Adam Caller, founder of Tutors International, says that Kent County Council are ‘missing the point’ in their aim to create a tutor-proof 11-plus exam.
Nicola Woodcock, The Times’ Education Correspondent, wrote an article on 1st February 2013 about Kent County Council’s search for a ‘less coachable’ 11+ exam. Kent has 30 grammar schools, and the Times reported the 35% of parents in London and the South-East paying an average of £3,800 per year for private tutoring for their child. This will include tutoring for 11+ exams.
Kent County Council put out a tender for the creation, publication and grading for 2 years of a tutor-proof 11+ exam. They received no response for their July deadline. Adam Caller, founder of Tutors International, puts this down to the fact that it is simply not possible to make an exam tutor-proof: “I’m yet to learn of any test for which coaching and familiarity will not improve scores. Even IQ tests can be practiced and scores improved with coaching.”
Kent’s Cllr Kit Smith was worried that discouraging tutoring would lead to lowering attainment: “The aim is to reduce tutoring for 11+ exams because of the number who can’t afford it but there is a fundamental downside to this,” he said. “By taking away tutoring, which is a one-to-one-based education, you are actually taking away a large chunk of critical education for a whole lot of children. Will educational standards not drop? Are we aiming for mediocrity? You are getting rid of a whole lot of teaching and tutorials are so powerful.”
Mr Caller believes that the Council’s motives are flawed: “The argument for an untutorable 11-plus is to make grammar school selection more fair – that parents shouldn’t be able to ‘buy’ their kids a place. If Kent County Council want their schools to be more socially inclusive, providing the best possible education for young people from all backgrounds, then they should be raising the standard of education in their primary schools, or encouraging coaching for everyone. They should be improving educational standards, not trying to lower them.”
Mr Caller continued, “They’ve totally missed the point of testing. We should be trying to provide extra coaching for all who want it, not trying to limit those who can afford it.”
Contact Adam Caller on +44 (0) 1865 435 135 or visit https://www.tutors-international.com/contact.
About Tutors International
Tutors International is a worldwide organization providing experienced full-time private tutors to work with children of all ages and nationalities, in a wide variety of situations, including international relocation, after-school support, full-time home tuition, support for AD/HD and dyslexia, home schooling for frequent travellers, and college prep and coaching.
Tutors International was founded by Adam Caller who has tutored students of all ages. He has received specialist training in dyslexia and AD/HD and is very sensitive to children’s educational difficulties. He has now turned this expertise to recruiting, training and placing other tutors with HNW and UHNW families around the world. Adam is a member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA).