Grammar Schools: Changes to 11+ Exams?

UK Government advises selective state-funded schools in England to review this year's 11+ exams "in light of the fact that most children were out of school for a significant period during 2020 and early 2021."
Grammar Schools: Changes to 11+ Exams?
By Carli Allan
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Grammar schools in England should consider changing the 11+ exams for next year to make allowances for the school closures in 2020 and early 2021, the Department of Education has advised.

Whilst many grammar schools and partially selective schools will use verbal, non-verbal and, in some cases, spatial reasoning tests to assess students' ability, some take account of what children have learnt in English and maths as part of their assessments for Year 7 entry. Students across the country will take the 11+ exams this autumn to apply for a Year 7 place at one of England's 160-plus, state-funded selective schools for the 2022-23 academic year.

Guidance from the DfE says:

"Admission authorities for schools which test ability in English and maths may wish to consider if any changes to the test need to be made, in light of the fact that most children were out of school for a significant period during 2020 and early 2021."

The DfE recommends that grammar school inform parents of the outcome of selection tests before the closing date for non-selective secondary applications on October 31, 2021. Last year, results were sent out later as 11+ exams were delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic; the DfE says that there is no reason to delay the test in 2021 "as schools have been open for all children since March 8, 2021."

Grammar schools should also make arrangement for online tests for "those children who are abroad, and for good reason, cannot return to the UK in time to sit a test in person".

Read more: Everything you need to know about the 11+

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