11-plus delay is Consortium of Selective Schools in Essex’s ‘preferred option’

The Consortium of Selective Schools in Essex (CSSE) has said its “preferred option” is to see its 11-plus test delayed until later in the autumn term.

Most year 5 students will have spent little or no time in school this term, and a later test date would give pupils the chance to settle back into school, a letter to parents from CSSE chairman Paul Hayman said.

The CSSE said it was possible the tests could be conducted across two dates to ensure it could allow for any social distancing rules in place.

It said it would also like to reopen the test registration process so that pupils needing encouragement from their teachers to take the 11-plus can get that support.

The consortium said while a delay was its preferred option it cannot make any changes without approval from the Department of Education.

It said communication with the government had been going on since April but guidance was yet to be issued.

“We have stressed the need for this guidance as a matter of urgency,” Hayman said in the letter.

The Department for Education has said it is still developing advice on admissions for selective schools in line with guidelines from Public Health England.

“In doing so, we are taking into account the long period that pupils will have been away from school and the effect this will have on those pupils, and particularly disadvantaged pupils, taking admissions tests,” it said in a statement.

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