Testing is the interim solution to 11-plus chaos say talks group

The four-party 11-plus talks group has said that a CCEA test should be used in the interim period before a permanent way is agreed to alleviate the post-primary transfer problem, and the group is taking their recommendation to the Stormont Executive. The Alliance Party, SDLP, DUP and UUP are all taking part in the talks and they created an educators group, co-chaired by former Head of St Joseph’s College in Belfast, Michelle Marken and Paul Hewitt, former Head of Royal School Dungannon, to look at solutions to the crisis.

A spokesperson for the cross-party talks group said: “We are of the firm opinion that using a CCEA test is the most suitable way to alleviate the transfer chaos until a permanent solution can be agreed. The Educator group has also discussed this and have come to the same conclusion that this is the best option in the interim period.

“While parties have differing opinions on whether testing should continue or not in the longer-term, all four are united in wanting to use an interim CCEA-based test to alleviate the current transfer crisis.

“The four parties are now going to take this recommendation to the Executive with a view to ending the problems facing parents, teachers and, most importantly, children here.

“Both groups will continue to meet in parallel to look at all options and build consensus on the best approach in the longer-term.”

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