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Education Minister criticises plans for breakaway selection test

19 March, 2008


Sinn Féin Education Minister Caitríona Ruane has criticised plans from Lumen Christi College for an academic aptitude test.

The Minister said:

"The education system in the North is in urgent need of progressive reform. There are people opposed to change, people who do not believe in equality and people who do not support social justice. I will not be deflected from my aim of giving every child and young person a fair chance of achieving their fullest potential in education. Doing nothing is not an option. Change must happen and will happen.

"At a time when I am working with the representatives of the entire post-primary sector to build consensus on new arrangements, it is disappointing that an individual school sets out to frustrate much needed reforms designed to benefit all our young people.

"Results from the existing Transfer Test are appealed by 1 in 15 of those who sit the test. That is around 1,100 every year.

"The Board of Governors of Lumen Christi should be in no doubt the Department of Education will not fund, facilitate or in any way support a breakaway entrance exam. Any school opting for this route should have full knowledge of the risks involved, including the potential for multiple appeals and litigation aimed at overturning what are bound to be highly contentious admission decisions." ENDS

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