When the 11+ examinations were first designed the examinations were supposed to try to predict future success.
The idea was that children in the final year of primary education would be examined to try to work what kind of senior education would be of most value. All those years ago the choices in schools were:
Grammar schools for the academic
Technical – as in technical schools
Vocational and in early secondary modern schools.
Today the comprehensive schools with their `accelerated’ stream and the new academies cover a similar range of skills, talents and abilities.
In the end the Eleven Plus became characterised by as a form of selection for grammar schools.
The recommendation of the head teacher became an essential part of the selection process. Problems arose when parents began to question just how good the eleven plus tests and the head’s assessments were in predicting future success.
Educators and those in Local Authorities have been debating selection and schools for many years. Nothing much is changing!