On 30th March this website launched a Eleven Plus Parent Survey. We have now had over 3,000 parents voluntarily complete the questionnaire ( http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/surveys/vote.php
). The key profile attributes of the “typical” parents is summarised below:
More than half of all 11plus parents apply to Grammar Schools only and a further third of all parents hedge themselves by applying to both Grammar and Independent schools. The single most important factor that the parents rely upon in their school selection are the school league tables!
Seven in ten parents would prefer the exams to be standardised in much the same way as the Key Stage examinations i.e. the same syllabus, subjects and examination dates. The same proportion indicated that the Grammar School system should NOT be abolished.
Approximately half the parents applying for state Grammar schools themselves attended similar schools, a very high proportion given Grammar schools have been phased out in much of the UK.
Parents are evenly split between those that are satisfied and dissatisfied with the Local Education Authority’s information and assistance, however one third expressed no opinion. Half the 11plus parents elect to apply for schools outside their catchment area.
Nearly four out of ten parents have already had exam success with an older sibling for Grammar/Independent school entry. Parents who failed with an older sibling are unlikely to attempt the subsequent siblings.
Eight out of ten eleven plus parents began preparing their children for 11plus exams more than 6 months in advance, half of these more than a year in advance. Whilst half of all eleven plus parents elected not to engage a tutor a third have and the rest intend to. The vast majority of the parents who engage a tutor pay less than £30 an hour, however one in twenty pay over £50 an hour. Half of the parents would consider sending their child to an intensive one week revision course just ahead of the exams.
Nine out of ten eleven plus parents feel that their child has a better than even chance of winning a place at their first choice Grammar School, more than a third rate their child’s chances of success at over 80%. In contrast a third of the parents applying for state independent schools rate their child’s chances at over 90%! Half the parents (presumably the ones not engaging the tutors) expect to spend less than £500 for their 11 plus preparation, however one in twenty will spend ten times this, in excess of £5,000.
Seven out of ten 11plus parents think that a good Preparatory School gives their child a significant advantage in their application both to Grammar and Independent schools.
Finally had only 11plus parents been allowed to vote at the last elections, we would have had a Conservative government (Labour would have come third).