Campaign group says there is ‘no evidence’ 11 plus in Buckinghamshire is ‘tutor proof’

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The 11 plus test taken by children in Buckinghamshire may not be ‘tutor proof’, a local campaign group has claimed.

Local Equal Excellent (LEE) submitted a Freedom of Information request the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM), the providers of the 11 plus test, asking whether it was resistant to coaching.

The response stated it was “not possible to quantify” the impact of coaching on the results from the tests.

According to data compiled by LEE, in Buckinghamshire, more than 8000 children sit the 11 plus every year. But in 2014, just 10 children on free school meals passed the test.

The group said the pass rate for children at private schools is around 60 per cent compared to 22 per cent for state school pupils.

The pass rate for children from the wealthier districts of the county is around twice the pass rate of the poorer districts.

Rebecca Hickman of Local Equal Excellent, the campaign group that submitted the Foi, said: “There isn’t a shred of evidence that the Bucks 11 plus test is resistant to coaching. And if the test is unfair, the system is unfair. Given the overwhelming evidence that the test in fact disadvantages children from certain backgrounds, it seems indefensible not to withdraw it immediately. Instead the grammar schools are choosing to keep reproducing the unfairness.”

Rafiq Raja, chair of the Muslim Parents Association, said the 11 plus was a “legalised form of discrimination.”

He said: “There is no real effort being made to understand its far-reaching consequences for certain sections of the community; as a result the attainment gap in Bucks is one of the largest in the country. We need an education system in Bucks that works for everyone, not just the privileged few.”