Magazine article Public Finance

Ministers Will Review School Selection in NI

Magazine article Public Finance

Ministers Will Review School Selection in NI

Article excerpt

The row over school selection in Northern Ireland is to be resolved at a meeting of Executive ministers, Finance Minister Peter Robinson has told Public Finance in an exclusive interview.

Ministers have publicly argued for months over selection policy for secondary schools. Martin McGuinness announced the abolition of the 1 1-plus when he was education minister in 2002. The decision was confirmed by direct rule ministers, and Education Minister Caitriona Ruane has said that the last exam will be held this year.

But no decision has been taken on next year's replacement, or whether a selective education system will be retained. Grammar schools have lobbied hard for their retention and for continued academic selection, threatening to set their own admission tests.

'I think the [education] minister has recognised that the decision can't be taken within the department and has to be taken by the Executive,' said Robinson. …

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