Even the calmest person will find it difficult to remain sanguine as results day and/or allocations day approaches. In some areas you will find out your child’s test score in advance of the school allocation being made, but in other areas there is the “double whammy” of finding out both your child’s score and their allocated school on the same day. You may receive your child’s results or school allocation in a number of ways – post, email or online (the latter two are only if you applied online.) Here are our top tips for handling results and allocations days:

  1. Keep busy! There is an old saying that “a watched pot never boils” and lying in wait for the postman or repeatedly hitting the refresh button on the Admissions website is guaranteed to fray your nerves to screaming pitch! Get out of the house, meet up with friends, find something to do.
  2. All results and school allocations are strictly embargoed and there is no point in trying to reduce the wait by calling the Admission department ahead of the published date and time.
  3. Remind your child of your “Plan B” and reassure them that the world will not end if they do not get either the score or the school that you are hoping for.
  4. Where test results are announced before school allocations the usual method of delivery is by good, old-fashioned letters. The letter may be sent to your home or it may be handed to your child at the end of the school day. If the letter is handed to your child take it home before you open it. It is extremely poor etiquette to open it on school premises, creating the spectacle of some parents and children whooping for joy while other parents and children sob on each others shoulders.
  5. It is also considered to be very poor form to brag about your child’s score to other parents and children, especially in areas where the test score is not used to allocate places. If scores are not used in your area, consider very carefully whether to even tell your child their test score.
  6. If your child is successful in the 11+, do not allow them to immediately start ringing, texting or messaging all their friends to tell them their result. Parents should also show the same restraint! For those who have received bad news it can be profoundly upsetting to have other people calling them with their joyous news.
  7. Prepare your child for how to handle their test result when they next go in to school. If they have been successful, explain to them the virtue of modesty and the need to be sensitive towards those children who have not been successful.
  8. In areas where the 11+ score dictates which school a child is offered, and your child’s score means that they have been allocated a different grammar school to their friends, explore with them how they will stay in touch with their friends after September. Remind them that they will make new friends at their next school as well.
  9. If your child has not been successful, give them time and space to come to terms with it. You will certainly need to do the same yourself. Keep your own disappointment hidden as far as you humanly can.
  10. Once some time has elapsed – the next day if possible – talk to your child about how they are going to tell their friends and schoolmates. Explain that some children – and even teachers – may not be sensitive towards other children who have not qualified and help them to develop coping strategies if you feel they will need them. Remind them that they should speak to a teacher if they are upset or if they are teased about not qualifying. You may need to suggest which teacher they speak to, because not all teachers are sympathetic towards the 11+ or understand the importance of it.
  11. Remind your child of all the positives about the school that they will now be attending, whether it is that they will have friends there, the drama facilities are wonderful, there are lots of after-school clubs or just that they will be able to walk to school and there just happens to be a sweet shop on the route home!
  12. Continue to reassure your child over the coming days, weeks and months about their future schooling. Do not obsess about it, but simply make positive comments about their new school from time to time and praise them for good results at school.
  13. Be extremely cautious when talking to other people, now and in future, about your child not qualifying! Walls have ears.