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Ruane marks the beginning of a new era for post-primary transfer

7 February, 2009

Sinn Féin Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, has commented that, as the last ever 11 plus results were delivered to homes across the north, a new era in education is beginning.

The Minister said:

"I want to congratulate all children, regardless of whether or not they did the 11 plus, for their hard work at school. I also commend the enthusiasm and dedication of all our teaching staff, school staff and parents.

"I would like to say to all children receiving their 11 plus results, you are making history, you were the last to take this test, you were the last ones to sit anxiously awaiting a grade which determines the school you will go to. While some will be celebrating achieving the results they had wanted, many of our children may be disappointed. This is why I am glad this is the last year such letters will be dropping through letter boxes.

"As Education Minister I am responsible for all our children. That is why I am engaged in a process of change within the Education system. The sole aim of this change is to build on the successes which exist in our current system while addressing the very serious inequalities and weaknesses which also exist. Weaknesses such as declining school numbers and the 12,000 young people per year who leave school without adequate numeracy and literacy skills. This is why the resolution of the issue of post-primary transfer is part of a much wider debate.

"In relation to the post-primary admissions process, in 2010 there will be no test provided by my Department. I have issued Transfer 2010 guidance to all schools which clearly sets out how children can transfer to post-primary school without the need for academic selection. Transfer 2010 represents an opportunity to spare all children the ordeal of assessment for the purposes of admission and help end the inequalities in our current system." ENDS

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