News review – CEM sold to Cambridge Assessment

The University of Durham’s Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM), a leading provider of the 11-plus test, has been sold to Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press, Schools Week reported (June 11, 2019).

The CEM is one of a number of providers of the 11-plus test used by schools and councils to assess pupils wanting to attend grammar schools. The organisation will continue to be based in north east England.

Two grammar schools have denied a parent’s complaint that they organised sexist taster classes for local Year 4 children, TES reported (June 7, 2019).

A Lincolnshire parent said Spalding Grammar School, which is for boys, and Spalding High School, for girls, offered learning experience classes that differed by gender.

She said her nine-year-old daughter was distressed to discover that girls from her primary school were offered cookery and drama while boys could do design and technology.

In a joint statement, the two schools said that to help pupils transition to secondary education they “work together to provide a range of experiences, including an opportunity for local pupils to spend part of a day with us”.

It said that across 10 days more than 700 pupils from 24 schools had taken advantage of this, and had “experienced the full range of subjects available at both schools; the actual subjects offered on any given day is simply dependent on the availability of staffing and resources.

“We have received, as we do every year, a huge amount of positive feedback about this initiative and it is a shame that our intentions have been misinterpreted in this way,” the school added.

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