Educated parents more likely to get kids custom tutoring as exam season begins

Primary school classroom (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Douglas P Perkins). (Primary school classroom (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Douglas P Perkins))

About a third of kids in group 8 score higher in their final test than the level at which their school estimated them, according to a report by the Education Inspectorate. For 13 thousand kids, about one in five students, this led to a an adjusted high school advice last year. The Inspectorate noticed that especially kids of highly educated parents end up getting a better advice as these parents are more insistent about it and are more likely to get tutors for their children, AD reports.

On March 1st kids in group 8 received advice from their school on which level they would best continue their education. This week, all of these students will take a final test. Students who perform better on the test than their school's advice can then get a reconsidered advice. 

Last year 20 percent of kids got a higher level school advice based on the results of their final test, compared to 9 percent in the 2014/15 school year. The Inspectorate is concerned that not more advices are reconsidered, especially given the fact that most kids follow the advice. "Four out of five students receive no adjustment, while the test results give rise to reconsideration. Therewith the chances of pupils are pressured."

In addition to highly educated parents being more insistent about adjusted advice, the Inspectorate also noticed that schools in cities and Islamic schools are more likely to change their advice based on a better test result. Last year a number of schools did not change any of their advices, despite at least three students receiving higher final test scores. These schools were mostly reformatory schools or small schools in rural areas. 

This week around 180 students in group 8 are taking their final tests. Schools could choose from one out of six tests, the most popular one being the Central Final Test, formerly known as the Cito test. The tests focus on students' literacy and mathematics skills.

Primary education organization PO-raad does not find the final test a reliable tool to assess at which level a student should continue his or her education. According to the organization, the six available tests got different scores for the same students. PO-raad advices parents to rather listen to the pre-test advice given by schools, as the schools had eight years to assess the students.