Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Response to Bishop Hegarty’s statement on the Lumen Christi Entrance Exam

1 April, 2008

Sinn Féin Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, welcomed Bishop Hegarty's statement, which criticised Lumen Christi College for their plans to introduce an entrance test.

The Minister said:

"I am working to build an education system that will give every child a fair chance of achieving their full potential. Whilst some are opposed to this change, the majority of educationalists realise the need for a more equitable system tailored to the needs of today's world.

"I fully agree with Bishop Hegarty that the current transfer procedure amounts to a form of social selection. At a time when we are working together to provide a better future for our children, I find it disappointing that some would wish to maintain the socially divisive transfer test and try to frustrate a much needed process of reform.

"Schools considering a breakaway entrance exam should also be aware of the considerable legal and financial risks they may face if they decide to proceed. There is the potential for multiple appeals and litigation aimed at overturning admissions decisions. I have made clear that the Department of Education will not fund or support any such entrance exam.

"The Bishop rightly talks of this being a moment of opportunity. I would hope that all within the education system will work with me in the interests of social justice and academic excellence to create an educational system fit for all our children. Change needs to happen and it is going to happen." ENDS

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