which focuses on verbal reasoning.

The statement on SWB's website added: "This enables children to demonstrate their ability in a range of concepts. The grammar schools see this as a most positive development."

The consultation ends on March 1, but more information on the changes is to be released next week.

Councillor Mike Appleyard, BCC cabinet member for education and skills said; ''We are continuing to work in partnership with the Grammar Academies on the development of the selective process.

"There is a continued commitment by all partners to ensuring that the admissions system within Buckinghamshire remains cohesive and that, crucially, it puts the child at the centre of the process. Systems remain in place to ensure that information is communicated to parents in a timely fashion and more detail will be forthcoming in January."

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.

Comments (8)

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1:35am Sat 5 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

'We are continuing to work in partnership with the Grammar Academies on the development of the selective process.


Not the secondary modern 'academies' though – that’s good – you don’t want thickheads making decisions that make the system second rate - Bucks is in the business of 'excellence' rather than giving everyone's children an equal chance to be their best.

They are going to select 30% of kids aged 10 on the basis of a new improved more relevant exam - but I thought the current one did the job perfectly well.

I wonder if the grammar schools will adopt the word 'Academy' into their titles - or is it going to be one of those words and phrases in the Buckinghamshire education system like ‘Secondary modern’- it will accumulate such negative connotations that it will be replaced by something new - the way that secondary modern schools change their individual names every few years – ‘Deyncourt’ to ‘Wye Valley’ and ‘Hatters Lane’ to ‘Highcrest’ - and also get new names for their status - ‘secondary modern’, ’Upper school, ’Community School’ and now ‘Academy’ while the grammar schools carry on with exactly the same names.
[italic] [quote] 'We are continuing to work in partnership with the Grammar Academies on the development of the selective process. [/quote][/italic] Not the secondary modern 'academies' though – that’s good – you don’t want thickheads making decisions that make the system second rate - Bucks is in the business of 'excellence' rather than giving everyone's children an equal chance to be their best. They are going to select 30% of kids aged 10 on the basis of a [italic]new improved more relevant[/italic] exam - but I thought the current one did the job perfectly well. I wonder if the grammar schools will adopt the word 'Academy' into their titles - or is it going to be one of those words and phrases in the Buckinghamshire education system like ‘Secondary modern’- it will accumulate such negative connotations that it will be replaced by something new - the way that secondary modern schools change their individual names every few years – ‘Deyncourt’ to ‘Wye Valley’ and ‘Hatters Lane’ to ‘Highcrest’ - and also get new names for their status - ‘secondary modern’, ’Upper school, ’Community School’ and now ‘Academy’ while the grammar schools carry on with exactly the same names. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

2:13am Sat 5 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

There is a continued commitment by all partners to ensuring that the admissions system within Buckinghamshire remains cohesive and that, crucially, it puts the child at the centre of the process.


This is serious-sounding stuff and reminds me of the ‘buzz word, phrase-generating charts’ you got in the 1970s in the early days of computing – you had three columns with half a dozen words in each column and could line up a word from one column with any word from the next column, however you liked, and it would provide a cutting-edge, high-tech sounding phrase - so you could have a: 1 online, 2 real-time, 3 database or a: 1 online 2 distant 3 terminal or whatever.


Here we have the assurance of Mr Appleyard that there is a ‘commitment’ and it is a ‘continuing’ one – these people are dedicated – this is shown by their ‘commitment’ and its ‘continuing’ nature – nothing fly-by-night here – and it’s between serious grown-up people who are equals (otherwise they would not be ‘partners’). It can only be called reassuring to know that the system has been ‘cohesive’ in the past and that it is going to ‘remain cohesive’ and that (‘crucially’) it will be child-centred - as ‘it puts the child at the centre of the process.’ (How do you have a ‘selection’ process that is imposed on all the children in this county (unless their parents opt out in writing) and that the parents of children from nearby counties, who have had their children coached, are starting to put their children in for, that does not put ‘the child at the centre of the process’ – it’s like having an abattoir that promises to continue putting animals at the centre of the process - what else would be ‘at the centre of the process’?)

I am surprised while he was at it that Mr Appleyard did not make a ‘pledge’ on behalf of the 30% of parents whose children benefit from the11+ – possibly a ‘solemn’ one to ‘children and parents in hard-working families’.

What do these words of Mike Appleyard’s mean in everyday English?
[italic] [quote] There is a continued commitment by all partners to ensuring that the admissions system within Buckinghamshire remains cohesive and that, crucially, it puts the child at the centre of the process. [/quote][/italic] This is serious-sounding stuff and reminds me of the ‘buzz word, phrase-generating charts’ you got in the 1970s in the early days of computing – you had three columns with half a dozen words in each column and could line up a word from one column with any word from the next column, however you liked, and it would provide a cutting-edge, high-tech sounding phrase - so you could have a: 1 online, 2 real-time, 3 database or a: 1 online 2 distant 3 terminal or whatever. Here we have the assurance of Mr Appleyard that there is a ‘commitment’ and it is a ‘continuing’ one – these people are [italic] dedicated [/italic]– this is shown by their ‘commitment’ and its ‘continuing’ nature – nothing fly-by-night here – [italic] and [/italic]it’s between serious grown-up people who are equals (otherwise they would not be ‘partners’). It can only be called reassuring to know that the system has been ‘cohesive’ in the past and that it is going to ‘remain cohesive’ and that (‘crucially’) it will be child-centred - as ‘it puts the child at the centre of the process.’ (How do you have a ‘selection’ process that is imposed on all the children in this county (unless their parents opt out in writing) and that the parents of children from nearby counties, who have had their children coached, are starting to put their children in for, that does not put ‘the child at the centre of the process’ – it’s like having an abattoir that promises to continue putting animals at the centre of the process - what else [italic] would[/italic] be ‘at the centre of the process’?) I am surprised while he was at it that Mr Appleyard did not make a ‘pledge’ on behalf of the 30% of parents whose children benefit from the11+ – possibly a ‘solemn’ one to ‘children and parents in hard-working families’. What [italic] do [/italic]these words of Mike Appleyard’s [italic]mean [/italic] in everyday English? ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

10:41pm Sat 5 Jan 13

geoffW says...

CEM (Durham university) already produce selection tests for schools in other areas.

Don't be fooled when the schools/council say that CEM have been commissioned to "design and provide" a new exam.

It makes it sound as if they have been working on a brand new type of exam for Buckinghamshire when it will, in truth, be based on the exams/questions they already produce and use.
CEM (Durham university) already produce selection tests for schools in other areas. Don't be fooled when the schools/council say that CEM have been commissioned to "design and provide" a new exam. It makes it sound as if they have been working on a brand new type of exam for Buckinghamshire when it will, in truth, be based on the exams/questions they already produce and use. geoffW
  • Score: 0

6:29am Sun 6 Jan 13

buftonp13 says...

Not really sure what is wrong with the old test? Just another huge waste of our money. The old test sorted out the children who were deemed bright enough to attend our great grammer schools in Bucks, which is one of the great things about our county. I never went to a grammer school (as u can prob tell by my grammer and spelling lol) but i think they should be a national thing not just in random areas of the country. Children are gifted with different skills in life and we need to put students who are very academic in schools such as grammer schools. These are the future leaders, scientists doctors etc of our great country. And on the other hand kids who go to 'normal' secondary schools like i did (Sir William Ramsay) need to be tought things relevent to the world they are going to live in. Which means they will actually have skills which someone will pay them for. And not expecting kids who have been made to go to school for 11 years (which they probably hated) to leave and stack shelfs, due to them being taught things they will never ever use even if they lived to the end of time. No wonder theres such a high un-employment rate for the 16-24 year olds.
Not really sure what is wrong with the old test? Just another huge waste of our money. The old test sorted out the children who were deemed bright enough to attend our great grammer schools in Bucks, which is one of the great things about our county. I never went to a grammer school (as u can prob tell by my grammer and spelling lol) but i think they should be a national thing not just in random areas of the country. Children are gifted with different skills in life and we need to put students who are very academic in schools such as grammer schools. These are the future leaders, scientists doctors etc of our great country. And on the other hand kids who go to 'normal' secondary schools like i did (Sir William Ramsay) need to be tought things relevent to the world they are going to live in. Which means they will actually have skills which someone will pay them for. And not expecting kids who have been made to go to school for 11 years (which they probably hated) to leave and stack shelfs, due to them being taught things they will never ever use even if they lived to the end of time. No wonder theres such a high un-employment rate for the 16-24 year olds. buftonp13
  • Score: 0

8:02am Sun 6 Jan 13

Honey33 says...

It's good that all grammar schools working togather on this tasks, UoD already prepare tests for other schools so I hope new tests will not be a mish mash of other tests just for the sake of a change.
It's good that all grammar schools working togather on this tasks, UoD already prepare tests for other schools so I hope new tests will not be a mish mash of other tests just for the sake of a change. Honey33
  • Score: 0

1:58am Mon 7 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

buftonp13 wrote:
Not really sure what is wrong with the old test? Just another huge waste of our money. The old test sorted out the children who were deemed bright enough to attend our great grammer schools in Bucks, which is one of the great things about our county. I never went to a grammer school (as u can prob tell by my grammer and spelling lol) but i think they should be a national thing not just in random areas of the country. Children are gifted with different skills in life and we need to put students who are very academic in schools such as grammer schools. These are the future leaders, scientists doctors etc of our great country. And on the other hand kids who go to 'normal' secondary schools like i did (Sir William Ramsay) need to be tought things relevent to the world they are going to live in. Which means they will actually have skills which someone will pay them for. And not expecting kids who have been made to go to school for 11 years (which they probably hated) to leave and stack shelfs, due to them being taught things they will never ever use even if they lived to the end of time. No wonder theres such a high un-employment rate for the 16-24 year olds.
Bufton's post proves the eleven-plus - Illogical wasteful and snobbish though it is - sometimes does spot an idiot.
[quote][p][bold]buftonp13[/bold] wrote: Not really sure what is wrong with the old test? Just another huge waste of our money. The old test sorted out the children who were deemed bright enough to attend our great grammer schools in Bucks, which is one of the great things about our county. I never went to a grammer school (as u can prob tell by my grammer and spelling lol) but i think they should be a national thing not just in random areas of the country. Children are gifted with different skills in life and we need to put students who are very academic in schools such as grammer schools. These are the future leaders, scientists doctors etc of our great country. And on the other hand kids who go to 'normal' secondary schools like i did (Sir William Ramsay) need to be tought things relevent to the world they are going to live in. Which means they will actually have skills which someone will pay them for. And not expecting kids who have been made to go to school for 11 years (which they probably hated) to leave and stack shelfs, due to them being taught things they will never ever use even if they lived to the end of time. No wonder theres such a high un-employment rate for the 16-24 year olds.[/p][/quote]Bufton's post proves the eleven-plus - Illogical wasteful and snobbish though it is - sometimes does spot an idiot. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

2:03am Mon 7 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

Honey33 wrote:
It's good that all grammar schools working togather on this tasks, UoD already prepare tests for other schools so I hope new tests will not be a mish mash of other tests just for the sake of a change.
Why is it 'good that all grammar schools working togather on this tasks' and why do you disapprove of the proposed changes as a 'mish mash'?


The present system is not working so let's do as other counties have done and get rid of it instead of tinkering.
[quote][p][bold]Honey33[/bold] wrote: It's good that all grammar schools working togather on this tasks, UoD already prepare tests for other schools so I hope new tests will not be a mish mash of other tests just for the sake of a change.[/p][/quote]Why is it 'good that all grammar schools working togather on this tasks' and why do you disapprove of the proposed changes as a 'mish mash'? The present system is not working so let's do as other counties have done and get rid of it instead of tinkering. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

11:02pm Mon 7 Jan 13

ImpeturbableLawrence says...

ImpeturbableLawrence wrote:
buftonp13 wrote:
Not really sure what is wrong with the old test? Just another huge waste of our money. The old test sorted out the children who were deemed bright enough to attend our great grammer schools in Bucks, which is one of the great things about our county. I never went to a grammer school (as u can prob tell by my grammer and spelling lol) but i think they should be a national thing not just in random areas of the country. Children are gifted with different skills in life and we need to put students who are very academic in schools such as grammer schools. These are the future leaders, scientists doctors etc of our great country. And on the other hand kids who go to 'normal' secondary schools like i did (Sir William Ramsay) need to be tought things relevent to the world they are going to live in. Which means they will actually have skills which someone will pay them for. And not expecting kids who have been made to go to school for 11 years (which they probably hated) to leave and stack shelfs, due to them being taught things they will never ever use even if they lived to the end of time. No wonder theres such a high un-employment rate for the 16-24 year olds.
Bufton's post proves the eleven-plus - Illogical wasteful and snobbish though it is - sometimes does spot an idiot.
Assuming Bufton is a real person and not an Aunt Sally put there to show some people are just too stupid to be educated.
[quote][p][bold]ImpeturbableLawrence[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]buftonp13[/bold] wrote: Not really sure what is wrong with the old test? Just another huge waste of our money. The old test sorted out the children who were deemed bright enough to attend our great grammer schools in Bucks, which is one of the great things about our county. I never went to a grammer school (as u can prob tell by my grammer and spelling lol) but i think they should be a national thing not just in random areas of the country. Children are gifted with different skills in life and we need to put students who are very academic in schools such as grammer schools. These are the future leaders, scientists doctors etc of our great country. And on the other hand kids who go to 'normal' secondary schools like i did (Sir William Ramsay) need to be tought things relevent to the world they are going to live in. Which means they will actually have skills which someone will pay them for. And not expecting kids who have been made to go to school for 11 years (which they probably hated) to leave and stack shelfs, due to them being taught things they will never ever use even if they lived to the end of time. No wonder theres such a high un-employment rate for the 16-24 year olds.[/p][/quote]Bufton's post proves the eleven-plus - Illogical wasteful and snobbish though it is - sometimes does spot an idiot.[/p][/quote]Assuming Bufton is a real person and not an Aunt Sally put there to show some people are just too stupid to be educated. ImpeturbableLawrence
  • Score: 0

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