Do some parents may sometimes wonder about all the other parents and children involved in the eleven plus? The `Eleven Plus Population’ must be made of a wide variety of men, women and children. Some parents may, for example, worry about the competition – how many other bright children is my child up against? There could also be some parents who worry about the effect of failing on their child. Will failure devastate my child or will it all brush over?
It is conceivable that some statisticians will call the science of a population a demography. The word demography, however, allows us to try to ascertain everyone involved in the eleven plus at a given time. We could also look to see what changes were being made in the population. Then of course some people will have the ability to try to explain any changes – and also predict future trends.
Reducing the picture to simple terms – what is the radius around the grammar school of our choice? How close do I need to live to the grammar school? Has the recent drop in house prices stopped more people moving into the area? Is there a marked increase in the number of children?
The Eleven Plus Equation then becomes:
P2 = The Present Population of children eligible for entry into a grammar school.
P1 = The Previous Population of children eligible for the given grammar school.
B = Births
D = Deaths
NM = Net Migration can be positive or negative – more families could leave (emigration) an area than come in (immigration).
P2 = P1 + (B – D) + (NM)
Your eleven plus child should be able to substitute numbers for the letters.
The Eleven Plus Population cannot exist without people. The population needs adults who are trying to help their child to pass the examination and children who want to work hard to earn a place in grammar school. If the grammar school continues to be a desirable school – through good results or other reasons – then parents will continue to encourage their children to work hard and do their best.
Parents can simply reiterate to their children: “You are my favourite little demographic unit. I don’t really care what other parents and children are doing. We can only do the best we can. We will pull together.”