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'Urgent investigation' underway into 11+ test errors

Children were left confused by reported mistakes in the test yesterday.

Published by Dan Gooding at 11:18am 13th September 2019. 4-minute read.

'Urgent investigation' underway into 11+ test errors

Children across Buckinghamshire sat the 11+ test yesterday but it wasn't right.

We have had several reports that question and answer sheets did not match up for some of the exam.

"They let children down and they have let the parents down."

An urgent investigation is now underway.

One mum in Aylesbury told us more about what happened:

"They had started the test, they were working through the test and my daughter noticed that the answer sheet did not correlate with the questions.

"So she put her hand up to notify the teachers and noticed a lot of other hands were up around the room."

After discussion amongst teachers and a call to the exam provider, GL Assessment, students were told to carry on.

At other schools, the test started later and they were already told us omit the questions.

This has led to confusion over what this means in terms of fairness for pupils across the county and the impact on chances of a grammar school place.

The mum we spoke to added:

"I feel very anxious as a parent, I feel very let down as a parent that the system wasn't more robust.

"It is not simply a case that I could opt out of the system, because that will disadvantage my daughter.

"Not only do we not have a great deal of choice over the way secondary school places are assigned in our county, the tool used to determine where they go let them down badly yesterday.

"They let children down and they have let the parents down."

Investigation underway

Bucks County Council
Bucks County Council have requested an urgent meeting

The Grammar Schools - who issue the test - have apologised for any anxiety caused and say an urgent investigation is underway.

A statement issued by GL Assessment and the Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools said:

"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."

The County Council say they're seeking an urgent meeting to find a solution.

A spokesman for Buckinghamshire County Council said:

"During the Secondary Transfer Testing process today (September 12), it became apparent that there were inconsistencies between the question and answer sheets for two verbal reasoning questions on paper 2A and two practice questions on the English section of the same paper.

"The County Council administers the test on behalf of The Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools (TBGS). The test is commissioned from GL Assessment by TBGS. We will be seeking an urgent meeting with both parties to establish a resolution to this issue.

"We recognise that this will cause anxiety for parents and we hope that this matter can be addressed as swiftly as possible. The County Council will be working closely with The Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools and GL Assessment and, as soon as we have a resolution for this issue, it will be communicated directly to parents."

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