Go to navigation
It is currently Sat Dec 10, 2016 4:30 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11956
http://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/news/95 ... coaching_/

A HEADTEACHER says everyone in education wants to find the most transparent and least coachable form of entrance exam for grammar schools.

Dr Peter Holding from Sir William Borlase's Grammar School in Marlow said there is widespread awareness of the amount of coaching for the 11 plus that goes on.

Buckinghamshire County Council's Education chief Cllr Mike Appleyard recently indicated alternatives may be looked at to avoid families unable to pay for private lessons being disadvantaged.

Yet, a recent Bucks Free Press online poll found only 39 per cent of readers would want the 11 plus scrapped.

Dr Holding told the Free Press: “My understanding so far is nobody has come up with an exam which is better than we have currently got.

“I certainly would want to commit myself to finding the most effective, most fair, most transparent and least coachable form of assessment for the 11plus that's something we all want to see achieved.

“Certainly some of our parents have made it very clear they went in for a great deal of coaching. “How big a difference it makes is a matter of debate.

“I think, personally, it is ultimately potentially counterproductive because if you coach someone and then they are placed in what's not possibly the right environment it's not in their best interests.”

In October the last maintained non-foundation grammar school became an academy, meaning responsibility for the 11 plus and selection process now rests with them, not the council.

Cllr Appleyard said: "As a result, any future review of the 11+ test would be undertaken by the grammar Academies.

“It is possible that, if the type of test is reviewed, the potential impact of coaching might be considered alongside other issues. However, it is important to stress that the Headteachers recognise that this is a sensitive and complex area of education policy and they are committed to continued partnership working with parents and with BCC.

"BCC has never supported the practice of coaching for the 11+ test and has striven to ensure, through the provision of the familiarisation and practice tests, that children who do not receive coaching are not disadvantaged.”

There is little that can be done to prevent coaching if parents are intent on it, he admitted.

He said: “Any future review of the 11plus test would be well researched and would investigate whether an alternative form of test could offer a demonstrably more accurate way of selecting children for different types of school.

“In any such evaluation, one of the factors to be considered might well be the level of resistance offered by any test to excessive coaching.”

The immediate priority is for continuity for the 2012 admissions round, he added.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:22 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:26 pm
Posts: 263
A parent told me at the weekend that for all children from year 4 onwards the new test will be Maths, English and Science. Is there any truth in this?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:25 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 4608
That sounds like SATs, but I have no idea :D


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:26 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8208
Location: Buckinghamshire
jabba7 wrote:
A parent told me at the weekend that for all children from year 4 onwards the new test will be Maths, English and Science. Is there any truth in this?
None whatsoever - another myth, at least at present.

I doubt that there would ever be a move to solely curriculum based testing because it would favour children from the leafy, middle class areas of Bucks.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:29 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:26 pm
Posts: 263
Sorry my posting was not very clear. What I was trying to say is that the rumour is there will be a new 11+ paper for all children who are in year 4 now onwards. The new paper will consist of Maths, English and Science and will be tested in such a way that makes it impossible to coach.

I heard this from a friend and have no idea if its true but it does feel like change may be coming.................


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:42 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8208
Location: Buckinghamshire
jabba7 wrote:
Sorry my posting was not very clear. What I was trying to say is that the rumour is there will be a new 11+ paper for all children who are in year 4 now onwards. The new paper will consist of Maths, English and Science and will be tested in such a way that makes it impossible to coach.

I heard this from a friend and have no idea if its true but it does feel like change may be coming.................
The answer is still the same. BCC has been talking about changing to a "tutor-proof" paper for as long as anyone can remember, but nothing has happened.

If anything, a change to a paper based on the three core curriculum subjects would be easier to tutor for, and it would be schools themselves who would be doing the tutoring, just as they hothouse the children for SATs at present.

At least under the current system Heads are required to sign a declaration that they have not tutored the children for the 11+; if curriculum based tests were introduced it would obviously be impossible to extract such a declaration from them.

Ultimately there is no such thing as a "tutor proof test", as has been demonstrated in Birmingham and Warks with the introduction of the so-called tutor-proof Durham CEM test. If anything, tutoring has become bigger business up there than before.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:33 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:21 am
Posts: 2125
I for one would be very happy for this rumour to be put to bed, but the fact remains that BCC has stated that it will be up to Academies to arrange testing after the two-year "well-being" period is up, and it is not yet clear whether or not this includes the 2014 cohort (i.e. current Y4). I'm not quite sure what this will entail, but the thought of every grammar school having to arrange its own tests is a bit nightmarish and, in any case, would necessitate a major change which would need more time to arrange. My guess is that testing will continue to be done centrally using the current system, with schools paying BCC for the service after the well-being period. Any school wishing to opt out and run its own tests would presumably have the option of doing so. I get the impression that BCC is happy to pass the controversy surrounding the actual content of the tests and the effect of coaching, etc. onto the schools themselves.

_________________
Marylou


Last edited by Marylou on Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:33 pm
Posts: 329
Quote:
I get the impression that BCC is happy to pass the controversy surrounding the actual content of the tests and the effect of coaching, etc. onto the schools themselves.


I expect they relish it! The LEA resent the loss of control that came with the almost wholesale conversion to academies last year, but this is one headache they'll be glad to be rid of.

There isn't a perfect system. Whatever testing type is adopted, there will always be a way to coach or prepare for it that would disadvantage those without the time or resources to afford to do so. Much as with increasing security or encryption; one can only stay ahead of the rogues for a short time. Maybe (tongue in cheek here) we need a code-generating machine such as the one the Germans used in WWII and that the Enigma machine cracked: Have a huge pool of different types of testing, assessment and questions which is randomised each year. With no advance warning of the way selection is made, it would be very hard to coach!

If selection were decided upon teacher/school/SATs assessment the system would be open to bribery, pressure and endless appeals. I have always maintained that there isn't much wrong with any one method - it is the behaviours of parents resulting from that method that is the problem.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:58 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8208
Location: Buckinghamshire
Marylou wrote:
the thought of every grammar school having to arrange its own tests is a bit nightmarish
My understanding is that the grammar Heads (and also Heads of Uppers) see central testing for Y7 as pretty much non-negotiable because it is a transparent system.


anotherdad wrote:
Have a huge pool of different types of testing, assessment and questions which is randomised each year. With no advance warning of the way selection is made, it would be very hard to coach!
I am afraid that is exactly what the Durham CEM is supposed to be, but it has increased the pressure to tutor because children have to be prepared for absolutely anything to come up. Also, as the years have gone by, tutors have built up a bank of knowledge of the types of questions that have appeared on the papers.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:33 pm
Posts: 329
...which rather proves the point that it is people's behaviour that is more at fault than any system.

You're right though. Ultimately, whatever system is used, a way to coach for it will exist. Whatever the intentions of any government, we will never completely get away from a system that is fair to all regardless of socio-economic grouping, family background, etc. Those with money and/or time will ultimately be better prepared than those without either.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
CALL 020 8204 5060
   
Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright © 2004 – 2016