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Lumen Christi Practicing Academic Apartheid‏

23 April, 2008

Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has said that Lumen Christi does not provide for parental choice but caters exclusively for academic apartheid.

Ms Anderson said,

"At the time, when Lumen Christi announced that it would introduce an academic aptitude test I made clear, not just my disappointment but also my belief that Lumen Christi was being disingenuous. The College claimed that; "the stated aim of Lumen Christi College has been, and remains, to enable children to realise their fullest academic potential". However at the time I made it clear that in pursuing a policy of academic selection rather than simply academic education then Lumen Christi was seeking to exclude many local children from accessing their educational provision.

"In his interview on Radio Foyle (Tuesday 22nd April 08) the principal Mr. Pat O'Doherty, said the school was determined to go ahead with its plans and that "For us the most important single thing is the primacy of parental choice." However the reality is that Lumen Christi in setting its own academic aptitude test and basing its admissions on such results means that primacy is being given to selection by the school rather than parental choice.

"The reality is that Lumen Christi wants to retain an elitist establishment despite the voice of the Catholic Bishops having made it abundantly clear that they believe that academic selection is no longer tenable on educational or ethical grounds.

"The Minister of Education has made it clear that any school pursing academic selection is leaving itself open to serious legal challenges. No one wants to see Lumen Christi facing legal challenges or bills which could threaten the very survival of the school. In light of that concern there is a particular responsibility on the Trustees to heed the advice offered by the Catholic Bishops." ENDS

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