'NO NEED FOR TRANSFER TESTSí
Tuesday, 27 August 2013
CRITICS of grammar school entrance exams say record results for High Schools in this year's A-levels and GCSEs prove "beyond doubt" that there is no need for academic selection at the age of 11.
St Paul's High School principal Oliver Mooney and Kevin Scally, principal at St Joseph's High School in Crossmaglen, reiterated their opposition to academic selection after their respective schools recorded record results this summer.
While the 11+ examination was binned in 2008, some grammar schools have continued to set entrance exams for post-primary pupils.
But Mr Mooney said improving results each year at High Schools prove there is no longer any need for any form of selection to ensure academic success.
He said: "We are extremely pleased to have achieved outstanding (GCSE) results as this can only mean that more students than ever from the school can go on to advance their studies on courses of their choice.
“It is worth noting that the vast majority of these students have spent the last five years in a non-academically selective, co-educational environment and have shown beyond doubt that there is no need to academically select children at age 11 to ensure their success in public examinations."
Mr Scally also attacked the system after 90 per cent of all students at the south Armagh high school received five or more GCSE A*-C grades.
He said: "Once again all-ability schools, such as St Joseph's, prove that all young people can achieve success without recourse to unregulated academic selection at age 11."
In June last year the Abbey Grammar in Newry backed calls by Catholic bishops to phase out academic selection at the age of 11 and pledged to admit at least one in four pupils without having to sit the Post Primary Transfer Consortium's GL Assessment test.
However, most grammar schools in Newry and Mourne continue to deploy transfer tests.
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