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Redbridge Eleven Plus figures re-ignite ‘cheating’ fears

PUBLISHED: 08:30 27 October 2010

Pupils are preparing for this year's exams

Pupils are preparing for this year's exams

Archant

PARENTS fear a repeat of the cheating controversy that dogged last year’s 11-plus exams, as new figures reveal that a higher proportion of pupils passed on the second day of tests.

The Recorder reported in March that police were called in over allegations that private tutors were taking advantage of a loophole that saw the same test offered on Saturday and Sunday.

Parents posting on an internet forum said they had heard of children being encouraged to feign illness, or cite religious reasons and take the test on Sunday.

Tutors would then call Saturday candidates after the exam and grill them on the questions, before passing the answers onto their pupils, the parents claimed.

The eleven-plus is taken by students applying for grammar schools Ilford County High and Woodford County High.

No police action was taken over the allegations and hundreds of youngsters are now knuckling down to take this years exams in December.

Figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request by one parent, who did not want to be identified, show that 29 per cent of the 365 boys and girls who took the Sunday paper were successful, whereas only 14 per cent of 1065 youngsters passed on Saturday.

The council said one reason for this might be that independent schools also test on Saturdays.

But the parent said this was “misleading and dubious”.

He added: “None of the major independent schools that the bulk of Redbridge parents choose test only on a Saturday.

“Hundreds of local parents give up hundreds of hours to try and get their children into our local grammar schools.

“But they are playing against a system where the dice seem to have been loaded by cheats, with the council seemingly unable or unwilling to do anything to stop the scandal.”

The Recorder is awaiting comment from Redbridge Council.


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