Lyttle: Minister must outline contingency plans for primary testing

Alliance Education spokesperson Chris Lyttle MLA has said the Education Minister must outline contingency plans for post primary transfer tests

His comments come as he moved a motion on behalf of the Education committee in the Assembly, adding the safety, wellbeing and the right to an equal education must be at the centre of all action going forward.

He added: “Teachers and young people are doing what they can to deal with these challenging times, it is only right that the Education Minister steps up, provides full open and transparent information on the impact the pandemic has had, rather than obfuscating behind absence codes and percentage figures.

“Months of educational have been missed, GCSE and A-Level exams have been cancelled, moved and care given to those affected. Yet within this context the Minister sees fit to continue to put this additional pressure on ten and eleven year olds and their families. It is unacceptable.

“And this is not me speaking as an anti-grammar school campaigner – which the Minister too often seeks to misrepresent my views and my integrity on this issue – I’m speaking as someone who recognises the disruption this pandemic is causing.

“He has to listen to those who have spoken – 60 percent of parents/guardians and teachers have recorded as very or extremely concerned about the process this year. Yet it is only becoming clearer that the Minister has no alternative plan for admissions criteria.

“The safe and fair post primary transfer of children is his duty and it is not too late for him to put alternative arrangements in place to ensure this is the case this year.”