Pupils in Southend will be given an additional secondary school preference when choosing their place this year.
It comes after changes were made to the 11+ exam in the wake of the pandemic, which will see students sit the selection test for grammar school admissions rescheduled to take place over four sessions on Saturday 7 November and Monday 9 November, the Southend Echo reports.
The rescheduled date means tests will take place after the closure of school applications on 31 October, pushing Southend Council to add an additional preference to the application.
This will allow parents to choose six preferences for their child, giving them the opportunity to choose both selective and non-selective schools.
Councillor Anne Jones, cabinet member for children and learning, said: “Coronavirus has definitely created additional challenges regarding the 11+ exam so we want to mitigate that, follow Government guidance and reassure parents that their child won’t miss out.
“We have therefore added an extra preference choice, and would strongly urge that parents and pupils choose at least one non-selective school on their admission form, in case their child does not meet the required pass mark for a selective school.”