The new primary school year has seen an old topic return, academic selection, and the Belfast Telegraph today has a round-up of the critics of the Education Minister Caitríona Ruane – who’s been accused of “dragging her feet on this issue.” The critics aren’t solely focussed on the minister though, the INTO yesterday directed their criticism at the pro-grammar school lobby, the Association for Quality Education, who held a meeting last night after claiming that 40 grammar schools are prepared to introduce their own replacement academic selection test should the Assembly fail to agree an alternative to the 11-plus which is due to be abolished in 2008 – a possibility that Slugger readers were alerted to some time ago.. although some didn’t seem to be paying attention.. ANYhoo.. The spokesman for the Minister is quoted in the Telegraph article
“The Minister wanted the first few months to talk to as many people as possible about the issue. Her view on this is that she wants to take her time and make the right decision rather than be rushed and make the wrong decision.”
Although the minister has previously sounded less undecided..
“I don’t believe that academic selection is the way forward for our society. I think it has created a tail of disadvantage in our system and has failed many of our children.”
It’s not an issue that can be delayed for long.