General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

 


Transfer test applications begin

18-05-2009

BBC News

Grammar schools in Northern Ireland have opened registration for the new unregulated entrance exams to replace the 11-plus.

Although the two sets of tests will have different styles and content, the organisations running them have agreed on a joint timetable.

Both have begun taking applications, with a closing date of 18 September.

Usually about 15,000 pupils sit the official test, but it's not known how this new system will affect numbers.

Pupils will receive their results in the first week of next February.

Some parents are likely to enter their children for both types of exam, but the fee of £35 being charged by one group, the Association for Quality Education (AQE), may put some people off.

The AQE says pupils receiving free school meals will not be charged but they admit that some hard-up families entitled to that benefit do not claim it.

The Post-Primary Transfer Consortium, which is made up mostly of Catholic grammar schools, will not charge a fee to parents.

Both organisations say their tests are based on English and Maths being taught in primary schools and say no coaching should be needed.

However, many primary schools are already running extra lessons for pupils who will be sitting the tests in November and December.

Application forms can be downloaded from school websites, requested by post or collected on grammar school open nights.

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