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Room for compromise on the transfer test is obvious... let's just do it

Gareth Brown


There's a time for playing political games, but this isn't it

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Divisive: NI politicians have struggled to come to consensus on the transfer tests

Divisive: NI politicians have struggled to come to consensus on the transfer tests

Divisive: NI politicians have struggled to come to consensus on the transfer tests

Why do we always do this in Northern Ireland? We allow what is the relatively straightforward issue glaring us in the face to get dragged into a much bigger ideological stooshie. And the inevitable result of introducing unnecessary politics, dripping in decades of mistrust, grudges and prejudices, into an issue that requires immediate action? Nothing.

As we enter another week, when children across Northern Ireland don't know whether or not they will be sitting an exam that has characterised the last two years of their education, it is worth being clear about the problem we are trying to solve.

At 10 and 11 years of age, children in Northern Ireland transfer from primary to secondary school. The manner within which we have chosen for them to do so for many schools is on the basis of academic performance as assessed by a test.


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