11+ Conference on 1st April 2015

March 12th, 2015, 1 Comment

The National Tutoring Conference is hosting a conference on the 11plus on 1st April this year.

The various speakers are addressing different aspects of the 11 plus, including whether the examination is too narrow-based, and the topical issue of whether some kind of ‘tutor-proofing’ for the exam is possible.

Tutor-proofing was an issue raised by Andrew Baines of the successful 11plus website BOFA11plus.com when I interviewed him at the end of last year. You can read the interview here.

One Response to “11+ Conference on 1st April 2015”

Leave a Reply

National Tutoring Conference – 10th Feb 2015

January 15th, 2015, 2 Comments

Bright Young Things/ Tutorcruncher are organising what they call the National Tutoring Conference in London on 10th February 2015.

The line-up of confirmed speakers and topics so far is as follows:

  • Chris Lenton (The Tutors’ Association) – The future of the industry in the UK.  The role of individuals, companies, charities and government. 
  • Daniel Thomas (Education Investor editor) – How the Education Industry is changing and how this affects the tutoring industry.
  • Will Orr Ewing (Keystone Tutors) – The last 10 years. Where has the demand come from – Where it is going.
  • Alexander Nikitich (Carfax Education) – Internationalisation of the market
  • Tom Hooper (Third Space Learning) – Working with Schools and Interactive Learning
  • Susannah Hardyman (Action Tutoring) – Using tutoring to tackle educational inequality

Anyone with an interest in the UK’s private tuition industry is welcome to attend. For further details, visit:


2 Responses to “National Tutoring Conference – 10th Feb 2015”

  1. Tom says:

    I, and many other tutors I know, missed this conference due to other commitments and as it sold out. I heard there was another in April. Would anyone know the details of this?

  2. admin says:

    Tom, we don’t have any information on an April conference. It would be best to contact Tutorcruncher or BYT about this.

Leave a Reply

Can 11-plus exams ever be ‘tutor-proof’?

December 12th, 2014, 1 Comment

Two children reading

I caught up with BOFA11plus.com founder and best-selling Bond Assessment author Andrew Baines for his take on a very topical question.

HF:  Andrew, you have many years’ experience teaching in selective schools in state and independent sectors in the UK and abroad, and you’re a supplier of an online tutoring resource. In your view, is it possible to create an 11-plus exam that is ‘tutor-proof’?

AB: To over-simplify what is a complex equation of social, philosophical and economic issues: in theory, ‘Yes’, but within current realities? It’s a ‘No’. The methodology behind ‘tutor-proofing’ relies on keeping question formats in a state of constant evolution in order to limit the effect of coaching. But what’s been misunderstood is that children can in fact learn the skillset of being flexible of mind, so they’re not phased by unfamiliar questions or presentation.

HF: Are you saying it’s possible to teach children to be academic?

AB: It’s certainly possible to help them become good at approaching new questions and problems, and a lot more adaptive to educational testing. What tutors, parents and children need to know is that it’s not a case of being Einstein: the real advantage is developing the mental agility to approach any subject from any angle. Obviously pupils still need to gain knowledge, but really it’s this acquired skillset that is the key to exam success. This approach underpins the BOFA system and we’ve seen it help pupils to flourish. It also sets pupils up with a brilliant life-skill too – to become good at learning anything.

HF: As context for those who don’t know, what is BOFA?

AB: BOFA is ‘bespoke, online, formative assessment’. It delivers automated teaching support that’s entirely personalised, and filtered to be time-efficient.

HF: What do you see as the future of the 11-plus exam?

AB: There will always be schools that select by ability. The concept of a ‘tutor-proof’ exam was a well-intentioned initiative. However, the unintended consequences have meant that it’s become a confusing branding tool and has also heated up the market in extra tuition, which in some cases has widened the gap between state and independent pupils. Within a complex two-tier education system we know things will never be even. Part of my company ethos is to make support available at a cost that’s accessible. That’s always been very important to me.


Tutors registered with The Tutor Pages can trial BOFA11plus.com free for 30 days if they book by 31 December 2014. Contact BOFA on 0800 9553011 or at enquiries@planetbofa.com. There’s no financial tie-in to registering with BOFA.

One Response to “Can 11-plus exams ever be ‘tutor-proof’?”

Leave a Reply