You also seem to have so much knowledge experience etc. Would you say I am right in leaving starting my daughters tuition(which I am doing myslef) until January. We live in Bucks so will be doing the Bucks test only.
In my opinion January is perfectly sensible. My current Year 5 likes word puzzles, so he occasionally does some of the questions on the Tutors CDs just for fun, but I don't coach him through them at all unless he asks for help.
The IPS papers are very good indeed for Bucks. They are shorter tests than the real thing - 50 questions instead of 80, so are less intimidating. They also show the question type above each question, so you can track any problem areas from paper to paper.
If you start coaching in January, the IPS papers would come into play roughly around May/June. By that time your daughter will hopefully have mastered the individual question types and be ready to put the whole thing together in short timed tests.
Hugh is right about the tests not being particularly diffferent from year to year. The pass rate has remained at 121 for a long time. There was an unusually large cohort a couple of years ago, but the number of entrants is fairly stable at present, so there is no need for Bucks to adjust the difficulty level.
Do come back to us at any time if you need more help.