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»A mother who has battled her way through the education system to get her daughter into a secondary school was so traumatised by the experience that she has written a guide book for other parents.

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Aylia Fox described the process of getting her daughter through the 11-Plus as “hell... confusing, complicated and so competitive”.

Her book focuses on 10 local grammar schools including Dartford.

Ms Fox, from Greenwich, said: “In the battle for grammar school places it’s war and your enemy is your child’s best friend’s mum.”

She says The 11-Step Guide to the 11+ Maze, is a practical guide telling hopeful parents in Dartford, Bromley and Bexley, “what to do, when to do it, how to do it and most importantly how to keep sane”.

Ms Fox said: “There was plenty of gossiping at the school gates to pick up handy hints but I felt there was no book on the local level that could help you.”

She hired a tutor to go over the verbal and non-verbal reasoning skills required, and gradually became as obsessed as the other parents she met.

“You vow you are not going to get drawn into it but inevitably you do because you want them to do the best they can,” she said.

“I looked at 10 schools in a ten-mile radius from where I live in Greenwich. I looked at the 10 schools in a 10-mile radius from where I live.

“They are all brilliant and have a really high standard of education.”

Her daughter, Sienna, 11, ended up winning a scholarship to private school Colfe’s in Greenwich but she helped her mum out by writing a chapter from the child’s perspective.

“She said it was a nightmare. I didn’t meet one child who liked doing it, but it is a fact of life for them.”

The 11-Step Guide to the 11+ Maze (£9.99) is available at bookshops in Eltham, Greenwich and Bexleyheath, online at hansib-books.com or by calling 020 8319 2843.

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