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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Eleven Plus Black Box

Your mission. You have been tasked to obtain the Back Box recording of your child sitting the first Eleven Plus examination.

You are waiting for your child’s results. There may have been some confusion with the instructions in the examination room. You have been told that two experienced invigilators were on duty and `running’ the examination on behalf of the authorities.

The examination was due to start at 9.30 in the hall. This is situated in a normally quiet and peaceful section of the school – rather away from the other buildings and definitely shielded from the busy road. You know too that any dustcarts and lawn mowers were banned from the school over the duration of the eleven plus examinations.

We pick up the transcript just as your child notifies the invigilator of an approaching disaster. Were this an unforeseen circumstance, plain neglect or lack of training?

Invigilator to Class: Er, good morning. We are just about to start the Eleven Plus examination. I would ask you all to listen carefully – but if you do not understand please do not hesitate to ask for help.

Class Member: What do we do if it rains today?

Invigilator to Class: That is possible, but try not to think of anything that you can not control. Just focus on the task.

Class Member: I am getting drops of water on my paper.

Invigilator to Class: Please try to stop crying. You will only upset yourself and the rest of the children. Just use the tissue you were asked to bring.

Class Member: I am sorry to speak again. The drops are growing in size. My paper is getting wet.

Invigilator walks towards the right rear of the room: Er, what is happening here? (Looks up at the ceiling.) Oh! There is a large puddle forming in the roof. We had better move away.

The children, teachers and invigilator leave the room in a hurry. Papers, pencils and rubbers are left on desks.

There is an ominous sound and a section of the roof gives way to a flood. The Eleven Plus Back Box picks up shouting from outside the room.


Depending on the circumstances; do the parents of these children have a right to appeal?

Should there be a Black Box recording of eleven plus examinations so that parents can know exactly what was going on?

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