Temporary maintenance of selection only way out of chaos

Alliance Education Spokesperson Trevor Lunn has said academic selection by examination will now have to be maintained for at least two further years, to avoid the education system falling into chaos. He announced the proposal following consultation with primary school principals.

The Lagan Valley MLA stated: “There is now complete consternation among parents, teachers and pupils as to what system will be used to select children for all secondary and grammar schools. This chaotic situation has been brought on by an incompetent and divided Executive which has failed even to come close to agreement on the way forward.

“The Alliance Party would rather academic selection examinations were not part of our education system. We maintain our view that a non-selective process at age 14, close to that which operates under the Dickson Plan represents the way forward. However, selection is preferable to leaving the situation entirely unregulated. The idea of confronting parents with multiple confusing options will only work against those whom the Minister claims to want to help.

“The only possible outcome is the maintenance of something close to the current system of academic selection, for a short period, pending the delivery of proper education policy. We see a test set centrally by CCEA and based on the revised curriculum as a suitable vehicle. This will provide an opportunity for all parties to step back from the present confrontation and try to move forward through agreement.”


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