Although it is now getting close to the date of the next 11+ exam, I just want to warn parents of the fact that some tuition centres may not really be as successful as they make out in getting kids through. What I have seen is that children are being 'creamed off' so that only the perceived bright children are taken and this, then makes a centre look more successful than it may actually be at getting kids through.Some of their results are at best questionable as the children are not solely attending their classes but may also be doing other classes as well. Perhaps overkill but desperation breeds such behaviour in parents.
I am not mentioning specific names as I appreciate this is not allowed on the Forum but I feel it is important to be able to provide generic and sincere feedback as this is in the public interest. My intention is not to denigrate all centres, some of whom may well be assisting children who are struggling at school in a positive way. However, my concern is particularly for those children whose parents think that some of these places will somehow get their kids through the 11+. I put my child in a centre in Ilford for weekend classes, where they did English (comprehension), Maths and spellings. The spellings were too simplistic. The teachers were on the whole ok but some were unduly harsh with the kids and for 8 and 9 year olds that is inappropriate, when they are still trying to build their confidence. The Centre is run in a ruthless businesslike way which can never be good for children. I sent my child there for just over a year and did not bother with their 11+ training. Instead, I have chosen to do a mix of my own tutoring with some support from a friend. My child has improved more in a couple of months than they did at this Centre in over a year.
So don't waste your money and don't fill the pockets of tuition centres, many of whom have no background in education only in running a business. There will be some that are good but if you or your child are being disrespected then please do not send your child there. My child hasn't sat the 11+ as yet so I'm clearly not coming from a vindictive vengeful angle. Listen to your child they know when they are not happy. Look at the way the people in these Centres communicate with parents and children. Are they helpful? Friendly? My child told me that when the person running the place she attended couldn't pronounce a complicated Asian name, they would give up and say 'whatever'. When my child told me this I was stunned. If these Centres want your money then they should treat their customers with respect. Intolerance of any kind is unacceptable. The sad thing is that parents are too scared to say anything because they think they will hit the 'nuclear' switch where their child's future success is concerned, especially as they are led to believe in many cases falsely that a particular centre is going to guarantee them a positive result. However, what parents need to understand is that they will be doing more harm to their child, in terms of their confidence and happiness and ultimately paying for that sad consequence. My advice don't do it ! You always have options..........
As I say some centres will be good but the one I used was awful. It was and is a purely money making enterprise. In fact the children would see bundles of cash being distributed to tutors in front of them, which I think is thoroughly unprofessional. They have no qualms about throwing kids (on their 11+ training scheme) out of their squad in the last few weeks before the exam. This has happened to some of my child's friends and no doubt this will affect their confidence drastically. No self-respecting organisation that cares about the welfare of the children it is tutoring should treat children in this way.
I know and appreciate that this is a stressful time for kids and parents and I have gained this wisdom over a long period of time and want to share with other parents my journey in the hope that this advice will be of some use for parents this year and for coming years. I wish for all children to realise their full potential but it is important that parents appreciate their input in this process is also important.
Best wishes to all.