Search This Blog

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Eleven Plus Changes

Election fever has swept through the eleven plus world. Campaigners have been knocking on doors trying to change people’s minds and educate parents and children. Smartly dressed experts have appeared on T.V. extolling the virtues of a new eleven plus system. The children, who are actually writing the papers, can only sit back and watch the proceedings with awe and wonder.

The problem?

Well for years some counties have been adopting a multiple choice system of selecting answers. As you well know your child simply has to read the question and then select A B C D or E. The test papers are then scanned and converted into scores.

This year the children are expected to complete two papers at the same time. They will be given one paper where they have to grade the A B C D E into 1 2 3 4 5 order. This will help with some form of proportional representation. The other paper will be simply the old fashioned multiple choice. The two sets of papers will be laid out on the table and every child will be expected to do one question from one paper and the next question from the other paper. One paper will have thirty questions and the other no more than twelve questions.

There may be some spoilt papers as children struggle to come to terms with the new arrangements. But don’t forget we are dealing with bright children who will have been well prepared. The children, we hope, will take it in their stride. Did any think about what the children had to do when they had completed the paper with twelve questions? After all they still had another eighteen questions to do on the other paper.


It is the sanity of the experts we have to worry about. It does seem likely that an expert would need to be paid a lot of money to be able to come up with such an unworkable solution.

We don’t need to worry, however, too much about the parents. If their child wins a place in a grammar school then the end will justify the means. If their child fails the test then a cascade of fury and anger will erupt.

Poor, poor experts.

No comments: