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Record numbers to sit the AQE's assessment

Record numbers to sit the AQE's assessment

A record 8,700 registrations for this year's assessment has been received by the AQE the Belfast Telegraph has reported.

The AQE's 34 member schools provide only 8,100 places for primary seven pupils to sit the exam, so an overspill of 600 has meant some children will sit the exam at South Eastern Regional College (SERC) in Lisburn.
Stephen Connolly, AQE's joint chief executive, called it an "unprecedentedly high figure" and he could well understand why some parents could have been "disconcerted" by the arrangements.

Last year, overspill arrangements meant some children had to travel 20 miles away to sit the tests in a different school. "We were faced with a small number of parents who did not feel able to accept a place in a school so far away, although the majority did so without protest," Mr Connolly said. "The situation was resolved when, making extraordinary efforts, schools in the required proximity released some additional spaces."
Mr Connolly said the arrangements for an overflow centre with SERC were made to minimise inconvenience in the Lisburn area as the high popularity of the Lisburn schools meant the available spaces for assessments filled up quickly.

Mr Connolly concluded: "In other words, while our wish is always to place any child in the centre of his or her choice, the scale of the registration has prevented us from doing that.
"Our member schools do the very best they can, but their resources in rooms and staffing are not limitless and AQE has to achieve the best solution it can in those circumstances."

Full Article
Belfast Telegraph