Parents willing to pay pound;1,500 per year

The number of children being tutored to pass the 11-plus has been fuelled by the growth in websites offering coaching for children. Prices for online tutoring differ hugely, but some parents are paying up to pound;1,500 for one-year courses.

One web-based tutoring service offers a 91-hour course costing pound;1,365 with an additional pound;285 for materials.

Tutors offer contradictory advice about the suitability of courses as preparation for the 11-plus. One website claims that working with children in Years 3 and 4 in pre 11-plus type courses gradually prepares them for the mindset and techniques involved in the examination.

But the website suggests that it is never too late to prepare your child for the tests. It says: "There are many resources available explaining with clarity how to tackle verbal and non-verbal reasoning and so helping in understanding what is required in an exam.

"What is important is not to place too much emphasis on passing as this will only panic both you and your child, consequently making himher nervous for the exam, and it has been shown that this is when the most marks are lost."

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