Investigation into '˜extra time' 11-Plus blunder in Bucks

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An investigation has been launched into Bucks' 11-Plus exams, after a technical blunder saw some pupils allocated more time for the test.

Parents feared their children may have to re-sit the exam as errors made by the test provider, GL Assessment, meant some pupils were given an extra five minutes for one of the two papers.

The exam – which determines whether a pupil can be allocated a grammar school place – took place on September 13 at various centres across the county, with results expected to be released tomorrow (Friday).

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Speaking at a meeting of Bucks County Council’s children’s select committee last week Liberal Democrat councillor Steven Lambert, asked what action has been taken to ensure the results are fair.

He said: “If there was a disparity in pupils having equal access to time and resources to do the exams, would they all have to do them again?

“This is a stressful exam for them, with their age, and the rest of the education they are going through.

“What will happen with those pupils that could have been disadvantaged?”

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Bucks County Council has since confirmed it has carried out an investigation with GL Assessment, and has assured parents and pupils the results are as “robust and reliable” as previous years’.

In a joint statement BCC and GL Assessment said: “We can confirm that owing to a technical error there was a minor variation in the timings for one component of one paper in the Buckinghamshire Secondary Transfer Test this year.

“The discrepancy affected very few test centres and resulted in an additional five minutes for one of the two test papers. 

“Our aim is always to provide the fairest possible test experience for all children.

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“To this end, GL Assessment conducted a full investigation and a thorough statistical analysis to address any anomalies.

“This analysis has been independently verified and we are fully satisfied that the results are as robust and reliable as all previous Secondary Transfer Tests in Bucks.

“GL Assessment, the test publisher, sincerely apologises for the error and any inconvenience this may have caused.”