Alliance welcomes scrapping of 11 plus but says plan lacks any detail

Alliance Education Spokesperson Trevor Lunn has backed today’s decision by Education Minster Caitríona Ruane to scrap the 11-plus. He did however say that the plans are lacking in substance and that the timeframe may put massive pressure on local schools. The Minister announced in the Assembly today that the transfer test will be done away with from next year.

The Lagan Valley MLA stated: “I am glad to see that the Minister Caitríona Ruane has taken the decision to scrap the 11-plus.

“This will stop many our young people from being branded failures at eleven. It will end this form of social exclusion and it will ensure that our young people can better fulfil their potential.

“This decision is however long overdue and our education system has not been helped by this delay. It is evident that she made her mind up some time ago. It’s a pity she did not implement the decision then, because there is now massive pressure on our schools to meet this very tight 2010 timeframe.

“This announcement is also very short on substance and it is essential that the Minister provides much more detail on this matter.

“For instance, her statement implies that funding may be withdrawn from grammar schools that choose to implement their own independent admission arrangements. She refused to confirm whether this means only funding of the costs of these arrangements or wider funding.

“There will be opposition to this move, but I hope that those against this decision will think about the whole picture and not provide any knee-jerk reaction.

“I hope her decision will give young people more choice about their career path. Our young people need fairness on their future and this move should go some way to delivering it.”


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