Magazine article Public Finance

NI Grammars Call for Selection Exam

Magazine article Public Finance

NI Grammars Call for Selection Exam

Article excerpt

A row has broken out between Northern Ireland's grammar schools and the Department of Education over the future of academic selection. The last sitting of the 11 Plus exam is scheduled to take place next year, but a new system for school admissions has yet to be agreed for use from 2009.

Now the grammar schools are threatening to produce their own common entrance exam if a revised method of academic selection is not put in place quickly.

The grammar schools' preference is for some form of primary school exit test, said Sir Kenneth Bloomfield, speaking in his role as chair of a pro-grammar school lobby group, the Association for Quality Education. Bloomfield - who also chairs the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, a grammar school, and is a former head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service - told Public Finance: 'As a fallback position we favour some form of common entrance test. …

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