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Northern Ireland primary school children to receive transfer test results

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Education Minister Peter Weir. Photo by Kelvin Boyes  / Press Eye.

Education Minister Peter Weir. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Education Minister Peter Weir. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

The Education Minister Peter Weir has sent his wishes to the thousands of children set to receive their transfer test results on Saturday.

It is more than a decade since the 11-plus was abolished - but unofficial transfer tests are still growing in popularity in Northern Ireland.

Over half of P7 pupils sit tests each year in the hope of getting a place at an academically selective grammar school.

Grammar schools in Northern Ireland use either the Common Entrance Assessment (CEA) set by the Association for Quality Education (AQE) or multiple-choice papers set by GL Assessment, however many children sit both.

This means some children will sit five exams over four Saturday's.

DUP Education Minister Weir is a supporter of academic selection. In his last tenure as minister before the collapse of power sharing he overturned a decision by his Sinn Fein predecessor which prevented schools preparing pupils for the unregulated tests.

The minister said: “I want to wish all those children waiting for results the very best of luck. I understand that this can be an anxious time, particularly for those children who do not receive the results they were expecting.

“We are fortunate in Northern Ireland to have so many excellent post-primary schools, both grammar and non-grammar, which are offering fantastic opportunities and are providing excellent pathways for our young people."

Parents are now in the process of nominating post-primary schools for their children. Mr Weir issued a reminder to parents of the important steps they can take to ensure their children are placed successfully.

“Parents can play a vital role in ensuring their child secures a place during the admissions process," he said.

"This includes reading schools’ admissions criteria carefully and nominating a minimum of four schools on their child’s transfer form, at least one of which should be a non-grammar school. By doing this they can maximise their child’s opportunity of securing a place at a school of their preference and of not remaining unplaced at the end of the process.”

Last year, such was demand for places, hundreds of additional places were created for schools.

Minister Weir added: “Securing placement for your child in your preferred location and sector after the conclusion of the process can be challenging.

"No child can be guaranteed a place at a particular school. That is why I would urge all parents to nominate sufficient and realistic preferences on their child’s application form.”

On Friday 24 January, the Belfast Telegraph will reveal the lowest grades or scores it took to get into each selective grammar last September.

Leona O'Neill has compiled the at-a-glance guide which is a must-read for every parent. It comes on the eve of pupils receiving their transfer test grades and scores this Saturday.

Read last year's list here: NI Transfer Tests: 2018 schools’ intake and grade information

Belfast Telegraph