SCHOOLS have been told to DELAY 11-plus tests until late October at the earliest because of coronavirus.
The Government has finally handed out advice telling grammar schools the exams due to be held in September will be pushed further down the line after SATs, GCSEs and A-levels were cancelled.
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The soonest Year 6 students will be able to sit their tests will be late October, according to the guidance.
The advice to schools says: “We strongly advise that tests for grammar and partially selective schools are moved back into late October… or to November if local admission co-ordination processes allow.”
The delay means parents could be faced with choosing their children’s secondary school before even knowing their test results.
Parents have been “strongly” advised to put down selective and non-selective schools for their children’s preference of school.
The guidance warns if a child fails the entry test and they have only listed selective schools as options there could be “consequences” for their schooling.
Boris Johnson has vowed to make sure all pupils are back at school by September after warnings the gap between the most-vulnerable children and wealthier pupils widened to breaking point as classrooms closed.
Individual schools or councils are allowed to choose their own dates for exams – but have been told not to set them before the end of October.
Councils are under pressure to give parents an extra option when choose secondary school preferences for their kids to avoid chaos if children don’t pass the tests.
Kent has already suggested moving back its test to October, according to the anti-selective schools group Comprehensive Future.
But others are holding out in hopes children can sit them at the same time of year.
The group has said the education divide exacerbated by lockdown will make the tests unfair – as wealthier parents were able to pay for extra tutors and dedicate more time to their kids’ schooling.
They said: “Some children lack laptops and internet connections.
“Some have busy working parents who have no time to help with school work.
“And we also know that schools are offering inconsistent approaches to learning – with many private schools offering video lessons while others offer no more than paper worksheets.
“If 11-plus tests go ahead as normal this year we are sure they will be much more unfair than usual.”
The Government announced a catch-up premium for kids to help them make up for lost time during the coronavirus crisis.
Secondaries will get a minimum of £5,150 a pupil — up from £5,000 this year — while primaries will get at least £4,000 a pupil, up from £3,750.
Schools also get grants from a £1billion pot to help catch up following the lockdown.
Children in reception, year one and year six were able to return to classrooms in June but still missed out on months of in-person teaching.
Some kids were kept home from school even when they were able to attend, over fears of coronavirus.
But Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has warned they will fine parents if they still don’t send their children back to school once class restarts in September.