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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:40 pm 
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I spoke to one of the staff at CEM last week. It was inteesting to hear that neither he nor any of the directors of CEM think there should be grammar schools or 11+ exams!
Even more interesting, however, was his admission that there had been a significant increase in the number of children being given extra time in this year's exam for various reasons.
He admitted that THE major constraint on performance for most children would be time as opposed to the level of difficulty of the questions. In other words extra time would be a greater advantage in this format of exam than for the old NFER type papers.
Apparently the staff at warwickshire education authority had also flagged up the increase in parents claiming their children needed extra time but are not proposing to do anything about it. The member of staff at CEM agreed with my comment that as long as warwickshire could show they had ticked all the boxes and complied with governmemt guidelines they would not bother about this possible cheating.
He described warwickshire education authority as "perhaps our most difficult 11+ client" and "a very nervous lot of people" - cannot say I am surprised when they are so uncaring and incompetent!!
He also added that although warwickshire are aware of this possible problem they are not commissioning CEM to carry out any evaluation or research to see if indeed there was any cheating.

I have to say that all he said bore out the gossip in the playground where stories of parents obtaining private medical and psychological reports to this end are rife! Also lots of anecdotal tales of parents saying their children were sick for the first exam session so they could then be prewarned about the level of difficulty and possibly briefed about the questions.

I was very surprised at how candid CEM were!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:53 pm 
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Off to join a yoga/relaxation/meditation class... I don't think I can cope with anymore of this.

Thanks for letting us know Magwich!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:27 pm 
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"I was very surprised at how candid CEM were!"

Perhaps a symptom of the contractual and working relationship. Try talking to them about the KE grammars in Birmingham and see how far you get... :roll:

Mike


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 Post subject: CEM
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:17 am 
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sorry to be naive but what does CEM stand for?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:36 pm 
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Location: South Warwickshire
http://www.cemcentre.org/


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:43 am 
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Location: Rugby
Magwich2, I have read your interesting post on a number of visits and finally succombe to the impulse to point out (what I see as) the irony: CEM are the very "authority" commissioned by schools such as Rugby and Eton to conduct their (online) entrance tests!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:06 am 
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magwich2 wrote:
I have to say that all he said bore out the gossip in the playground where stories of parents obtaining private medical and psychological reports to this end are rife! Also lots of anecdotal tales of parents saying their children were sick for the first exam session so they could then be prewarned about the level of difficulty and possibly briefed about the questions.


I have also heard about quite a number of children who left the test part way through, feeling unwell and then returned to sit, some weeks later, exactly the same test!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:11 pm 
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When I originally 'phoned Warwickshire education authority to complain about the possible abuses of the system as described by CEM they obviously denied everything. They also accused me of being "Magwich" and told me they were aware of this forum and followed it closely!!
Rather reasuring actually that just for once they are on the ball!

It will be interesting to see what information about "special needs" and children returning to sit tests surfaces when I make my FOI act requests.
I hope you are reading this Warwickshire education authority because I will not rest until I am sure that children are not obtaining unfair advantage in the 11+ exam!!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:28 am 
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Location: Stratford upon Avon
Magwich, I have a dyslexic daughter who sat last October's 11+ and yes, she had extra time. I don't feel the slightest bit guilty about this: she has had a psychological assessment confirming her dyslexia , paid for by us. And before you start with your stereotypes of well-off pushy parents, my partner is unemployed and it was a big decision for us to pay for the assessment. Our older daughter is not dyslexic and attends a Warwickshire grammar school, and while I doubt our younger daughter will pass, we wanted her to have a fair chance in the exam. That's all - a fair chance. If you understand anything about dyslexia, you will know that the child takes longer to process information and in some cases, with shapes for example, their brain sees it entirely differently. Dyslexic children can be very intelligent, and can answer 11+ questions, but simply need the extra time to compensate for their disability.

I think the root cause of the increase in the number of children getting extra time is that on this year's 11+ application form you were specifically asked if your child had a disability that you wanted to declare. That question wasn't there 3 years ago. (Other parents will know if it was there more recently).


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:04 pm 
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A couple of years ago we had an educational psychologist report which stated that our daughter exhibited the classic signs of dyslexia although very mild in her case and that there may be case to be made for extra time in public examinations.

We applied for extra time in the 11+ but this request was denied. Instead we were told that her condition would be taken into account by the Committee of Reference when they looked at the results.

As anticipated, she was rushed for time in the exam and told us that she did not have time to answer all the questions, although I am not sure how many questions were left unanswered.

We had the results yesterday and she missed an automatic place by 13 marks and the waiting list by 2 marks.

She also sat for three independent schools and was offered places at all three. Of these two gave her extra time in their entrance exams.


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