Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

O’Dowd urged to introduce single transfer test

The Ulster Unionists have called on the Education Minister “take a step back” from the transfer test controversy and implement a single agreed test for a period of two years.

At the weekend, 6,874 Year 7 pupils sat the first of three CEA papers, followed next week by 6,991 taking two GL Assessments in English and maths.

The final two CEA tests will take place on November 24 and December 1.

For parents who opt to put their children through both unregulated exams their child will have to sit five papers over the next four weekends.

Ulster Unionist education spokesman Danny Kinahan said Education Minister John O’Dowd was “presiding over an educational shambles for parents and children”.

“Unfortunately John O’Dowd and Sinn Fein aren’t listening to anyone outside their own dogma and ideology, and with little regard for the impact on children and parents,” he said. “There needs to be a negotiated solution.”

Sinn Fein snubbed all-party talks in 2009, which broke down the next year.

Mr Kinahan accused Sinn Fein of dictating to others for too long. “It’s time that they started listening,” he said.

“John O’Dowd needs to take a step back and take up our recommendation for the introduction of a single agreed test for a period of two years. This will give time and space for all those involved to reach some common ground whilst at the same time ending the current fiasco.”

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