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Sinn Féin Respond to Transfer 2010 Consultation

28 April, 2009 - by John O'Dowd

Sinn Féin Education spokesperson John O’ Dowd speaking at the close of the public consultation into Transfer 2010 has  outlined Sinn Fein’s response to the consultation process.

Mr O' Dowd said;

“ Sinn Féin shares the disappointment of others that in May 2008 some Executive Ministers failed to discuss in a mature and informed manner the proposals brought forward by the Minister of Education  for a regulated Transfer system.

“In the absence of a willingness to even discuss a regulated system by some of the Executive parties, the issuing of guidance was a necessary measure to ensure that transfer 2010 could proceed in an organised manner.”

Commenting on plans by some school Boards of Governors to set their own tests , Mr O’ Dowd said;

“Those Grammar schools  Boards of Governors who have announced that it is their intention to set their own, unregulated, legally precarious test are attempting to continue a system of exclusion rather inclusion and should, in the interests of an new beginning to education, abandon their bid to replace the 11+.

“The Boards of Governors in the schools who continue with such tests should be made fully aware not only of their social responsibility but also their legal responsibility in setting tests which will in many instances exclude children from a publicly funded service.

“Sinn Féin has called for, in its response to the Consultation, a full public disclosure to be made of  those ‘private donors’ who are funding tests, which will mean access being denied or granted to publicly funded  services.

“Parents, teachers and the taxpayer in general have the right to know who is funding the tests and why.”

Concluding Mr O’ Dowd said the final points within our submission relate to the role of primary schools within a joined up education service;

“Post primary school Boards of Governors should not be allowed to influence primary schools to teach to a test. Much has been heard in the media about some parents wishing their child taught to a test,  however many parents do not want their child put through such an unfair system. No child’s education should be disrupted to allow a certain number of pupils to be taught to a test. All children should be taught to the Revised Curriculum without exception.”

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