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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Road to Eleven Plus

I had a sudden thought today. Trying to help your child achieve good eleven plus results can be as stressful as working your way through the procedure to develop a new trunk road.

Let’s look at this proposition step by step:

Step 1 – The Proposed Program.

DfT: Includes a proposed new road into the National Road Program.

Parents: Start thinking that they would like a child. (A new one, another one etc.)

Step 2 – Proposed Routes

DfT: Engineers look at possible routes

Parents: Start thinking about possible schools.

Step 3 – Public Participation

DfT: Publishes alternative routes and invites public’s comments

Parents: Discuss with family, friends and school.

Step 4 – Preferred Route

DfT: Announces preferred route

Parents: Announce preferred schools.

Step 5 – Objections

DfT: All affected by the road can write in and ask that their views are taken into account.

Parents: School say border line, relations ask you why you want to push your child.

Step 6 – Public Inquiry

DfT: Independent inspector hears both sides and sends a report to the Secretary of State

Parents: Listen to and seek advice, find eleven plus books and papers.

Step 7 – The Decision

DfT: Secretary of State makes the decision about roads, objections etc. The program begins.

Parents: Make final decisions about timetable, lessons, rest of family, school, tutors etc. The program begins.

So you can see that making the decision to start a child on an eleven plus course is not an easy and quick task. There should be much discussion, talking and actual listening to the opinion of other people. You decision to commit yourself, your family and your child will have far reaching effects. Things d become easier once the decision is made.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

18 years ago my son was one of those happy smiling faces you described yesterday! Today he phoned to break the good news. "Dad I've passed my degree course and was just 3% short of achieving a first!".

He is now a man of letters - those letters being "BSc". You see our son now has a Bachelor of Science degree in computer programming. His speciality is computer games programming and he has found immediate employment with a very good salary.

You cannot imagine the sense of pride and relief felt by his mother and I. After all these years of struggling to ensure he received the very best education, our dreams have finally been fulfilled.

I look back all those years when we took the decision to pay for extra tuition to ensure he had every opportunity to pass his 11 plus examination and the times his mother stood over him, each and every day, to encourage him to complete his homework. It was all worthwhile. He managed to gain a place in a very good grammar school and completed his GCSE's and A levels to go on to university.

So to all those parents with children facing the 11 plus I say "Take heart and do your best because the rewards will come later. Like us you too can take pride in your child's academic achievements one day. The decision lies with you. Simply take the first step along that road."