Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Education - managing the transition

13 May, 2008

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson John O'Dowd MLA commenting on the leaked Ministerial proposals for Transfer between primary and post primary schools has said that the Education Minister Caitríona Ruane is setting out clear proposals about how children will transfer from primary school at age 11 when the 11+ ends this year.

"She has also set out a clear way forward that allows those current Grammar schools who request to do so a 'transitional' period, ending in 2013, to have a limited percentage of academic admission - this is designed to ensure smooth transition for children. This is similar to the system of Bilateral Schools currently operating in a small number of schools."

Mr O'Dowd said:

"The majority of children from 2010 will transfer to their post primary school on the basis on non academic criteria at 11 and make the important decisions about their futures on the basis of informed choice at 14.

"Academic selection has no place in a modern education system from 2013 all academic selection will end There is no point ignoring the reality of falling student numbers, that too many young people are leaving schools with the basic numeric and literacy skills and the need to expand access to academic and vocational excellence. These proposals are an essential part of the strategy to address these issues."

Concluding Mr O Dowd said

"I would urge everyone to read the full document carefully and for those who are opposed to academic selection to make their view heard as the pro-grammar lobby will clearly attempt to undermine the ending of academic selection and cause further confusion to parents and pupils." ENDS

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