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Heads welcome 11-plus axe plans

13-12-2007

Belfast Telegraph

Plans to axe the 11-plus and replace it with a system led by pupil choice was welcomed today by the Association of Headteachers of Secondary Schools.

The chair of AHTSS, Uel McCrea, said the Association is particularly pleased at the Minister's strong stance in relation to both the ending of the current transfer tests and academic selection at age 11.

On Tuesday, Caitriona Ruane told the Assembly the 11-plus will be axed next year and all children subsequently transferring into the post primary sector will go through a system where they make their own educational choice at 14 - without academic selection.

"Our association, which is made up of headteachers from controlled and maintained post-primary schools, sees this initial statement as imaginative," Mr McCrea said.

"It sets out the relevant parameters for shaping an educational system geared for the 21st century, with the endorsing of the Revised Curriculum, the restating of the importance of the Entitlement Framework and one which takes account of the needs of the economy in a global context."

In particular, Mr McCrea congratulated the Minister for placing the emphasis on the needs of the children rather than the needs of the educational institutions.

"The vision offers all of us the opportunity at a local level of shaping the educational arrangements and the structures which best suit the children we serve," he continued.

"Members of the association looked forward to engaging with others in this exciting process. We will work for the very best educational opportunity and provision for all children in Northern Ireland, regardless of their intellectual ability or social background. The Minister's statement is an important and historical step in the right direction."

 

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