EDUCATION: THE PEOPLE SPEAK: IRISH MIRROR SAVE OUR GRAMMAR SCHOOLS: 99 PER CENT SAY DON'T SCRAP THE GRAMMARS: THE PARENTS; Irish Mirror Poll Urges 11-Plus Axe and the Chop for McGuinness

The Mirror (London, England), October 9, 2002 | Go to article overview

EDUCATION: THE PEOPLE SPEAK: IRISH MIRROR SAVE OUR GRAMMAR SCHOOLS: 99 PER CENT SAY DON'T SCRAP THE GRAMMARS: THE PARENTS; Irish Mirror Poll Urges 11-Plus Axe and the Chop for McGuinness


Byline: ing team JILLY BEATTIE, STEPHANIE BUSARI, TINA CALDER and ZOE WATSON

SEVENTY-seven per cent of people in Northern Ireland agree with Martin McGuinness's plans to scrap the 11-plus, according to an exclusive Daily Mirror poll.

But 99 per cent of respondents want the country's grammar schools to be retained.

We conducted a county-by-county telephone poll of 1,000 households.

We asked:

DO you have children or grandchildren at school age?

IS Northern Ireland's education system a success or a failure ?

SHOULD the 11-plus be scrapped?

SHOULD grammar school education be retained?

WOULD integrated education be a viable alternative?

DO you support Martin McGuinness as Minister for Education?

The results made startling reading.

From Tyrone to Derry to Down, concerned parents demanded that the 11-plus be axed.

An incredible 92 per cent of respondents said Northern Ireland's education system is a success but most agreed that the transfer system needed to be changed.

And although only one per cent of people said they wanted the grammar school system to be scrapped, 93 per cent said they supported integrated education whose admission policy is not based on academic standards.

In Co Fermanagh, only 52 per cent of people said they would give Mr McGuinness their backing as Minister for Education. Forty-eight per cent said they wanted him removed.

A father-of-one said: "I cannot support him as an Education Minister because of his past in the IRA and with the recent Stormont scandal."

On integrated education, 81 per cent of respondents described it as a positive alternative.

One mother-of-three said: "It's a good idea. We're all flesh and blood. I would have liked to have had Catholic friends when I was growing up. It's important for children to mix from a young age but it's up to the parents."

In Derry, 79 per cent of respondents said they wanted to see grammar schools retained.

One grandmother of six said: "I'm all for grammar education - you get the impression that not sending your kids to them is depriving them of something."

And on integrated education, where 56 per cent of people said they would support more integrated colleges, one mum said: "I'm all for them but realise that they won't be a part of education here as many areas won't embrace them because the main Churches - both Protestant and Catholic - oppose them. …

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EDUCATION: THE PEOPLE SPEAK: IRISH MIRROR SAVE OUR GRAMMAR SCHOOLS: 99 PER CENT SAY DON'T SCRAP THE GRAMMARS: THE PARENTS; Irish Mirror Poll Urges 11-Plus Axe and the Chop for McGuinness
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