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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Thoughts on the Eleven Plus

Is it possible to take issue with the need for the Eleven Plus examination to be a `one for all’ test that will adequately predict future academic success?

Children who can learn and who can perform well in examinations are offered places in grammar schools. The eleven plus, however, does not try to take in account the child’s ability to interact – and the family’s social and educational aspirations.

Misgivings about selection processes must have entered the minds of parents, teachers and schools from the very early days. Today’s parents, however, have to take into account the ability of the internet mould opinions and attitudes. The wide ranging benefits of social media must impact on parents.

Would it be true to say that children from ambitious households are likely to find their way into grammar schools? If this is true, even partly true, then is there ever going to be a way of measuring the academic desires of some parents?

It is not hard to look at the eleven plus examinations as a way of selecting the most able children. We may be able to predict that it is possible that many able children will miss out on their eleven plus opportunities. Is this enough for us to wish that the examination was stopped?

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