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Call for temporary transfer test

An official post-primary school transfer test should be used for Northern Ireland schoolchildren as a temporary solution to the stand-off between Sinn Fein and the other parties, according to a cross-party group of assembly members.

The four-party team said it would be recommending an authorised test until a permanent way forward is agreed.

There have been months of wrangling between Sinn Fein education minister Caitriona Ruane, who wants to abolish selection, and some schools and parents, who want to retain it.

Independent exams have been organised by two organisations of schools.

A spokesman for the assembly members said: “We are of the opinion that using a CCEA (Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment) test is the most suitable way to alleviate the chaos until a permanent solution can be agreed.”

They have created an educators group, co-chaired by |former head of St Joseph's College in Belfast Michelle Markem and Paul Hewitt, former head of Royal School Dungannon, to consider solutions.

The spokesman added: “The educator group has also discussed this and have come to the same conclusion.”

The results of one of the two transfer tests in Northern Ireland have been released.

The Post-Primary Transfer Consortium, which mainly consists of Catholic schools, said that out of 6,500 entrants, 3,000 were awarded A grades.

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