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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:59 pm 
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I hope moderator will allow this, if not, just delete. I am not so sure how this will affect the late sitters too ( or are they done now?). But this is so important, so here goes.

I decided to start a new thread, so that we can focus on the response only, instead of getting lost with all the previous posts, hope that's understandable moderators.

"Letter from the Headmaster of Wallington County Grammar School in response to enquiries about Question 4 in the School’s 2nd Second Stage Entrance Examination.

Wednesday 15th October 2014.

Dear Sir / Madam,

Many thanks for recent enquiries relating to Wallington County Grammar School’s 2nd Stage Entrance Examination.

We are aware that some of the Mathematics papers contained a printing error which meant that some candidates were unable to answer Question 4. This issue was identified by invigilators during Session 1 as candidates who entered through the ‘Gold’ entrance and who sat in the Sports Hall worked through the paper. We immediately gave an instruction to candidates in the Sports Hall not to attempt this question which meant they were then able to concentrate on the other questions. By not answering Question 4 candidates will not be disadvantaged.

The instruction not to do Question 4 was also issued to all candidates who sat the paper in the afternoon, Session 2. Again, candidates will not be disadvantaged.

During Session 1, candidates who entered through the ‘Lilac’ entrance spent time answering Question 4 as all candidates were provided with a complete set of questions. If these candidates have their Question 4 discounted from their final mark to bring parity to the process, they would be placed at a disadvantage because they will have spent time answering it. The School is therefore taking the following steps to ensure that all candidates are given an equal and fair opportunity to pass the 2nd Stage Entrance Examination.

1. We will standardise the scores of the English Paper ensuring that the marks from this paper give an equally weighted contribution to the final outcome of the entrance examination.

2. We will standardise the scores of the Mathematics Paper in two separate sub-groups to ensure that marks from these papers give an equally weighted contribution to the final outcome of the entrance examination. Candidates will have the same chance of obtaining high scores whichever sub-group they are in.

a.) Sub-group 1 = Candidates who spent time answering Question 4.
b.) Sub-group 2 = Candidates who did not spend time answering Question 4

By adding two standardised scores together, firstly the English paper score and then the score from the appropriate Mathematics ‘sub-group’, we will be able to ensure that there is a fair and consistent methodology to determine:

1. Who is deemed to have passed the 2nd Stage Entrance Examination
2. Who will end up securing a place at the School based on our admissions criteria 2015, providing the name of the School has been listed on the Common Application Form (CAF) and is submitted by the deadline of 31st October 2014.

Wallington County Grammar School apologises for the printing errors contained within some of the Mathematics papers. We assure you that we have taken the correct steps to ensure that the process has remained fair, robust and a reliable test of selective ability.

Yours faithfully,

Mr J J Wilden
Headmaster, WCGS"

I am still digesting it, but what do you think?!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:12 pm 
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Location: RBK
Interesting solution!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:15 pm 
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I think there will be lot of parents who are turned away will find this reason for appeal (withg thier own rightful reasons). What happens to those in Gold class who skipped first few questions and were struggling at question 4 only later to be told that they may not answer that?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:23 pm 
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So YoungSuccess - what is he saying? That the am lilac group did have a full/complete set of questions - including Question 4? I read it twice and the detail still seems ambiguous - or is it just me?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:25 pm 
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Catlady wrote:
So YoungSuccess - what is he saying? That the am lilac group did have a full/complete set of questions - including Question 4? I read it twice and the detail still seems ambiguous - or is it just me?


Yes - "During Session 1, candidates who entered through the ‘Lilac’ entrance spent time answering Question 4 as all candidates were provided with a complete set of questions."


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:36 pm 
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I am not sure I understand how this can be fair as they will now be judging a group of boys who have potentially only completed half the paper, because they wasted time on Q4 against a group of boys who did complete more of the paper and some of the tougher questions which generally appear towards the middle/end.

What a mess!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:38 pm 
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It seems the best solution given the time constraints.
There is less than a fortnight in which they could rewrite a maths paper, have it printed, communicate the new test date to all candidates, hold the exam, mark the new test and then be i a position to inform parents of the outcome.

Given that one week of the remaining time is taken up by half term when people will be away and the school will be closed, they really only had next week so it just wouldn't have been possible. Overall it is the fairest solution for most candidates.

There may be some children who answered out of order and spent time on question 4 and they may appeal on the back of this. Those parents would be able to prove this disadvantage as they do in other appeals where candidates mark boxes out of sequence or fall ill so do considerably worse in the second half of the test than the first. The appeal would have to show that the child directly suffered due to this error and the method used to correct it as opposed to there just being a general error overall.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:47 pm 
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Deleted by user.


Last edited by Ladymuck on Sat Mar 21, 2015 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:51 pm 
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Do you think the school have looked at results in detail before coming to this decision on the two subgroups?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:10 pm 
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I can see the school's trying to do its best but it's too messy and will lead to appeals. The principle of the 11 plus is your child is compared with the overall cohort, not cohorts formed as a result of a school error. The maths paper overall was misjudged as well as badly photocopied. If those who passed the SET can't complete it then it's not age appropriate or just too long - overall not a fair test.

I'm suggesting the school rips the maths papers up and starts again with a new paper in November. It's a shame it would be after the CAF deadline but so is Sutton GS.
I've emailed the school to suggest this. If others feel the same, they should do so now.

ps. Did anyone finish the paper?!


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