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Children must register for the Kent Test if they want a place at grammar school next year

By Alan Smith

Parents whose children will move to senior school in September next year, 2015, must now decide whether they want their child to sit the Kent Test.

The test - often referred to as the 11 Plus - although these days children take the test while still aged 10 - will determine whether they have the chance of going to one of the county’s grammar schools.

Parents need to register their child before Tuesday, July 1, and Kent County Council is keen that they do so online, which speeds up the whole process.

Kent's primary schools fared well compared with the national average. Stock image

The test is available for any child resident in the UK - not just Kent - starting Year Six in September 2014.

Tests will be taken in school on September 10 for children currently attending a Kent primary school, and in designated test centres on Saturday, September 13, for those outside Kent.

Most schools will advise parents on whether they think their child is “grammar school material” but actually the decision is the parents and they can enter their child for the test against the advice of the school.

Cllr Roger Gough, KCC cabinet member for education, said: “The format of the test this year has been altered to lighten the burden on schools and children and to help make it less coachable.

“The first test will be a multiple choice English and maths paper and the second test will be a multiple choice reasoning paper.

“We are also sharpening the focus on the school curriculum by introducing an English paper alongside the maths and reasoning tests, so assessing each child’s ability in the context of what they will be learning at school, as well as their thinking skills.

“One of the criticisms of the previous testing arrangements was that experience of the format and type of question had made it easier to coach to the test.

“By refreshing the format and limiting information about the new Kent Test, KCC aims to make it less coachable and fairer on all pupils.”

An outline of how the Kent Test will be structured and organised this year is on the county’s website.

Obtaining a ‘grammar assessment’ in the Kent Test does not guarantee a child will be offered a grammar school place as the grammars may be oversubscribed.

To complete a form online, log on to www.kent.gov.uk/ola. Alternatively a paper copy can be downloaded from the kent.gov.uk website, picked up from primary schools, or sent in the post, by calling call 03000 41 21 21 or emailing kent.admissions@kent.gov.uk.

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