“but with no political agreement..”

Last weekend more than 7000 primary school pupils sat one version of the new privatised post-primary transfer test, this weekend, as the BBC reports, “about 6,700 took a different test aimed mainly at those seeking places in Catholic grammars.” And with the Education Bill suspended by the Minister and area-based planning awol, the education system is clearly in the very safest of hands… [Time for another campaign? – Ed]

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  • PACE Parent

    Let everyone be in no doubt about the genesis and existence of the GL Assessment tests. They are a direct consequence of the naked sectarianism of the Catholic Church and the weakness of grammar school heads in standing up to the GBA. The Church has hardly an exemplary record in the field of child protection issues but quickly rejected the AQE Common Entrance Assessment tests developed once it became clear that there was no possibility of the Minister delivering their preferred option of ending academic selection outright. Rather than risk losing pupils to the non-Catholic schools they paid for the GL Assessment to prepare a multiple choice question paper. To sweeten the deal they offered the tests “free” and a “consortium” was cobbled together including integrated schools to give some appearance of solidarity. Nothing in life and particularly in education is free. GL Assessment are linked to NFER which was used to prepare the 11-plus for CCEA. The con game played by the Minister and the Catholic authorities is dispicable and underhand. It is they who are responsible for the requirement of five tests in order to deliver parental choice of school. The real crunch will come when the issue of which test is the more valid and reliable has to be answered. The Parental Alliance for Choice in Education have warned about the endemic lack of accountability in the education sector. How many more instances of failure will be permitted before the Jokes on the Hill call time on the entire exercise?
    The Permanent Secretary, Will Haire is leaving his post and the replacement already lined up. When will the Minister and her coterie of press officers make the announcement?

  • PACE Parent

    Still no interest from all the media types on Slugger? What’s wrong? Are all the investigative reporters on holiday?
    One phone call to the DENI will put us right on the Permanent Secretary claim. Drop a dime.