Latest Educational News

11-plus provider CEM bought by Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press

by Schools Week, June 18, 2019

Classified as 11 Plus.

The University of Durham’s Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM), a leading provider of the 11-plus test, has been sold to Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press.

The two organisations have jointly acquired the CEM, which has been used by the education sector for more than 30 years and in more than 70 countries, providing formative assessments for children of various ages.

The CEM is one of a number of providers of the 11-plus test used by schools and councils to assess pupils wanting to attend grammar schools. The organisation will continue to be based in north east England.

Grammar school group expresses `overwhelming support' for single new 11-plus test

by The Irish News , May 15, 2019

Classified as 11 Plus.

A GROUP of grammar schools that runs its own 11-plus style exams has said there is now "overwhelming support" for the creation of a single new test.

There has been no state involvement in 11-plus exams for more than a decade.

Grammar schools remain split into two camps, using either the Common Entrance Assessment set by the Association for Quality Education (AQE) or multiple-choice papers set by GL Assessment.

The GL papers are used by 34, mostly Catholic grammar, schools that make up the Post Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC).

Some children will take both, meaning they must sit five papers over four consecutive Saturdays.

Grammar schools allowing entry to hundreds of pupils every year despite them failing 11 plus, FOI finds

by Telegraph, April 26, 2019

Classified as 11 Plus.

Grammar schools are admitting hundreds of pupils every year despite them failing the 11 plus, new data suggests.

Freedom of Information (FoI) figures show that more than 750 pupils who failed the 11-plus admission test were still awarded a place at a grammar school.

The statistics have been released by Comprehensive Future, an anti-selection campaign group which believes that state schools should not “deny entry to a child because they did not score highly in a test”.

Campaigners claim that grammar schools are falsifying the notion that they are oversubscribed and are deliberately inflating their numbers so as to receive extra funding per pupil. “It’s a financial incentive to fill places,” Dr Nuala Burgess, Chair of Comprehensive Future, accused grammar schools said. “There’s no scrutiny, there’s a lot of gaming going on.”

Meet Grimsby's wonderkids who are so clever they've skipped a school year AND passed their 11+ exams

by Grimsby Telegraph, March 29, 2019

Classified as 11 Plus.

Two Grimsby students have passed their grammar school 11+ entrance a year early at just 10 years old.

The two pupils, Pranav Karmani and Becky Mathews, are pupils at St James' School, Grimsby.

Becky said she will miss her first school when she joins Caistor Grammar School in September.

Pranav has also secured a place at the grammar school in Caistor.

Jim Armitage: Unfair grammar school system will hurt the economy

by Evening Standard, January 7, 2019

Classified as 11 Plus.

Few Londoners were fans of the way Capita burst onto the scene in the Nineties and Noughties to profiteer from the Congestion Charge, welfare benefits IT and the like. It doesn’t feel like many are weeping over its present financial woes.

But there will be some sympathy today for founder Sir Rod Aldridge who, despite all the millions he subsequently earned, tells of how he feels badly let down by Britain’s education system.

The son of a factory worker, Aldridge failed his 11-plus, meaning he did not get into the grammar school his intelligence deserved.

East End boy whose family fled Bangladesh conflict wins £76k scholarship to Eton

by Evening Standard, December 16, 2018

Classified as 11 Plus.

A teenager born in Bangladesh who lives in an East End council flat will follow in the footsteps of Princes William and Harry after winning a place at Eton.

Maheraj Ahmed, 15, will take his place in the hallowed halls of Britain’s most famous school on a £76,000 scholarship next September.

Maheraj, who goes to Cumberland School in Plaistow, will join the sixth form at Eton to study for A-levels in history, chemistry, biology and physics next September, after coming through a three-day assessment at the Berkshire school which included three entrance exams, seven interviews and a public debate.

Attainment gap for summer-born pupils 'persists at age 11'

by TES, November 21, 2018

Classified as 11 Plus.

The gap between the performance of summer-born children and their peers is still evident at the age of 11, new research shows.

The findings come from an analysis of more than 1.5 million pupil assessments in reading and maths.

Millennials fail GCSE financial skills test aced by baby boomers and 16-year-olds

by Independent, November 9, 2018

Classified as 11 Plus.

Four years after the introduction of financial education in English secondary schools, 16-year-old leavers today have better money management skills than most adults.

That’s according to results from an experiment designed to test the effects of compulsory money lessons on the country’s youngest earners and highlight the potential issues for those left behind.

'12 questions we should ask about KS3 curriculum'

by TES, November 6, 2018

Classified as 11 Plus.

The curriculum is the heart of every school: it tells parents, students and staff what we want for our students. Key stage 3 has often been viewed as the lost years in a child’s education journey, a twilight zone that bridges their KS2 Sats and GCSE courses in KS4. Ofsted's intentions to heighten its focus on the curriculum could be a catalyst for schools to rethink and re-energise their KS3 offer.

In many respects, curriculum planning is one of the most important decisions for senior leaders. We all know that the curriculum is more than the subjects taught and how much time they are allocated: it’s how a school ensures that its vision, mission and values are realised.

The academy trusts whose GCSE students keep disappearing

by The Guardian, November 6, 2018

Classified as 11 Plus.

Some of England’s most influential academy chains are facing fresh questions over the number of children disappearing from their classrooms in the run-up to GCSEs, following a new statistical analysis of official figures.

'Protect education funding up to 18'

by TES, November 5, 2018

Classified as 11 Plus.

Since 2013, young people have been required by law to participate in some form of education and training up to at least their 18th birthday.

This extension from 16 turned out to be a good example of an orphan policy. It was a Labour government that put through the legislation in 2008 but a coalition government which implemented it five years later. It would have been a brave political decision not to implement it, but it was certainly not owned by the coalition as one of their priorities.

‘Teaching must be varied to attract millennials’

by BBC News, November 2, 2018

Classified as 11 Plus.

Graduates no longer want one job for life - they are seeking variety in their careers, says teacher training expert

We need to make teaching more varied to attract today's graduates, says Sam Twiselton
Teaching needs to be presented to young people as a varied career because millennials do not want one job for life, according to the head of a major training provider.

Uni student tutors boost pupils’ maths in 12 hours

by TES, November 2, 2018

Classified as 11 Plus.

Maths results for disadvantaged primary pupils can be boosted by just 12 hours of low-cost tutoring with university students who had been trained to manage small groups, new research has found.

The tutors helped 10 and 11-year-olds who had been struggling with maths, to make the equivalent of three additional months’ progress over a year.

The study, which has been published by the Education Endowment Foundation today, evaluated tutoring from the Tutor Trust, a Manchester-based charity which aims to provide affordable small group and one-to-one tuition to schools.

Schools fear broken funding promises

by BBC News, October 31, 2018

Classified as 11 Plus.

The government said every secondary school would receive at least £4,800 per pupil in 2019.

But councils have transferred money from school funds to boost budgets for children with high needs.

A Department for Education spokesman said there was more money for every pupil in every school.

Dave Baker, chief executive of the Olympus Academy Trust - which runs nine schools outside Bristol - said parents felt furious and betrayed because promises had not been met.

He told Radio 4's Today programme: "Of the secondaries, three out of four secondaries will not be above the £4,800 on our calculations."

Boost 16-18 funding by £200 per student, Hammond told

by TES, October 25, 2018

Classified as 11 Plus.

The chancellor of the exchequer is being urged to increase the funding rate for 16- to 18-year-olds in schools and colleges by £200 per student in the Budget.

A coalition of 12 organisations representing school and college leaders, governors, teachers and support staff in England have written a letter to the chancellor asking him to take action as it launches the Raise the Rate campaign.

England an outlier in using teacher assessment for Sats

by TES, October 25, 2018

Classified as 11 Plus.

England is one of only two international jurisdictions that use teacher assessment when judging the writing ability of 10- and 11-year-olds, new Ofqual research has found.

The exams regulator is currently investigating different approaches to the assessment of writing at the end of primary education in countries or jurisdictions that are English-speaking or use English for assessments.

It says the aim is “to provide evidence that can both support stakeholder debate and inform government’s ongoing exploration of potential alternatives to the current model”.

According to initial findings, published today, Ofqual has identified 15 large-scale assessments that systematically assess writing around the end of the primary stage.

Pupils sent wrong school entrance exam results

by BBC News, October 19, 2018

Classified as 11 Plus.

Parents have criticised two grammar schools which wrongly told them pupils had passed entrance exams.

Families eyeing a coveted place at The Crypt and Sir Thomas Rich's schools in Gloucester received emails telling them their children had achieved the "qualifying standard".

But they were left "upset and angry" when a follow-up email told them they had been incorrectly informed.

The schools blamed a "technical error" for the mistakes, and have apologised.

In other cases, pupils were originally told they had not passed the eleven-plus exam, only to later learn they had.

Stephanie Dyer, from Churchdown, whose son was wrongly told he won a place at the Crypt, said she was "upset and angry that a school of this calibre could make such a mistake".

What Ofsted's new framework means for further education

by TES, October 11, 2018

Classified as 11 Plus.

Colleges, training providers and schools will be relieved of burdensome data collection in order to focus on teaching and learning, according to Ofsted's chief inspector.

​​​​​​Amanda Spielman announced the inspectorate's plans to focus more on the quality of education at schools, rather than exam results.

While her speech at the SCHOOLS NorthEast summit in Newcastle today was focused on schools, the new framework will also apply to further education colleges and other post-16 providers. Following a consultation in January, the changes are due to come into effect in September 2019.

Ms Spielman acknowledged that the current inspection model had contributed to excessive workload for some teaching staff. The new inspection framework plans to reward school leaders who are ambitious for their learners, rather than “those who jump through hoops”.

Elite public schools drop common entrance exams

by TES, October 8, 2018

Classified as 11 Plus.

Westminster and St Paul's say the aim is to reduce sustained pressure upon pupils, parents and teachers

Two elite public schools are dropping the 13-plus common entrance exam in a bid to reduce pressure on pupils, parents and teachers.

St Paul’s School and Westminster School, which are both located in London, said the decision will give preparatory schools more flexibility in determining their own curriculum and allow them more room to incorporate independent study into the school day.

Dropping the 13-plus in favour of "pre-tests" taken in Year 6 will also reduce "the sustained pressure upon pupils, parents and teachers between National Curriculum Year 5 and Year 8," they said in a joint press release.

“Not having to take the [common entrance] examination will relieve stress and create more time for the school,” said Professor Mark Bailey, High Master of St Paul’s School.

Sixth form college students 'getting short straw'

by Guardian Education , October 8, 2018

Classified as 11 Plus.

An annual £760 shortfall in funding for every sixth form college student has been uncovered as a result of a government spending freeze combined with spiralling costs.

Research by the thinktank London Economics says funding for ages 16-19 education in sixth form colleges has declined by 22% in real terms over the past eight years, resulting in cuts to staff, curriculum and enrichment activities.

For the first time, the consultancy has calculated the additional funding it says is required per student per year in order to deliver an internationally competitive sixth form education.

The report, which was commissioned by the Sixth Form Colleges Association (SFCA), says an additional £760 per head would ensure there were adequate student support services, protect subjects that are under threat and allow for three additional hours of extracurricular activities.