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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Eleven Plus Relationships

I have always liked the idea of our ten year old children being able to appoint their own Relationship Managers (RM). The ever changing eleven plus world has created a need for children to be able to negotiate the complex issues surrounding the examination. Some children may feel that they need some support.

The Relationship Manger’s role is to enhance the co-ordination of the relationship between the key stakeholders. On the one side the ten year old is faced with understanding the needs of his or her parents. The other key stakeholder is naturally the actual 11+ examination. For the child the examination involves papers, peers, school, possibly tutors, and the actual content of the examination.

The Relationship Manager (RM) must be able to demonstrate the ability to acquire a deep understanding of the needs of the parents and of the child. The RM must be able to network extensively. Ideally the RM will have a sound knowledge or understanding of what it is like to be a parent and also some appreciation of the problems and difficulties faced by children.

Ideally the RM will have a Doctorate in Parent Management and a second qualification in Child Understanding. The RM must have experience in the eleven plus examination – or the ability to acquire knowledge quickly and effectively. Skills in Information Technology will be essential.

Above all the RM must be able to demonstrate exceptional relationship management skills, real leadership ability and proven acumen. Naturally this will be a post conforming to all known Equal Opportunities requirements – especially those set by Europe.

If all this sound very familiar to you – then so it should. After all you are a parent and with this you have had extensive on the job training. If the relationship between you and your child breaks down at times try to take it in your stride. Promoting even more extra lessons or work on timed examination papers will only serve a short term problem. If you come on too strong with your ten year old you are going to have to have very deep reserves when you try to deal with a rebellious seventeen year old facing the `A’ Level examinations. There is an old saying drawn from warfare and hunting: “Keep your powder dry.”

When you feel a strain on your relationship try to take a step back. Try to understand both points of view. If necessary why not ask for a mediator to help take the pressure off both parties.

If in the end you do decide to take on the role of Relationship Manager remember that the salary is within the range of £68000 - £83000. You may not be paid in cash – but if you do negotiate the whole experience successfully then you will certainly deserve a large bonus.

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