Redbridge 11-plus exams reviewed after ‘cheating’ row
THE BOROUGH’S eleven-plus exams will be held on one day after schools chiefs responded to parents’ claims that some pupils were able to cheat.
The highly-competitive selective tests, which allow youngsters to gain entry to grammar schools Ilford County and Woodford County High, were last year held on Saturday and Sunday, so that children with religious requirements could still sit the papers.
But, as the Recorder reported in March, 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 on to their pupils, the parents claimed.
Police were called after 20 allegations were received by the council but they took no further action after no parent was able to provide “first hand proof,” the council said.
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The Recorder revealed last week figures from one parent’s Freedom of Information request, which show that 29 per cent of the 365 boys and girls who took the Sunday paper were successful, whereas only 14 per cent of 1,065 youngsters passed on Saturday.
The parent, who did not want to be identified, said: “Hundreds of local parents give up hundreds of hours to try and get their children into our local grammar schools.
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“But they are playing against a system where the dice seem to have been loaded by cheats.”
The council has decided this year to hold the tests on Monday December 20, which will be a training day for most schools.
A spokesman said: “We are constantly reviewing our procedures and as with each year’s admission arrangements, discussions have taken place to improve the Redbridge process and its security.”
The spokesman added that the difference in Saturday and Sunday results last year may have been caused by some children taking the Sunday paper because they had a test for an independent school on Saturday.