Time for all-party talks to resolve transfer crisis now – Lunn

Alliance Education Spokesperson Trevor Lunn MLA has said that progress on scrapping academic selection has been depressingly slow and he has called for urgent all party talks on the issue.

Trevor Lunn MLA: “It is deeply depressing to hear Caitriona Ruane’s comments on transfer. There has been no compromise and little progress on creating a better system. This is not the Minister’s fault – the blame must also lie with the DUP and UCUNF who have failed to be constructive. The unregulated tests that children face are fraught with difficulty.

“What has changed for children here? There’s still selection for those who wish to take part. Now, however, that selection process is chaotic and will greatly favour those who can afford private tuition. How can this halfway house be called a fairer system?

“Largely the rest of the world has moved on from selection without obvious reductions in academic standards, yet once again a section of the Northern Ireland establishment are determined to maintain an outdated system. Are these few schools right and most of the rest of the world wrong? What are grammar schools afraid of? Why should they oppose a wider cross-section of pupils when they already admit through the 11-plus system large numbers who would not have qualified in the past?

“We need swift progress towards a system of informed choice as opposed to selection. I am issuing a call for all parties talks now to hammer out a fair way forward.”


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