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Lumen Christi announcement

19 March, 2008


Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Martina Anderson has said that the announcement by Lumen Christi that it will introduce an academic aptitude test is not only disappointing but is also disingenuous.

Ms Anderson said:

"The announcement by Lumen Christi that it will introduce an academic aptitude test is not only disappointing but is also disingenuous. In its statement Lumen Christi said, "the stated aim of Lumen Christi College has been, and remains, to enable children to realise their fullest academic potential". However in deciding to retain academic selection rather than simply academic education Lumen Christi is seeking to exclude many local children from accessing their educational provision.

"We need to remember that Lumen Christi is located within an area of multiple deprivation where poverty, unemployment, ill health and low educational achievement are rife. It is also a fact that a child on free school meals has less than half the chance of admission to a grammar school enjoyed by all other children. So the simple reality is that the decision made by the Board of Governors at Lumen Christi is to heap further inequalities on local children and families.

"I hope that the Board of Governors will reflect on the decision that they have made, particularly on the Catholic ethos that the school purports to adhere to and in doing so bear in minds the words of Bishop Donal McKeown writing on the anniversary of Edmund Rice, when he said, 'There is a need for excellence for all. But unless our system advantages the disadvantaged - rather than further advantaging the already advantaged - then it is not a system worthy of a Christian country'." ENDS

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