More Southend children taking 11-plus

Southend Standard: Southend councillor responsible for children and learning James Courtenay Southend councillor responsible for children and learning James Courtenay

MORE Southend pupils are striving for grammar school places after the Echo exposed the town’s children were being left behind.

Following years of flat-lining, the proportion of pupils from Southend primary schools taking the 11-plus has jumped 5 per cent this year.

The increase comes after the Echo revealed the town’s top performing grammar schools were filled with pupils from outside the borough.

New figures show 45.7 per cent of pupils took the entrance exam in September – the highest proportion in at least four years.

The rise also comes after Southend Council made more information available about secondary school options to parents.

James Courtenay, Southend councillor responsible for children and learning, said: “It’s certainly a plus point and the Echo articles will have helped, as will the direct contact between the council and parents.

"It’s only a good thing parents are asking teachers whether their children should go for the 11-plus and I’d expect parents, teachers and headteachers to work together to decide if it is the right thing.”

The number of pupils sitting the exam rose from 772 in September 2012 to 824 last September.

The increase was most noticeable in schools that usually fail to put many pupils forward, with big rises at Friars Primary School and Hinguar Primary School, both in Shoebury, Edwards Hall Primary School, Eastwood, and Porters Grange Primary School, Southend.

Councillors launched a probe after the Echo revealed just one in ten Southend pupils pass the 11-plus and just 197 were offered places at the four grammar schools at the start of the academic year. A report is expected in the coming weeks.

Speaking in December, Lynn Morris, headteacher of Earls Hall Junior School, Westcliff, said: “We have had far more questions about the 11-plus from parents than ever before as a result of the coverage in the Echo.”

Education bosses wrote to all schools saying they expect all pupils predicted to achieve level five in English and maths in their SATs to be entered for the 11-plus and wrote to all parents of Year 5 pupils outlining the choices of secondary schools and key deadlines for entry.

The council’s head of learning, Jane Theadom, said: “It’s good to see an increase as a healthy indication that more parents and children might be considering a grammar school education.

“It’s also good to see the option of a grammar school education is becoming more common in schools where previously there has been less interest.”

The 11-plus results are expected in March.

Comments (4)

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4:53pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Jack222 says...

The strongest predictor of how well a child does at school is home background, not the school.

Grammar schools merely suck off what would be the top set in the old normal state schools. And parents can pay lots of money to get coaching because it's cheaper for the parent to have the child in a grammar school than pay private school fees.

There is nothing brilliant about Grammar schools - they just get nothing more than the top students to enter ... The government 'value added' data show many other schools improve students results more than grammar schools.
The strongest predictor of how well a child does at school is home background, not the school. Grammar schools merely suck off what would be the top set in the old normal state schools. And parents can pay lots of money to get coaching because it's cheaper for the parent to have the child in a grammar school than pay private school fees. There is nothing brilliant about Grammar schools - they just get nothing more than the top students to enter ... The government 'value added' data show many other schools improve students results more than grammar schools. Jack222
  • Score: 1

5:42pm Tue 4 Feb 14

jolllyboy says...

In my experience it is down to the head's bias and the teachers and parents as to whether a child does the 11 plus and not down to the child's ability. How many times have I heard a parent say they are not putting in their child for it because they would fail, only to find later that they were actually academically bright and should have done it and got to a grammar.
In my experience it is down to the head's bias and the teachers and parents as to whether a child does the 11 plus and not down to the child's ability. How many times have I heard a parent say they are not putting in their child for it because they would fail, only to find later that they were actually academically bright and should have done it and got to a grammar. jolllyboy
  • Score: 0

7:17pm Tue 4 Feb 14

jayman says...

i see that the echo have been spoon feed yet more canned news from the local authority.

The earlier article was concerning actual grammar school placements for children who live in Southend.

This article concerns children from Southend who sat the 11+ test. This is without supporting data on pass rates as they have not yet been published. The echo article, and the carefully chosen 'quotations' from carefully chosen 'individuals' seems to be heralding a change in the way that parents of all backgrounds view this form of middle class education for predominantly middle class children, funded by the state and protected by closed and largely unaccountable 'protectionist sub groups who set the criteria for the 11+ exam itself.

this is a 'one off' inflation of interest that has been reluctantly encouraged by a council who have been called into question as the disreputable 11+ system was being called into disrepute in one of the greatest concentrations of grammar schools in the country. .

come on echo, 'compare and contrast' properly and hold those in power to account.
i see that the echo have been spoon feed yet more canned news from the local authority. The earlier article was concerning actual grammar school placements for children who live in Southend. This article concerns children from Southend who sat the 11+ test. This is without supporting data on pass rates as they have not yet been published. The echo article, and the carefully chosen 'quotations' from carefully chosen 'individuals' seems to be heralding a change in the way that parents of all backgrounds view this form of middle class education for predominantly middle class children, funded by the state and protected by closed and largely unaccountable 'protectionist sub groups who set the criteria for the 11+ exam itself. this is a 'one off' inflation of interest that has been reluctantly encouraged by a council who have been called into question as the disreputable 11+ system was being called into disrepute in one of the greatest concentrations of grammar schools in the country. . come on echo, 'compare and contrast' properly and hold those in power to account. jayman
  • Score: 1

11:13am Wed 5 Feb 14

Southchurchjon says...

The grammar school results should be known already. The whole point of bringing the 11+ test forward to September was so that the results would be available before the end of October deadline for secondary school applications allowing parents to make an informed choice.
The grammar school results should be known already. The whole point of bringing the 11+ test forward to September was so that the results would be available before the end of October deadline for secondary school applications allowing parents to make an informed choice. Southchurchjon
  • Score: 1

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