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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Changes in the Eleven Plus?

Years and years ago the `upper class’ used to employ tutors for their sons before sending them off to Eton and the like. The daughters were often educated by highly qualified governesses. The children were offered a personalised and appropriate education. If every parent could afford a full time teacher then some of the uncertainly of selection tests may be solved.

If your child has to attend school – and be taught in a class – then a percentage of parents would prefer their child to be taught in a reasonably homogeneous eleven plus group. Big schools make grouping more feasible – but this might not suit all children and all parents.

Some primary schools identify able children early on – and are able to provide some form of alternative education. In some schools this could, possibly, veer towards eleven plus preparation. One of the problems’ however, in eleven plus selection is that many parents want their children to attend a `good’ school. Some parents may prize the school’s ability to provide good mathematics and science programs. Others may want a broad and enlightened curriculum.

Eleven plus selection is aimed at gathering able children into grammar schools. Invariably there will be more children sitting examinations than there are tests. Grammar schools do set out clear objectives covering their objectives and purposes. Children also know the general areas they will be tested in.

We have to presume, however, that the results of the tests are continually checked with actual achievement. We would like to think that eleven plus tests are steadily refined and improved over the years. Perhaps parents could even be informed of findings and subsequent changes?

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