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Northern Ireland Transfer Test News

Northern Ireland Transfer Test News

An all-time high of 13,865 primary school pupils are set to take either the transfer tests in Northern Ireland over the coming weeks.
That means around 64% of all Year 7 pupils will be sitting the Common Entrance Assessment (CEA) and the GL Assessment tests over the coming weeks.

The unregulated tests, now in their fourth year, are used by Northern Ireland’s 68 grammar schools to admit around 9,000 Year 8 pupils.

Yesterday the Catholic Bishops of Northern Ireland attended a conference at St Genevieve's High School in Belfast to present their recommendations on the future of Catholic grammar schools.

The Bishops called on the Northern Ireland Assembly to urgently agree on a "better system of transfer" to post-primary schools.

In their statement, the Catholic bishops said: "We support the desire of all parents for schools that will help their children achieve academic excellence.

Transfer Test Post Delivered

The Department of Education has been criticised for moving the delivery of the P7 pupils post-primary placement letters from a Saturday to a Tuesday.

In previous years the letters arrived on a Saturday which give parents the weekend to help their children come to terms with any disappointment. This was changed, when last year a significant amount of letters didn't arrive in the Saturday post. As it was a bank holiday weekend, it was Tuesday before any late letters arrived or Education & Library Boards were contactable.

The Belfast Telegraph has reported that Primary Schools that prepare pupils for unregulated transfer tests are unlikely to face disciplinary action.

The threat of being hauled before a Curriculum Complaints Tribunal — and being reported to the Department of Education by inspectors — has been hanging over the heads of Northern Ireland’s 800 primary schools. But it has emerged that no school has ever been brought before a Curriculum Complaints Tribunal since it was enshrined in law 20 years ago.

More than half of the post-primary schools in the North Eastern Education and Library Board (NEELB) area could close because of financial pressures.

A document for the North Eastern Education Board, leaked to the Ballymena Guardian suggests cutting secondary schools from 49 down to 20.

However, an education board spokesman stressed the leaked document was a draft. The spokesman said final decisions were up to the minister.

Northern Ireland Transfer Test Results Arrive

Letters containing results are to arrive today (Saturday 4th February).

In order to cover any cases where the CEA results letters do not arrive, the AQE Office will be open for telephone callers seeking results on Saturday afternoon 4th February from 2.00 p.m. until 5.00 p.m. Phone: (028) 90753746

We currently do not have any information on what to do if the PPTC GL results fail to arrive.
If anyone has any information or contact details, could they please post them in the forums.

A Catholic grammar school was responsible for a “serious security breach” of post-primary entrance papers sat by primary seven children, a Department of Education independent investigation found.

Education Minister John O’Dowd said yesterday: “The investigation concluded that, while there had been a breach of post-test security, there was no evidence that any child had either been advantaged or disadvantaged by this breach.

“The investigation concluded, however, that the potential for a serious breach had been demonstrated and still exists.”

Results of an investigation into an alleged breach of security on transfer tests are to be revealed the BBC has reported.

The issue was raised by principals of Catholic secondary and primary schools.

They claim some pupils had an unfair advantage because they had seen the 2009 transfer paper before the 2010 test.

Education Minister John O'Dowd had delayed revealing the outcome until all this year's transfer tests had been completed.

More than two-thirds of grammar schools in Northern Ireland this year admitted pupils who achieved bottom grades in unregulated transfer tests, the Belfast Telegraph has revealed.

Of 64 grammar schools, 44 (69%) accepted pupils with grades C and D in the GL Assessment and quintiles four and five in the AQE tests this September.

BBC News reported today that the AQE & PPTC are to hold talks to establish a single exam.

DUP education spokesman Mervyn Storey said his party wanted the process streamlined.

"The legal position is very clear, the 2006 order which the DUP negotiated has made it legally permissible for schools that wish to use academic criteria for transfer tests," he said.

"I am very clear that there needs to be discussion between the two organisations that have organised the tests."

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