The 11 plus exam has spurned a massive industry – there are mock exam centres, endless study aids and an immense tutoring sector. Almost all of this is unregulated, so how do you choose?
Very few schools give their stamp of approval to any of the materials on offer and some heads go as far as to say don’t tutor at all.
So when you embark on this process it is essential to make sure what you are signing up for is of a standard that will give your child a good chance of 11+ success.
Take tutoring centres – these have proliferated throughout the country in recent years.
Often there is not much difference in the price for courses but the quality of teaching can vary immensely.
In some centres, classes are taught by university students with very little training while other centres employ former teachers with several years of experience to run their courses.
Does the centre you are considering truly understand the demands of the exam your child is aiming for? Some may not, if you are aiming for the Tiffin, north London or Reading grammar schools.
And what percentage of a particular centre’s students actually achieve a grammar school place?
I’ve heard of one London tutoring centre boasting a 100 percent success rate which seems highly unlikely given competitiveness of the nearby schools.
Choosing a centre which is Ofsted rated is a good start.
In the absence of an Ofsted rating, determine the qualifications of teachers at the centre before your child embarks on a course.
Be very clear about your goals. Check the centre has former students who have got into the grammar school of your choice.
It may take trying several centres to find the right one.
What is your experience of 11+ centres?