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O'Dowd welcomes UTU support for end to academic selection

22 March, 2010 - by John O'Dowd

Sinn Féin MLA John O’Dowd has stated that the support from the Ulster Teachers Union for the abolition of the Eleven Plus highlights an increasing demand from teachers for the ending of any type of academic selection

Mr O’Dowd said,

“I welcome the fact that the Ulster Teachers Unions has passed a motion at their annual conference calling for the end to the process of selection/rejection. The Ulster Teachers Union is the latest in a line of educationalists that have called for the ending of academic selection.

“In the past few weeks we have seen the Irish National Teachers Organisation, The Catholic Principals Association and the Catholic Bishops calling for the end of this unjust and educationally unsound practice..

“ A number of grammar schools have recently indicated their intention to end the practice of picking and choosing the children they want to teach..It is time that those remaining schools who still insist on erecting entrance barriers started to listen to their peers who are totally opposed to this outdated practice.

“The Unions have also endorsed the new curriculum and teachers need to be given the space and flexibility to implement and teach that curriculum. I would also call on those politicians who are sitting in trenches or on the fence to accept that the landscape has changed and to work with the Minister in her efforts to bring equality and academic excellence to all of our children. CRÍOCH

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