As the eleven plus examinations grow closer some parents – and their children - must start wondering just why we should have testing. After all – is it likely that there could be a different method of selecting children for grammar schools.
Traditionally testing is done for a number of reasons. There have been attacks on testing because it is felt, by some, that test results are used for political reasons. It is very useful for a political party to be able to prove, through statistics, that progress is being made.
Testing is also very useful for organisational reasons. For many years transfer to secondary school has been a targeted area. The eleven plus examination, because there are so few grammar schools left, can only play a small part in the debate about the role of testing in primary schools.
A third reason for testing is often offered on professional grounds. It is important to recognise and have information about children at both ends of the educational spectrum. In other words children with special needs. Your very bright eleven plus candidate may enjoy the challenge of the eleven plus and may want for a little bit extra from school.
What we do believe is that children who attend grammar schools tend to do better in GCSE and `A’ level examinations than children in other forms of schooling.