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Confusion over national newspaper's 11+ report
AN Observer article at the weekend backtracked on an earlier story, which claimed the new 11+ test thwarted pushy parents.
The original piece was published at the start of February and said the redesigned exam, which was introduced in Bucks last September, identifies the most able pupils, not just those from wealthy backgrounds.
But it acknowledged this week it did not have any concrete figures to back up the claims.
An article published on Sunday by the readers' editor, Stephen Pritchard, said the previous article did not hold both sides of the story.
He said the article said provisional results indicate that a more diverse selection of pupils passed this test, and headteachers say they feel the change has made a difference.
But he added: "But where were those 'provisional results'? The story contained no figures. "And only two headteachers were quoted. One was Philip Wayne, chairman of the Bucks Grammar Schools Association, who said he was 'very confident' that the new test would make a difference, which was understandable as his association had implemented it, and the other a primary school head, introduced to the paper by Mr Wayne, who claimed the test was a success for her pupils.
"And while the story acknowledged that the continuing existence of grammar schools is controversial it did not quote anyone in Buckinghamshire who might take a contrary view."
Mr Pritchard went on to say Derek Berry, a member of Wycombe Labour party, asked the council some questions at Christmas about the total number of pupils from state schools who had passed the test and those from private and out-of-county schools who had been successful.
The estimated figures between 2013 and 2014, he wrote, appear to show the proportion of Bucks state primary school pupils receiving a grammar school place decreased from 44 per cent to 38 pent, while those from Bucks private schools dropped from 21 per cent to 15 per cent and those from out of county increased from 35 per cent to 47 per cent.
Officially, no exam statistics are available until September, after an appeals process has been completed.
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