‘Wealthier are still favoured’
EDUCATION campaigners are still concerned that the test does not help the more academic, yet disadvantaged, children.
Dr Katy Simmons, chairman of governors at Cressex Community School, a High Wycombe non-grammar school, told the committee that in 2013 the pass rate of the 11-plus among children on free school meals was four per cent and 65 per cent among children from private schools.
The pass rate in Chiltern, a more affluent part of the county, is double that of Aylesbury Vale.
After the meeting, she said: “Today we have seen that the grammar schools don’t have a shred of evidence for their claims that the new 11-plus exam is more resistant to coaching. Quite simply, the 11-plus continues to favour children from wealthier homes, while other children lose out. This is unacceptable.
“The exam should be withdrawn until the grammar schools can show it is fair for all children.”
Rebecca Hickman of campaign group Local, Equal and Excellent said: “The grammar school heads managed to avoid answering any of the difficult questions. They at no point attempted to data because they know that it reveals real problems.
“In 2014, the 11-plus pass rate for children on free school meals in Bucks was four per cent while the pass rate for children from private schools was 65 per cent.
“In both 2014 and 2015, the pass rate for children from Bucks’ most affluent district was over twice the pass rate of children from the least affluent district.
“Only one in 10 children in Aylesbury’s primary schools pass. These are not statistical blips, they are the stark facts.
“The reality is that the 11-plus exam is testing for social background, not ability.
“The selective system doesn’t enable social mobility – it stops it dead in its tracks.
“How many more children from less advantaged homes and from Pakistani and African Caribbean backgrounds must lose out, before the grammar schools and BCC act to address the unjust effects of selection?”