General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

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Pupils find out 11-plus results


BBC News

More than 14,000 children in Northern Ireland have been finding out what grade they achieved in the 11-plus.

Education Minister Caitríona Ruane said children were "making history", because this is the final year of the current transfer test.

With no legal obstacle, grammar schools have pledged to continue some sort of academic selection. The minister said there will be no official test in 2010.

This year, nearly 6,000 children received A grades in the test.

Cathy Brannan's son got an A grade, but she said parents were very unhappy about the future.

"They're going to have to pull their fingers out and get it sorted because the parents that I talk to are fed up with the whole situation - and that's parents right across the board from state to Catholic maintained," she said.

"We think Ms Ruane should get herself sorted and start listening and doing instead of making excuses."

A Catholic schools' working party is looking at how it can satisfy both its grammar and secondary schools.

Grammar schools want to keep a test, while secondary schools are keen to see it go.

She is sending out guidance to schools to tell them how to select children without academic tests.

This year 14,800 P7 pupils sat the exam out of 22,970 pupils eligible for the test, of those 5,913 received grade As.

The Department of Education said education and library boards had sent transfer advice booklets to parents.

Parents will be told by 29 May which post-primary school has accepted their child.

Those parents with queries about the grades can contact their child's teacher or school principal and if necessary the principal can arrange for a re-mark to be carried out by CCEA, the body responsible for setting and marking the tests.

Ms Ruane, said that as the last ever 11-plus results were delivered to Northern Ireland homes, a new era in education was beginning.

"I want to congratulate all children, regardless of whether or not they did the 11-plus, for their hard work at school. I also commend the enthusiasm and dedication of all our teaching staff, school staff and parents.

"I would like to say to all children receiving their 11 plus results, you are making history, you were the last to take this test, you were the last ones to sit anxiously awaiting a grade which determines the school you will go to.

"While some will be celebrating achieving the results they had wanted, many of our children may be disappointed. This is why I am glad this is the last year such letters will be dropping through letter boxes."


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