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Education launches consultation of streamlining 11+ process
The Education Department has today launched a consultation paper and questionnaire to gauge the views of Islanders on streamlining the current eleven plus process.
The Department had stated in its recently published response to the Mulkerrin Review of Secondary Education that it intended to 'explore, in consultation with key stakeholders, whether there is merit in introducing an alternative eleven plus selection process which is rigorous but of shorter duration with fewer test papers.'
Parents, carers, teachers, politicians and members of the community are being asked for their views on a number of recommendations, including reducing the number of eleven plus papers from 7 to 2.
'The Department believes that the current selection process is too drawn out, too stressful for the majority of children and too disruptive to their education during Year 6,' said Alan Brown, Deputy Director (Education).
'No-one is suggesting that we get rid of the eleven plus process at this stage; what we want to do is improve the content of the tests by commissioning some new papers which include both Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning questions, reduce the number of papers and generally make the whole process less stressful and disruptive for the children.
'Independent research confirms that reducing the number of tests will not affect the validity of the selection process and we will continue to standardise the results to take account of the child's age when they sit the test,' said Mr Brown.
The consultation paper is recommending the following changes:
- We will reduce the number of eleven plus papers from 7 to 2.
- We will commission new test papers of a similar difficulty to the current papers. The new tests would be a combination of Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning questions and would be in a multiple choice format. Each combined paper would last between 1 hour and 1 hour 15 minutes with approximately 100 questions.
- Children in Year 6 would be invited to sit the two test papers in January. The two tests would be held a week apart on a Saturday at a single venue such as the Grammar School, one of the High Schools or Beau Sejour.
- The best score of the two tests will be taken. If a child misses one of the tests through illness/absence then the single test score will be used
However the Department is proposing that some parts of the selection process remain as they are now:
- 25% of the Year 6 cohort in States-maintained primary/junior schools will continue to be selected for a place at either the Grammar School or one of the grant-aided Colleges.
- Parents would still be able to opt for a High School place for their child and so not take part in the testing process.
- Schools will continue to offer familiarisation sessions and practice papers.
- All scores will continue to be standardised to allow for a child's age when sitting the tests.
- Children whose standardised scores rank them between the 23rd and 27th percentile will continue to go through a borderlining process which will take into account a range of their school work and the views of their teachers.
- Parents will be advised in writing of their child's allocated secondary school place.
The Education Department's consultation paper is available to download below or is online at http://www.gov.gg/article/6814/Consultations-and-Reports and should be read before completing the online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/11plusconsultation
The consultation will run for four weeks closing on Thursday 31st May. Depending on the outcome of the consultation, the Department is hoping to implement any changes in time for the new academic year starting in September.
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