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Our schools need to agree on one single test for all

I think the headline 'Parents back test system the minister wants to axe' (News, Jan 5) is misleading. Parents may back grammar school education but not necessarily the "test system", though unfortunately that is the only way to access most grammar schools. Last year my eldest child picked two post-primary schools he would like to attend; one accepted the GL test and the other the AQE. This required him to sit five one-hour tests. No parent I spoke two supported that system.

I wrote to the Education Minister and committee asking is the present system of five hours of tests, at a strange school, on four Saturday mornings and having to pay for the "privilege" better than the old 11-plus where a child did the test at their own school on a Friday morning? The minister accepted that enforcement of his policy of non-academic selection required legislative change, but that there was no agreement for this. I could only conclude that he was content to let the present system continue. The reply from the committee was more worrying, stating that it did not expect "the core issues that you have raised will be substantially addressed".

Do we really need a 'Protestant test' and a 'Catholic test'?

Both sectors should come together and agree on one test.


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