Essex education officials have promised that an urgent enquiry will be launched after a study of 10,000 county schoolchildren showed that 84% of them didn’t know the plural form of the word ‘goose.’

When presented with the multiple choice question shortly before this year’s summer holidays, 84% of all children believed that the answer was ‘cat,’ with a further 10% saying ‘parrot.’

The Essex County Standardised Standards Testing Test is an annual study where 10,000 children are given a paper with a single question on it – the chosen poser is designed to provide an overall idea of a child’s general capability to communicate in English. 

Pat Daniels is head of linguistic standards testing at Essex County Council, and he told Southend News Network that he was ‘appalled.’

He added: ‘It is clear that we still have a large amount of work to do so that our children can be brought into line with the rest of the UK. Urgent measures will be taken at the start of the new term to ensure that primary and secondary school teachers are teaching the syllabus properly.’

‘This will include issuing farmyard animal flash cards to all children under the age of 16, with languages variations available for non-native speakers.’

In a further development, The Westcliff and Chalkwell Jewish Free School has been placed into special measures by Ofsted over an ‘unacceptable answer’ that was given by a nine-year-old pupil during the spoken maths test. 

According to an inside source, a card was held up with the number ‘100’ on it, and the pupil was asked ‘What’s 10%?’

The pupil allegedly replied: ‘You’re right sir. What’s 10%?’ while throwing his hands in the air.