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Bumper birth year is putting tried and trusted system at risk

By Rebecca Black

The letter advising east Belfast dad Adam Turkington that his six-year-old would be facing an admissions criteria to continue their education came just 48 hours after supporting another child through the AQE transfer test.

He has blasted our education system as a "mess".

Mr Turkington attended Dundela Infants' School himself, before transferring to Strandtown Primary School.

His older children also went through the system, which has operated for decades.

Now his youngest - simply by being born in a bumper year - faces uncertainty.

Children at Belmont, Dundela and Greenwood schools enrol on the understanding they will transfer to the popular Strandtown Primary School.

Entire classes generally move to Strandtown intact, ensuring that these youngsters are subjected to minimal disruption and remain with all the little friends they have already made.

Nine of these children may now be removed from that secure situation and plunged into another school next September.

Mr Turkington said the current situation was particularly frustrating because after the 2011 nursery place crisis, it should have been prepared for.

"The parents have been caught in the middle yet again," he said.

"I just feel like the entire education system is in a state of shambles."

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