“just another stake in a game of sectarian poker..”

UUP leader Reg Empey is predicting an autumn summit to try to address the issues bundled together with the one issue he has identified as being at the core of the Northern Ireland Executive power vacuum. Meanwhile, as the metaphorical tumbleweed blows through Stormont, in the Irish News Patrick Murphy is particularly critical of the bundling of education into that “package deal”.

Education is only one of a number of topics on which the DUP and Sinn Fein disagree. But while policing, justice and the future architecture of Long Kesh are important, they do not rank with education in terms of the long-term impact on individuals, families and society. These other contentious issues have existing administrative systems. The political argument is about if and when change should be introduced.

The problem with education is that the existing system of academic selection has apparently been abolished but no-one knows what will replace it, when or in which schools. Had a replacement model been agreed before the 11-plus was scrapped, the two parties’ abstentionist policy at Stormont would merely cause delay and not utter confusion. If education was the only outstanding issue, there is a chance that it could be resolved on educational principles. But since it is now only one of a number of contentious topics, it has become just another stake in a game of sectarian poker.

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  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    Please! Is this guy new or deliberately disingenuous?

    The Education Industry has ALWAYS been a part of the sectarian game which is why there is a university in the bustling -and as events this week have demonstrated for the umpteenth time broadminded and liberal – seat of learning that is Coleraine.

    It was sectarianism which led many working class Protestant families to neglect the importance of education because they had jobs to walk into at Sirrocco, Shorts H&W;and of course the extremely lucrative “security” industry.How else to explain the perennial underachievement of Protestant pupils in Protestant schools which perenially appear at the bottom of school league tables with many pupils being unable to read and write even as they leave school at 16.

    Nationalists have long since valued education for its own sake and as a way of by-passing the sectarian ceiling that existed and continues to exist in Northern Ireland. That’s why Queens is viewed as nationalist now with its irish signs and all that while many protestant students head off to Scotch universities.

    He has a point about its fate being bundled up in a package of issues when it should be separate and above issues such as where Norn Iron will be failing to qualify for major tournaments from. That is very wrong but it is not a new phenomenon.

    As with all else here, it’s fate will be closely connected to other developments. And the real crisis in education is that it may now start to mess up the career prospects of – the horror – middle class kids and their precious birth right, a grammar school place.

    Oh and predictably shocking layout of the article by the Irish News online ‘team’.

  • kensei

    I’m uncomfortable with simply labeling this, and all the other issues as “sectarian poker”. It suggests that there is no real substantive differences between the parties, and the differences are essential there for pure sectional advantage or to piss off the other side. There are elements of that, obviously, but there are substantial differences of opinion within the executive. Education is one of those areas, and it can get quite ill tempered on here without reference to community or religion or the like. There are more dimensions than simply the sectarian one, and it is lazy to suggets otherwise.

    Neither side wants to move, because they think the other side is seriously damaging the future prospects of children. They want as much as possible of their preferred scenario. In that case, it is entirely naturally it gets bundled with other issues in an attempt to get some leverage.

  • “That’s why Queens is viewed as nationalist now”

    Perhaps it needs to apply a Patton-style 50/50 intake for local students …

    PS Do you not appreciate the team’s 2-for-1 offer, Billie-Joe? 🙂

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    “PS Do you not appreciate the team’s 2-for-1 offer, Billie-Joe? :)”
    Heh! they should get ace reporter Marie-Louise McCrory on it. She has a first class degree, you know. And she doesn’t spell words incorrectly, oh no. What we previously considered typos were, in fact, our fabulously intelligent writer (journo is too demeaning a term) being “ironic”.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    Presumably Wee Reggie is speaking with some insider knowledge on this which is probably timed for DUP movement on police and justice after all the marching up and down is completed in the marching up and down season and the Fermanagh by-election is out of the way.

    Pete,

    of course this backs up your compelling long-running theory that SF alone are in serious difficulties over Police and Justice. It must be, that all the other parties share your analysis, and such is their concern for the difficulties SF are in that they are going to agree to a special get together to help them out.

  • cynic

    “The Education Industry has ALWAYS been a part of the sectarian game which is why there is a university in the bustling -and as events this week have demonstrated for the umpteenth time broadminded and liberal – seat of learning that is Coleraine.”

    …didn’t they have centres in Derry and Enniskillen too?

    Anyway…wasn’t the result of the consultation on education remarkably non-sectarian i.e. wasn’t there a majority vote by parents on both sides against the abolition of grammars?

    So who then decided to make it a sectarian political issue? Well SF decided to press ahead with party dogma and the DUP decided to use that as a net to ensnare them. Both have been moderately successful in this. SF have got rid of the 11+ but the DUP have stiffed the Shinners next stage reform, Catriona Ruane is hung up like a fish gasping for air and the DUP are trumpeting this (rightly perhaps) as an example of how they can deal with Republicans (as opposed to those weak willed UUP members who let them walk all over them)

    Great politics.

    Oh, i forgot. Did someone mention children? education? Never mind! What’s a generation or two between enemies

  • cynic

    “And the real crisis in education is that it may now start to mess up the career prospects of – the horror – middle class kids and their precious birth right, a grammar school place.”

    …. so what will the burgeoning Catholic middle class do….I am sure that, just a generation away from all that oppression, they will hold to Socialist Principles and support a comprehensive system over the Grammars……. yeah…..right

  • Hogan

    Why don’t we just fuck Stormont and the inconvenience of governing all year round?

    All it takes is beligerence and one meeting in No.10 per year!

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    “o what will the burgeoning Catholic middle class do….I am sure that, just a generation away from all that oppression, they will hold to Socialist Principles and support a comprehensive system over the Grammars……. yeah…..right”

    *sighs* Interesting that you thought I was only talking about Protestant middle class parents and pupils. I’m sensing that you’re not as cynical as you seem to think you are.

    GYAC On this issue class is a major factor and may in many instances trump religion. That’s why about 35 per cent of Methodist college is Catholic and many middle class and aspiring catholic families send their kids to such schools. Do keep up.

  • Essentialist

    billie-Joe Remarkable,
    Since you are up to speed on this class-ridden AND sectarian education issue please give your explaination for the conflicted position of the Catholic Church on academic selection and grammar schools in relation to (a) Catholics attending non-Catholic grammars such as MCB, BRA etc. and (b) integrated schools. Are such pupils and parents less Catholic for leaving the flock?

    What differs in Catholic education here that explains the fact Catholic schools (funded by the State) are 99%+ Catholic (the exceptions are due to local availability of grammar school or the avoidance of closure due to low enrolment) while in England such schools have 35%+ non-Catholic enrolment?

    To explain the sectarian nature of education politics (which most politicans don’t understand) it requires only a look at the community background of the educationalists and the key players to understand the move towards education chaos. The School of Education at QUB is stuffed full of “conflict resolutionists” most of whom have never taught in a classroom. The former head of CCEA and now head of the Education and Skills Authority (ESA) was an accountant and similarly never taught a day in his life. These people are not elected and therefore less likely to be held to account for their decision making and failures.

    It is indeed children who pay the price. The former headmaster of MCB should be asked to explain his role in the “enriched curriculum” project imposed on the working class children of the Shankill. The available published evidence (available through the School of Psychology at QUB and CCEA) clearly shows that the children subject to the experiment were worse off after participation. It is interesting that the control group were mainly CCMS schools. There is no possible connection between the “enriched curriculum” experiment and the £45 million given to MCB to rebuild. Or the fact that the former head is a key player in the Northern Ireland Teaching Council

    Putting the education system in the hands of the unaccountable and the unelected is exactly the objective of those wishing to impose comprehensive constructivist education upon an unaccepting public. They claim to speak for parents and children when nothing could be further from reality.
    There can be no compromise on parental rights in education unlike the “Folks on the Hill” who must compromise on everything in order to keep the farce on stage.

    The public are being tee’d up for another fudge. I suspect it will end in tears for many.

  • Ken it’s the cross-party, cross-community concern over education that is the exact reason why it shouldn’t form part of any negotiation package.

    It just highlights an expectation that at least one side is willing to compromise an issue as important as education to get/block an Irish Language Act or some other means of scoring party points.

  • kensei

    beano

    Ken it’s the cross-party, cross-community concern over education that is the exact reason why it shouldn’t form part of any negotiation package.

    You present a politician, particularly ones as addicted to negotiation as ours with the chance to secure some leverage and your hand will be gone before you’ve even realised they’ve started biting. And you know, they are probably right. I just have a nagging sense that if you don’t like it, you should probably be out hugging a tree, or something.

    It just highlights an expectation that at least one side is willing to compromise an issue as important as education to get/block an Irish Language Act or some other means of scoring party points.

    I’d guess both sides. But honestly, it isn’t a bad thing. Neither side wants to back down, and indeed have backed themselves into a corner over it. If the choice between an ILA or getting education a bit more to their liking is what it takes for the parties to assess exactly what it is they want, and how far they are prepared to move, then who cares what the catalyst is, exactly?

    The alternative is more fucking about. We might end up with that anyway, but at least this might have a shot. Wishing things worked different isn’t really a solution, and big committee consensual results don’t have a particularly good track record, really.

  • Essentialist

    Kensei,

    Your willingness to equate education to some sort of poker chip to be gambled with by a group of political addicts and their advisors suggests you underestimate the importance of education to most people.

  • Democratic

    “Protestant pupils in Protestant schools which perenially appear at the bottom of school league tables with many pupils being unable to read and write even as they leave school at 16.”
    I’m surprised that no-one had picked you up on this “remarkable” statement Billie-Joe – how many illiterate young Prods kicking around today are enough to call “many” in comparison to the overall Pupil profile numbers – your post would infer that you reckon its a sizeable percentage – I personally just think you are talking bollocks….

  • kensei

    Essentialist

    Your willingness to equate education to some sort of poker chip to be gambled with by a group of political addicts and their advisors suggests you underestimate the importance of education to most people.

    The bottom line remains: if using it as a “poker chip” acts as a catalyst to get the parties to properly assess their positions, it’s a good thing. There has to be agreement, or else nothing is done. That’s how we roll here. Moaning about won’t actually produce much.

    Of course, you’d probably prefer nothing be done, partly because it would allow a significant section of schools to continue with your preferred choice, and partly because it means you can continue to pontificate on it to all and sundry. People are concerned about education, and a big fuck off vacuum is certainly going to seriously concern them, but I’d guess that most people will give whatever agreed way forward is produced a chance. And it is hardly going to be presented as a result of a bunfight, sectarian or otherwise. Comprehensive education, after all was put through and accepted in England and Wales without taking down a government. Of course, there will be a vocal minority that won’t shut the fuck up about bringing back the 11+.

  • barnshee

    “Protestant pupils in Protestant schools which perenially appear at the bottom of school league tables with many pupils being unable to read and write even as they leave school at 16.”
    I’m surprised that no-one had picked you up on this “remarkable” statement Billie-Joe – how many illiterate young Prods kicking around today are enough to call “many” in comparison to the overall Pupil profile numbers – your post would infer that you reckon its a sizeable percentage – I personally just think you are talking bollocks…. ”

    Well sort of bollocks– pupils of whatever religion leaving the secondary (non grammar) section are together at the bottom of the league tables. Understandable really, they don`t want to go to school their behaviour is, well challenging is the euphemism used and teachers don`t want to teach them. Nobody else wants them. Their behaviour drags down anyone who just might want to work.

    Falling rolls will cause problems when they arrive in numbers in other schools. (I hear on the grapevine that an Co antrim catholic GS has refused to amalgamate with a nearby catholic secondary)

    When the great experiment fails I hope the politicans responsible are drummed from office and banned from politics

  • Essentialist

    Well well sensei it appears that you don’t take well to confrontation . Would it suit you better if we just left the politicans without accountability in the same way the education civil servants and education establisment have been?

    The facts of the matter are clear. A bunch of politicos and their pals in the superannuated-socialist public service, unions and education establishment decided that selection must go. They shoved this idea down the public’s throat for years and at great expense without convincing anyone that they were correct. You repeat the same worn out message of comprehensivisation as a solution while ignoring the evidence to the contrary.

    You can have your poxy approach – just don’t impose it upon the rest of us.
    If you have a better solution than the 11 plus I’m all ears……

    BTW the vocal minority you refer to are in fact the hypocrites imposing the failed system on the rest of us. The majority of parents from all communities want to retain selection and a choice of schools. Now how about your 11-plus replacement?

    Even David Ford has the sense to tell the bullies and nihilists to get lost.

  • kensei

    Essentialist

    Well well sensei it appears that you don’t take well to confrontation . Would it suit you better if we just left the politicans without accountability in the same way the education civil servants and education establisment have been?

    By all means call them to account. I haven’t seen anything from you, however, than assertion and pontificating.

    The facts of the matter are clear. A bunch of politicos and their pals in the superannuated-socialist public service, unions and education establishment decided that selection must go. They shoved this idea down the public’s throat for years and at great expense without convincing anyone that they were correct. You repeat the same worn out message of comprehensivisation as a solution while ignoring the evidence to the contrary.

    Actually, I didn’t repeat anything as a solution. I merely acknowledge the political facts on the ground: the 11+ has been abolished, and we are in a nasty impasse. Agreement on the way forward can only be found by the major parties in government. I don’t particularly care how they manage it.

    If you have a better solution than the 11 plus I’m all ears……

    Actually, you are not. “The facts of the matter are clear….”. You have entirely made your mind up.

    BTW the vocal minority you refer to are in fact the hypocrites imposing the failed system on the rest of us. The majority of parents from all communities want to retain selection and a choice of schools. Now how about your 11-plus replacement?

    Actually, IRC there was support for abolishing the 11+ but not academic selection. That position encompasses a wide range of attitudes. And popularity is not a sufficient argument in itself.

    I don’t have a replacement. I’m sceptical of the 11+ because it fails a lot of people, and the 2best education system in the world” claim should be treated with the contempt it deserves. But I’m open to proposal and do recognise there has to be one, give the political reality.

    Even David Ford has the sense to tell the bullies and nihilists to get lost.

    Yeah, that’s swung me. Alliance agree with you :rolleyes:

  • Essentialist

    The public sentiment was for a change to the CURRENT 11-plus. Re-read the question. I was one of those who said yes believing that improvement on an easy test was possible. (improving the facility scores and other technical changes) The devil is always in the detail.

    It interests me that the contributors on this site opposed to academic selection and grammar schools studiously avoid commenting on the detail.

    Take one example. Lets look at who is “failed” by the 11-plus. First it is a voluntary test for a place in a grammar school. The 32% who do not enter can be presumed to have made a choice for secondary education. (ignoring the possibility that middle class teachers have a role in suggesting non-entry on the basis of “stress” etc).

    42% of pupils in Northern Ireland attend grammars.

    That leaves 26% denied a place in a grammar. One in four. If grammars are so bad cough up the evidence whereever you can find it that shows that comps can touch them.

    Even the Alliance Party’s favourite the “integrated school” can’t come close despite using academic selection to determine admission.

    The proposers of the change are responsible for the detail of the solution my role is to evaluate and critique.

    The ideological issue: equality of opportunity versus equality of outcome will answer the question on education. Which side are you on Kensei? You can’t have it both ways unlike the educationalists.

  • Essentialist

    “Of course, there will be a vocal minority that won’t shut the fuck up about bringing back the 11+.”

    It hasn’t gone away you know.

  • kensei

    The public sentiment was for a change to the CURRENT 11-plus. Re-read the question. I was one of those who said yes believing that improvement on an easy test was possible. (improving the facility scores and other technical changes) The devil is always in the detail.

    The question on WHAT type of academic to selection and WHEN to run the test are open questions. What the public wants cannot be gleaned by the survey. We can’t assume, for example, that “make the test harder” is actually the answer people want. You are assuming again.

    Take one example. Lets look at who is “failed” by the 11-plus. First it is a voluntary test for a place in a grammar school. The 32% who do not enter can be presumed to have made a choice for secondary education. (ignoring the possibility that middle class teachers have a role in suggesting non-entry on the basis of “stress” etc).

    Christ, that’s such a sucky assumption. The situation creates the choice. Out of the 32%, you are seriously saying they all want secondary education or are incapable of doing it? Balls. There are a number of reasons you could postulate, and I’d guess a couple could be poor parenting and poverty of ambition. Governemnt should be compensating for that as best it can. If you were keeping the test it should be made compulsory.

    That leaves 26% denied a place in a grammar. One in four. If grammars are so bad cough up the evidence whereever you can find it that shows that comps can touch them.

    I’ll ignore the comedy of your mathematics, and just go with Who said grammars are bad?

    The ideological issue: equality of opportunity versus equality of outcome will answer the question on education. Which side are you on Kensei? You can’t have it both ways unlike the educationalists.

    I must have missed where you just pronounced and made the choice reality. Finland have a comprehensive system for primary and secondary schools. Check their outcomes.

    In any case, what I think or you think doesn’t matter. The political reality is the options are 1.. Find some agreed system 2. Chaos. SF control one half of the mutual veto. Their only potential replacement, the SDLP also support abolishing the 11+. It’s toast. Shouting at me really will not help with that.

  • Essentialist

    Kensei
    It is you who are shouting. We have an agreed system – the current one! Those imposing change want no choice – one size fits all is their solution.

    However all political careers end in failure. It seems that on the education issue a host of careers may end up on the end of sharp sticks. Your easy link to nationalist party and Catholic church antipathy towards selection and grammar schools must be contrasted to the support from parents and their children. Don’t you find it inconvenient that there has been no fall off in entrants for the 11 plus? Keep working on your solution. Option 2 is on the cards.

    Glad to see that you would like the 11-plus made compulsory. See what happens if you really try. Please don’t repeat all that OECD PISA nonsense. I’ve examined in detail: the evidence tossed out by Gallagher, Smith, Burns, Costello etc and make a few observations on Finland. Every pupil gets a free hot school meal so there are no FSM comparators and when is it exactly that pupils transfer? Thats right they don’t start school untill 7 and remain in the same school until 16. Frankly it smacks of desperation when educationalists cite far off jurisdictions as their solution.
    There can be no compromise between arsonist and firefighter.

    Unlike you I believe that what I think does matter. I also belive in the usefulness of scientific evidence to guide decision making. There have been enough problems caused by blind faith and laziness. Poverty of aspiration and poor parenting are not problems caused by the children. It is society’s job to give those children a chance. The education system must provide an opportunity to escape poverty not cement them into it.

  • kensei

    It is you who are shouting. We have an agreed system – the current one! Those imposing change want no choice – one size fits all is their solution.

    Nope, I’m not. Two of the major parties here want change: the system is not “agreed”. One of them holds the relevant ministry and half the mutual veto. There is going to be change, one way or t’other. The 11+ is going, the decision is already made. I’m really not shouting, just telling it like it is.

    Don’t you find it inconvenient that there has been no fall off in entrants for the 11 plus? Keep working on your solution. Option 2 is on the cards.

    People will play the system they have to their best advantage. Good luck to them and I would not expect drop offs. That is not the same as it necessarily being a good thing.

    Again, I am not working on any solution. I simply hope the politicians are. Option 2 does not currently look like a good option, and looks like it could fail a lot of kids.

    Please don’t repeat all that OECD PISA nonsense.

    I know, I know, it undermines your point. God help the facts get in the way.

    I’ve examined in detail: the evidence tossed out by Gallagher, Smith, Burns, Costello etc and make a few observations on Finland. Every pupil gets a free hot school meal so there are no FSM comparators and when is it exactly that pupils transfer? Thats right they don’t start school untill 7 and remain in the same school until 16.

    Maybe we should be starting kids at, giving free hot meals and keeping kids in the same school until 16 then?

    Frankly it smacks of desperation when educationalists cite far off jurisdictions as their solution.

    Actually, it makes perfect sense. We should be looking around the world and building our system on best practice from experience. What possible benefit is there being inbred?

    Unlike you I believe that what I think does matter.

    I noticed.

    I also belive in the usefulness of scientific evidence to guide decision making.

    But don’t, for heaven’s sake, look at what other countries do? You’re on a wind up, right?

    The education system must provide an opportunity to escape poverty not cement them into it.

    Yeah, and mom and apple pie are good. Newsflash: People tend to disagree about how to achieve that.

  • cynic

    “Interesting that you thought I was only talking about Protestant middle class parents and pupils.”

    Billie Joe

    I didn’t.

    My cynical point was that perhaps 25 years ago this was an issue clearly split on religious lines but the huge growth of the catholic middle class has changed the equation.

    Also, will those who, a generation ago, were perhaps the most fervent supporters of change now still be if they think it will disadvantage their kids?

  • Essentialist

    If the Finnish education model is so attractive perhaps it should be borne in mind that the country is largely Protestant. Interesting that Protestant leaders in Northern Ireland are not shouting for an introduction of the Finnish model. The Catholic Church have led the charge for change describing it as a Catholic model or should that be catholic?

    Please Sir can we have the relic of our education system back?
    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=7049

    Note the comment under the post.

  • Essentialist

    For those left in any doubt about the Conservative Cameroon/ Ulster Unionist link up and their combined education policy
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7540590.stm
    Notice not a word about grammar schools.
    The pro-academic selection constituency are being prepped for a sell out.

  • Essentialist

    Kensei,

    Reluctant as I am to wrestle with pigs your citation and emphasis on PISA via the Finland reference must be placed in context. The comprehensivists thought that PISA would provide all the answers they didn’t have and of course the nodding donkeys lined up to follow them.
    Take this example from the latest PISA results. How come you’re not chattering on about New Zealand – at least they speak the same language. What about Slovenia?

    ” On average across OECD countries, 1.3% of 15-year-olds reached Level 6 of the PISA 2006 science scale, the highest proficiency level. These students could consistently identify, explain and apply scientific knowledge, and knowledge about science, in a variety of complex life situations. In New Zealand and Finland this figure was at least 3.9%, three times the OECD average. In the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and Canada, as well as the partner countries/economies Liechtenstein, Slovenia and Hong Kong-China, between 2 and 3% reached Level 6.”

    In case you werent aware science has been dropped in the new transfer test since there is inconsistency in teaching in primary schools.

  • Glencoppagagh

    Essentialist
    “If grammars are so bad cough up the evidence whereever you can find it that shows that comps can touch them.”

    When GCSE and A level results come out make a point of comparing comprehensive Cookstown HS’s performance with neighbouring grammars. Going on previous form it should provide enough evidence for you.

  • kensei

    Essentialist

    Take this example from the latest PISA results. How come you’re not chattering on about New Zealand – at least they speak the same language. What about Slovenia?

    You asked for example of a successful comprehensive system, so I gave one. You could also cite South Korea, or Canada, both of which appear high up the education league tables. The systems are different again and have a split of public and private schooling.

    I am not the one coming from an ideological position. We need to develop our own system. What works for Finland or South Korea might not necessarily work for us, but there are clearly lessons from them we can apply. Perhaps we should be providing free school meals and a constant environment. Perhaps starting off children on a foreign language at a much younger age as they do in South Korea is a good idea. I suspect policies and ideas like this are ultimately more important than how kids are divided at 11.

  • ggn

    Kensei,

    “Perhaps starting off children on a foreign language at a much younger age as they do in South Korea is a good idea.”

    I agree wholeheartedly. The DUP are opposed however.

    http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/Ruane-39blinded-by-prejudice39.3744317.jp

    ‘Blinded by prejudice’? indeed.

  • Essentialist

    Perhaps the DUP are opposed since they have finally waken up to the fact that numeracy and literacy in the primary language is not taught effectively in primary schools, particularly in controlled schools. Instead of confronting this well documented and lamentable problem the local educationalists have condoned a play-based curriculum.

    Anyone can list alternative provision examples but the effectiveness of the Northern Ireland education has been identified as weak in the primary sector. Instead of addressing this by employing effective proven methods such as direct instruction teaching and synthetic phonics the DENI introduce a “revised curriculum” on the advice of CCEA and the schools of education.

    The shift has been from subject based teaching to themes-based, from objective assessment to pupil and teacher self-assessment.

    Glencoppagagh

    Your citation of Cookstown HS demonstrates the entirely anecdotal method used by “pseudo-educationalists” in attempts to sell comprehensives. Exactly how is the comparison to be made? Am I to compare number of GCSEs taken, the subjects studied, so-called GCSE equivlalents, the grades achieved (including failing grades), the socioeconomic background of the pupils, the competency of the teachers,the transfer test grades at 11……..

    The attempts to suggest that secondary schools academic performance can be compared to grammars is nonsense.

    If pupils attend so-called comprehensives with a transfer test grade one must ask why they were entered for the 11-plus? Remember the voluntary test is for those seeking a place in a grammar school.

    What is the difference in marks between a C2 and a D? Indeed what is the difference in marks between an A and a D? Thesec are the issues that should have been addressed by CCEA but weren’t. Instead we are left in chaos.

    The 11-plus may have been written out of the legislation. The straightforward answer to the “problem” is to re-introduce it and give its management to an exams body other than CCEA.

    Now there’s a grade A proposal