Prod and Catholic agreement on selection – an essential short-term move

Under the circumstances of political deadlock, the report that the AQE and the Catholic grammar schools are seeking agreement on a single transfer test is surely to be welcomed. However much some might like it, integration and the abolition of selection are not going to happen any time soon, by the will of the people I guess, as well as the parties. The way ahead now is to make progress on the basis of facts and analysis rather than any kind of dogma. But unless some sense of future direction is supplied from now on, nothing more will get done. Most agree that selection for selection’s sake is not a good in itself. Many would recognise that the curriculum needs to be strengthened at the vocational end to improve performance at the long tail of the system. As a basis for discussion, detailed area plans should be drawn up by the department to implement the demographic conclusions of Bain and the curriculum range of Costello. Parents, and politicians as well as educationalists could then see for themselves what the prospects are for schools amalgamation, integration and transfers at 14, area by area, and school by school. The debate would be complex but it would throw up many creative challenges that would cut across the apparently fixed positions. Unless everyone involved argues on the basis of analysis and evidence, the deadlock will remain entrenched forever and a large minority of our children will continue to be poorly served.


Discover more from Slugger O'Toole

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Categories Uncategorised

We are reader supported. Donate to keep Slugger lit!

For over 20 years, Slugger has been an independent place for debate and new ideas. We have published over 40,000 posts and over one and a half million comments on the site. Each month we have over 70,000 readers. All this we have accomplished with only volunteers we have never had any paid staff.

Slugger does not receive any funding, and we respect our readers, so we will never run intrusive ads or sponsored posts. Instead, we are reader-supported. Help us keep Slugger independent by becoming a friend of Slugger. While we run a tight ship and no one gets paid to write, we need money to help us cover our costs.

If you like what we do, we are asking you to consider giving a monthly donation of any amount, or you can give a one-off donation. Any amount is appreciated.