The Kent Local Authority (LA) currently runs a process which aims principally through testing to identify pupils in the top 25% of the ability range as eligible for admission to Year 7 of any of the county’s grammar schools at age 11.
Entry to the process is voluntary, with approximately 55% of the local cohort opting to take part, plus a significant number of external candidates. Provision is currently made for about 13,500 candidates. Tests are taken in early September of the year prior to the year of admission to grammar school. There is a second stage – Head Teacher Referral – where additional evidence can be considered alongside scores before assessments are confirmed. Results are made available to parents in the third week of October following the tests. In order to meet this commitment, the LA requires standardised test scores to be available within 8 working days of the last test date.
A strong desire on the part of the Council and its schools to reduce the capacity for coaching to undermine the effectiveness of selection tests has led to some changes in the current specification compared to previous years.
Kent LA invites tenders for the supply of tests to support the admissions process. The contractor will be required to compile, where appropriate trial, produce or print as appropriate and deliver to the Council as follows:
* Generic test familiarisation materials for annual use by schools and parents
* Bespoke confidential test papers and machine-readable answersheets
* Overprinting software (to print and bar code double-sided OMR sheets)
* Administration instructions (quote to indicate costs for paper and audio formats)
* Marking software and manuals
* Standardisation software and standardisation tables
- and to support the use of the materials and software by the Council’s employees through the cycle of the testing process.