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Ruane welcomes Commission review on post-primary education

1 March, 2010 - by Caitríona Ruane

Education Minister Caitríona Ruane has reiterated her party’s outright opposition to any form of selection. In welcoming the consultation launched today by the Commission on Catholic Education on post-primary education she also noted the questions raised by the First Minister Peter Robinson around high stakes testing of 11 year olds. The Minister said;
“The landscape is changing. The consultation on post-primary education from the Commission on Catholic Education comes at an appropriate time in the academic year. We have just had the unregulated tests results published by schools which persisted in setting entrance barriers and parents have just finished choosing the post-primary school they want for their children this year.
“This review supports the previous statements from the Catholic Bishops regarding the ending of academic selection. While it offers a number of possible options in each area, the unifying factor is that Catholic education should no longer regard the selection and rejection of 11 year old children as an acceptable form of education.
The Minister also welcomed the fact that the Commission’s consultation takes into account the full range of education policies including the need for area-based planning, sustainable schools and the Entitlement Framework.
“Parents will also be reassured that the high educational standards found in Catholic schools will not in any way be reduced in a non-selective system. The quality of teaching and leadership in our schools determines how their children progress, not the narrow definition of the type of school.
“Through its work, the Commission offers a clear way ahead for Catholic schools and this should also be of interest to all sectors of education.”
“This review opens the door for grammar schools to move away from the use of academic selection. I and my officials are available to begin discussions to assist schools through any transition period whilst ensuring that they continue to be centres of educational excellence in partnership with their fellow educationalist across the primary and post primary sectors.” CRÍOCH

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