How has COVID-19 affected the 11+?
For all intents and purposes, COVID-19 has not affected the 11+ as of yet. At the time of writing, the exam for currently year 5's moving into year 6 in September 2020 is still planned to go ahead as scheduled. Summer exams for all pupils in England have been cancelled, however the 11+ is in September – a new academic year.
Whilst primary schools are not open to all Year 5 pupils, and have not been since the closure of all schools in England on 18th March, the 11+ (secondary transfer test, to give it its official name) is not solely linked to topics and content that pupils learn at school. The test is itself an IQ test, testing pupils’ ability to use information and logic to answer questions or make predictions.
The eleven plus does cover content from English and Maths, and pupils may be missing out on knowledge for their education by not attending school. However, primary schools have been putting in place an effective means to educate pupils whilst they are at home, and it is hoped that educational standards will not slip as a result.
The 11+ is sat by all pupils at the same time, on the same day, with the same procedures, and the exact same test. This means that, whilst pupils are missing out on aspects of physical, social and emotional well-being by not being in school, it should have minimal impact on the results from the 11+ for individual pupils.
There has yet to be an announcement on the 11+ from local or national government. There are many options on the table. They can keep the exam scheduled as it is. They may wish to move it to later in the year. Or, and I do not see this happening, they may scrap the exam for this year. If pupils do not return to school full-time in September, and we still have social distancing measures in place, then some serious logistical thinking needs to be done to ensure that pupils are able to sit the 11+.
In conclusion, as with most things relating to COVID-19, we just don’t know. As things stand currently the 11+ will be taking place in Buckinghamshire on 10th September 2020 for all year 6 pupils. If there is any news to the contrary we will inform people via our blog as soon as we find out.
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