Kent County Council reveals new 11-plus exam to make test more tutor-proof
Pupils sitting the 11-plus exam
Thousands of children will sit a new 11-plus exam next year with county education chiefs claiming it will be more tutor-proof.
Kent County Council said the changes will make it easier to assess which children should go to grammar schools and streamline the exam to reduce the burden on both schools and pupils.
The new test will mean children who sit the test will do so on a single day.
Other changes planned will mean pupils will not take separate practice papers. Instead practice exercises will be incorporated into the main papers.
There will be two main tests: one assessing reasoning ability and a second assessing literacy and numeracy.
There will continue to be a separate writing test under exam conditions. This will be used by headteacher panels in borderline cases.
Cllr Roger Gough (Con), KCC cabinet member for education, acknowledged no exam could be made tutor-proof but said the changes would help make it less susceptible to private coaching.
"I am not sure there is such a thing as a tutor-proof exam," he said. "But it can be made less predictable."
Cllr Gough added: "We are excited about the potential for flexible development offered by the new process, which will give us a wide range of assessment information without requiring children to spend longer in exams."
Schoolgirl taking an 11-plus exam
The issue of the extent of the private coaching culture that has evolved in Kent has led to questions about if the 11-plus is skewed towards those who can pay for tuition.
There is a thriving number of private tuition centres across the county, with many boasting of their ability to get children to pass the exam.
But some headteachers feel pupils who are intensively coached often end up struggling when they start grammar school.
On a recent visit to Kent, education minister David Laws urged county grammar schools to do more to offer places to poorer bright children.
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