Education news

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

Pupils will sit 11-plus style tests in November

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.

The PPTC last week announced that its papers would take place on November 16 this year.

In a statement, it said negotiating teams from PPTC and AQE had been engaged in discussions with the aim of establishing a single transfer test.

In June 2018, the team agreed on draft proposals for a joint test consisting of two papers of one hour taken on successive Saturdays with a supplementary paper for children missing one paper due to illness or other circumstances.

The best score of the two tests would determine the outcome for each pupil.

The test would combine elements of the existing AQE and PPTC tests with multiple choice and open response in English and mathematics. An Irish language version would also be provided.

There would be an administration charge of £20 per pupil with an exemption of costs for children on free school meals.

"Both teams submitted their proposals to their organisations and PPTC schools were asked to consult with each of the schools' board of governors," the PPTC said.

"PPTC acknowledges that the best interests of children would be served by a single test and is thus now pleased to report that there was overwhelming support from its schools for progressing towards a single test based on the proposed model agreed last June."

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