11+ exams set to be postponed

A proposal to postpone this year’s 11+ exams until November has been submitted to the Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA) and the Regional Schools Commissioners Office (RSC).   

Recently published government guidance recommends that local authorities and selective schools take this action so that all children sitting the 11+ examination have the very best chance of success after most year five pupils (year six this September) missed a very large part of their schooling over the summer term because of the Coronavirus lockdown.

The Council has been liaising with the city’s three grammar schools and together, are proposing to move the exams for the 2021/22 academic year from Saturday 12 and Saturday 19 September to Saturday 7 and Saturday 14 November.

The decision is pending on approval from the OSA and RSC and the Council will notify parents and carers of the outcome when it has been received.

Councillor Jon Taylor, Cabinet member for Education, Skills and Transformation, said: “We know that this news may be frustrating for some young people who have been working hard in preparation for the exams over the past few months in challenging circumstances. 

“I know that sometimes, when you’ve been preparing for an examination that you just want to get it done. I do sympathise.

“But this decision is about giving everyone a chance to be back at school for a few months before the exams.”

If the postponement of exams is approved, this year’s secondary school admission process will be altered to allow for four preferences rather than three. 

This reflects the fact that the 11+ results will not be available before the admissions deadline and so will allow parents and carers to select a grammar school as their first preference, without losing an option. 

A copy of the proposed co-ordinated scheme can be found on our website www.plymouth.gov.uk/schooladmissions

Parents or young people who have any concerns or worries can contact us for support by emailing childrensservicesresponse@plymouth.gov.uk