Dept of Education advice to P7 pupils

The BBC reports that the NI Department of Education has produced a leaflet for P7 pupils and their parents.

It advises that pupils can apply to grammar schools without doing an entrance test, but it points out that in such cases, they are unlikely to get in.

Adds Departmental guide for parents available here.From the leaflet [pdf file]

There is no Transfer Test this year. Some schools, however, are choosing to operate independent Entrance Tests.

?? An Entrance Test is a test like the 11+ Test.
?? Children in their last year of primary school can, if they wish, sit Entrance Tests.
?? Post-primary schools using academic admissions criteria will use the results of these tests to determine which children to admit.

The Department of Education wishes to end academic selection. It does not support the use of Entrance Tests.

However, the Department understands that some parents will want information about Entrance Tests. The Department does not hold this information. Information on Entrance Tests is held by the schools that are using them. It is the responsibility of parents to obtain this information from these schools. In doing this, parents may fi nd the advice below helpful.

1. Does my child have to sit an Entrance Test?

No. This is a matter of choice.

?? The majority of post-primary schools (the non-grammar schools generally) will not be using Entrance Tests. So, if you are interested in your child transferring to one of these schools there will be no Entrance Test.
?? If you are interested in your child transferring to a school that will use an Entrance Test then you can choose to apply to one of these schools without your child sitting their test. You should be aware, however, that your application is unlikely to be successful.

2. Which schools will be using Entrance Tests?

If you are interested in your child transferring to:

?? A grammar school; and/or
?? One of the four schools with a recognised grammar stream – St Patrick’s College, Maghera, Holy Cross College, Strabane, Lagan College, Belfast, Slemish College, Ballymena.

then you should contact these schools NOW to see if the school will be using Entrance Tests. These schools will have closing dates for applications to sit their Entrance Tests. These closing dates may be approaching.

?? The Department is not aware of any non-grammar post-primary schools that are planning to use Entrance Tests.