Parents fury as children given 'unanswerable' 11+ exam questions

Maynards Green Primary School in Heathfield has had its SATs results annulled
Maynards Green Primary School in Heathfield has had its SATs results annulled

School children taking their 11+ exams across the county have been left 'angry and disappointed' after they were presented with 'unanswerable' questions during their 11+ exams.

Unfortunately in a nationwide exam, only schoolchildren from Buckinghamshire have been affected by the errors.

Panic spread amongst schoolchildren when they turned to the verbal skills paper, as they realised they could not answer the questions correctly, as the options on answer sheet did not correspond correctly to the questions asked.

As soon as this was identified, Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools instructed all test centres requesting they tell school children sitting exams to not attempt to answer the two questions.

However BGS said that some primary schools and academies across the county did not receive the email notification which told them to disregard the questions.

BGS have issued an apology, and have said that an 'urgent investigation is currently underway'.

The flawed questions appeared in the entrance exam for 13 schools in the county.

The ElevnPlusExams School forum featured many angry and worried posts from concerned parents today.

Some wrote they couldn't believe the paper had not been proof-read, and others called GL Assessment a 'disgrace'.

They added: "How many millions of pounds must GL Assessments have been paid to make this huge mistake?"

Another posted: "I am usually quite a forgiving person, but really, how many pairs of eyes must have read these papers before they were issued?

Others described it as 'a massive cock up' and expressed worries about the anxieties this must have caused to the children taking the exam who hadn't been informed of the errorr.

A letter sent to parents of the prospective pupils by the Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools, which has also been seen by PA, said that scores for the questions would be omitted from the final marks.

Buckinghamshire County Council said it had scheduled an "urgent" meeting with GL Assessment and the Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools group.

In 2017, all 13 of Buckinghamshire County Council’s grammar schools re-instated GL Assessment as their 11-plus provider, despite axing it five years ago amid concern that its questions were predictable and therefore favoured wealthy parents who could pay for extra tuition.

GL Assessment and Buckinghamshire County Council have been approached for comment.

A statement from GL Assessment read: “During the first sitting of the Secondary Transfer Test yesterday (12 September), it became apparent that two questions in the Verbal Skills paper could not be answered correctly as the options on the answer sheet did not reflect those in the question paper.

“As soon as the issue was identified, every effort was made to give instructions to all test centres, informing them that candidates should not attempt to answer the two questions. The Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools (TBGS) and GL Assessment were immediately informed, and an urgent investigation is already under way.

"However, we would like to assure all parents and candidates that there will be a fair resolution within a very short period of time and we will update parents as soon as we can.

“We fully appreciate that this is a difficult time for all involved, and we sincerely apologise for any anxiety this may have caused the candidates and their parents.”