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Minister needs to represent all children on Eleven Plus - McElduff

14 September, 2016 - by Barry McElduff

Sinn Féin MLA Barry McElduff has welcomed a decision by the Assembly Education Committee to invite the minister to appear before it to explain his recent decision on transfer test coaching.

The party’s Education spokesperson and chair of the Education Committee said:

“I welcome the decision of the Education Committee to invite the minister to come before it.

“We want him to give us an explanation for his recent decision to reverse Department of Education policy and allow primary school teachers to use up valuable class time to coach some pupils towards transfer tests.

“Sinn Féin is not alone in its opposition to this move.

“Churches, unions, school principals, teachers and parents have all expressed their deep concern regarding the decision to allow teachers to coach pupils for transfer tests.

“The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Children report criticised transfer tests and a report by OFM/DFM linked academic selection to inequality and underachievement.

“In the Committee today, DUP MLA Maurice Morrow let the cat out of the bag when he said that Education Minster Peter Weir was fulfilling party manifesto commitments when he took the decision.

"I would remind the minister that he represents all our children, not just those whose parents have put them forward for transfer tests.

"In truth, I believe the minister needs to place much greater emphasis on addressing underachievement." 

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