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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Past Eleven Plus Results

I heard today about three sets of parents who wanted to leave one school and go to a different school – because the desired school had had better eleven plus results. The parents decided to try to move during the eleven plus year to give their children the best possible chance. The children would leave behind the friends they had had through out their school careers. The mothers were sure they were right and their present school was wrong.

Comparing schools on the basis of previous eleven plus passes can be a little misleading at times. Let us look at four different schools. Suppose the number of children winning places in grammar schools to be 26, 23, 20 and 21. It would be possible to place the schools into rank order – A, B, C and D. If your child was in school D you may wish your child to go to school A. Schools A, B and C had comparable intakes. But school D had almost twice as many children sitting the eleven plus. On this basis should school D be ruled out?

Schools A, B and C had year intakes of around 50 children. School D had around 80 children. Does School A still look the best choice?

School A, however, is about to enter a year of transition. The Head Teacher is retiring. The much loved, and highly respected, Year 5 teacher is about a take a year out to do voluntary work in Cambodia. The school is about to have an exclusion unit added – that would take in troubled children from the other schools. One of the school governors is to appear in court for threatening a parent who was downright rude.

Is school A still the best choice?

School C had an outstanding OFSTEAD report. The head is to take over the management of school A as well as run school C. School A is looking for a new full time head.

School D, however, is about to move into new buildings costing millions of pounds. The IT suite will be the envy of all the schools in the authority.

Should parents be conservative during Year 5 – or can they exercise their rights? Are good eleven plus results worth more than friendships?

The scenario with the parents mentioned about has yet to draw a final curtain. The first shots have been fired.

Is there more to a school than last year’s eleven plus results?

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