Education, education, education…

The Catholic Church has announced it is to unilaterally review the provision of the post-primary Catholic Maintained Schools sector and, in the process, appears to be extending their previously identified ‘deadline’ of 2012 for ending [Catholic] academic selection. Recently Cardinal Sean Brady also defended “the right of children in our schools to be led and formed in authentic worship of God in the Catholic tradition”. DUP leader Peter Robinson is more exercised about the former than the latter. Meanwhile, those Catholic and state-controlled grammar schools still selecting academically are holding talks about introducing a single post-primary transfer test.

The Post-Primary Transfer Consortium and Association for Quality Education held a meeting in Belfast on Monday. The chairman of the meeting described it as a “positive” encounter. Former principal Finbarr McCallion said that there was general agreement on having a single test.

There is one other education story required to match the titular triptych…

The Irish Minister for Education, Batt O’Keeffe, has “asked the State Examinations Commission to conduct the review of Leaving Cert results and his own staff in the third level sector and the Higher Education Authority to review third level results” over concerns about ‘grade inflation’. From the RTÉ report

Previous studies have shown that the percentage of first-class honours degrees awarded by Irish universities has almost trebled in the past 15 years, while the number of straight A Leaving Certificate results is up 500%.

Although there appears to be some confusion about when the reports are due…

Brendan Guilfoyle and Simon Quinn, of the Institute of Technology Tralee, predict a whitewash.