AQE say proposals for a single test are "not fit for purpose" | The Transfer Test
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AQE say proposals for a single test are "not fit for purpose"

AQE say proposals for a single test are "not fit for purpose"

John Mulholland, the chair of the AQE has said the PPTC backed proposals for a single test are "not fit for purpose" BBC News NI has reported.

Mr Mulholland has strongly attacked the plans in a letter to school principals and governors and raised concerns about the quality of the proposed common test and how it would be run and paid for.

He said the AQE board was not opposed to a single test but claimed they had been kept in the dark when discussions were taking place between principals representing AQE and PPTC about a joint test.
"During the two years of discussion the negotiators chose to maintain confidentiality and AQE Ltd were not appraised of developments," he said.

"Based on the very limited information available, the board are adamant that the proposal for two tests with one to count does not meet the standard which is required to combat criticism from experts who oppose the concept of academic selection."

"The three-test format is key to the current assessment and the board have been convinced this approach offers the best opportunity to children, particularly to those from less advantaged backgrounds," said Mr Mulholland.
"Advice received indicates the new arrangements could be more easily manipulated by middle class parents."

Mr Mulholland also claimed that selective schools could pay more towards running a common test.
"The current proposal takes the form of a compromise whereby entrants will be charged £20 with schools providing the balance, which could be in the region of £6,000-£7,000 and potentially considerably more," he wrote.

He was also critical of the PPTC test organisation, which had recently issued a statement in support of the common test proposals.
"Relationships with PPTC have been strained in the past and trust has been eroded by the recent leaking of details of ongoing discussions," he said.

Mr Mulholland did acknowledge that it would ultimately be for schools to decide if a common test went ahead but he said the AQE board felt it had to make its views known.
"I reiterate that our board was and is very supportive of the concept of a unified test but does not accept that it should be adopted at any price," he concluded.

Full BBC article