It is always interesting to read and reflect on what others think. The eleven plus examination, or a similarly named entrance test, and the drive to help poorer children into top schools, has been in a state of change for many years. Thousands of teachers over the years have done their best for their pupils. I have worked with over forty three thousand children during my teaching career – but there is always the excitement of a child making progress and parents willing their children forward.
But looking back won’t help many children writing the new style selection tests this year. The `new style’ tests are, once again, as cramming free as possible. Questions of numerical reasoning and comprehension are supposed to give a wider range of children the choice of a grammar school education.
Jeff Utecht, an American advocate of change, made the point that we need to look forward in education.
We cannot drive education forward by looking in our rearviewmirror all the time at what used to work, what used to be good, and what weused to teach. Driving through your rearview mirror is never a good idea. Theroad ahead is full of opportunity, if we focus on what can be rather than whatwas, 2013 will be a fantastic year!
All we can hope is that the new style Eleven Plus tests give a wider selection of pupils a better chance in the eleven plus. Time will tell even if we disregard the mantra of all driving instructors:
“Look, signal, manoeuvre.”