Grammar head: ‘Don’t jump to conclusions over 11-plus’

Letters have criticised the 11-plus
Letters have criticised the 11-plus

More detailed analysis is needed of the new 11-plus exam before people start claiming it disadvantages poorer children, according to the chairman of Bucks Grammar Schools.

Philip Wayne, who is also headteacher at Chesham Grammar School, will speak before the council’s education select committee at County Hall on Wednesday.

It comes after a breakdown of the supposedly more ‘coach-proof’ 11-plus was released.

It showed that Aylesbury Vale was the worst performing district in Bucks, with only 16% of children here passing the exam.

This was followed by Wycombe (22%), South Bucks (38%) and Chilterns (42%).

The ranking correlates with the districts’ average weekly earnings (Vale, £563; Wycombe, £598; South Bucks, £629; Chiltern, £652)

In a report to councillors, Mr Wayne said grammar schools recognise that they have a responsibility to promote social mobility and to ensure that they give opportunities to students from all backgrounds.

But he said a single year’s data should not be used to make claims about how the test disadvantages poorer children.

He said his organisation is considering commissioning a longer-term study to examine the issue.

He said there’s no such thing as a ‘tutor proof’ test, but the new ones are ‘less susceptible to the impact of specific test tutoring’.