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Education Minister sends her best wishes to all children

12 November, 2009 - by Caitríona Ruane

Education Minister Caitríona Ruane has urged children who will be sitting the first of the grammar sector’s breakaway tests to remember that regardless of the results of a test at such a young age they can still achieve their aspirations and ambitions in the years ahead.

The Minister was speaking as the first breakaway tests set by grammar schools were due to start on 14 November.

The Minister said: “This weekend eleven and ten year olds will be sitting the first of the breakaway tests set by the grammar sector. I send my best wishes to each and every child and urge them to remember that they can all achieve their ambitions and aspirations regardless of the results they obtain.

"I also wish those pupils who are not sitting a test all the best. They too have a right to a first-class education system and to every opportunity to succeed.

“Our non-selective post-primary sector offers the fullest range in educational choice and achievement and year after year produces first-class results in many areas, all achieved in the absence of selection and rejection.

“It is unfortunate that grammar schools have chosen not to follow suit with their educational partners and engage in Transfer 2010, which is the Department of Education’s policy on how children should move to post-primary schools.

“Those schools which have chosen to use breakaway tests need to be aware of the potential legal pitfalls and risks of tests being set without subjective adjudication in the admissions process.

“Equality must be at the cornerstone of our education system and Transfer 2010 offers schools the opportunity to spare children the ordeal and stress of selection at such a young age.”

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