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Parents warned over deadline for transfer test

By Kathryn Torney

Any parent wanting to register their child for this year’s school entrance exams will have to do so before Friday, it was warned today.

A spokesman for the Post Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC) — which represents 34 schools mainly within the Catholic grammar sector — said that they expected the number of pupils signing up for this year’s tests to remain close to last year.

Last year a total of 13,700 registrations were received for the tests set by the Association for Quality Education (AQE) and the PPTC.

AQE, which represents state grammars, has already received over 6,000 applications.

Every day this week, the Belfast Telegraph is giving away free practice paper booklets.

However, a PPTC spokesman said he was concerned that parents may not be as aware this year of the registration deadline — which is the same for both testing systems.

He said: “Last year, precisely because it was the first time for the entrance assessments provided by the post-primary schools, there was a much heightened awareness of Transfer 2010.

“This year, in contrast, there has been relatively little coverage, presumably because the process ran smoothly and successfully, and because the natural apprehensions and anxieties of parents and other interested parties had been addressed.”

He added: “All schools using the entrance assessment as part of their admissions process for Transfer 2011 are only too well aware of the dangers of complacency and we are using the experience to refine our approach.

“That low media profile of Transfer, however, whilst it may be taken as ‘good news’ in one sense, means that some parents may not be as aware as they would have been at this time last year, of the fast-approaching registration deadline of 4pm this Friday.

“Schools have been active: advertisements have been placed in the three Northern Ireland daily newspapers on two occasions; individual schools or groups of schools also placed advertisements in local papers.

“Primary school principals have been informed and many post-primary schools ran information sessions for parents during the summer term.

“Registration forms and guidance are available from the schools on request, or they can be downloaded from each school’s website.”

This year’s GL Assessment test day — for PPTC schools — will take place on November 20.

The AQE test days are November 13, November 27 and December 4. For more information on the AQE tests, go to www.aqe.org.uk.

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