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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Recording Eleven Plus Progress

The 1944 Education Action heralded the provision of secondary education for all children. The 1963 Newsome Report promoted the idea of a record of achievement for all children. The Eleven Plus examination results come in various forms – by email, the teachers at school, by telephone and even by letter. The communication simply states that the child is deemed selective or not. In some cases a guaranteed place is offered.

The eleven plus was never intended to cater for all children and some children have to pass into secondary school with no record of all the work that has been done towards the eleven plus examination. Children who do not pass, but have done their best and worked hard, should have some form of acknowledgement.

Some children who do not pass may need help with developing their self esteem and self confidence. After all parents may have been urging them to `do their best’ and `work hard’ and saying `it does not matter if you do not pass’. It would take a remarkable child who could brush off failing the examination without feeling some sense of regret.

A record of achievement could recognise and give credit to the work the child had done towards the examination. This would not be an award from the teacher or the tutor – but a record by concerned parents wanting their child to benefit from working towards the eleven plus.

The eleven plus record of achievement could cover the hours of work, the papers tackled and the exhortations offered. There also could be an opportunity for the parents to be able to chronicle their child’s strengths and weaknesses.

Prospective schools may be interested in identifying a different type of potential in their pupils. Would a grammar school prefer a child who was carefully prepared for the eleven plus – and was offered every opportunity? Would a grammar school prefer a child who fought every inch of the way and still passed? Does the grammar school simply want a list of children who pass?

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