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Transfer test: Five Catholic grammar schools scrap academic selection

Lakhan singh rajawat

May. 29, 2020

Five Catholic grammar schools have said they will not use transfer tests to select pupils for 2021.
The schools in County Down said they had made the move "in light of the current circumstances".
None of the five schools will use the transfer test run by the Post-Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC) set by GL Assessment this year as a result.
The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland had previously urged Catholic grammars not to use the test in 2020.
Abbey Christian Brothers' Grammar School, Our Lady's Grammar School, Sacred Heart Grammar School, and St Colman's College which are all in Newry, and St Louis Grammar School, in Kilkeel, announced the move in a letter to parents.
'Disruption'
In the joint letter, they said that they had considered the impact of school closures due to the coronavirus pandemic on the local community.
They added that they recognised "there has been disruption to the education of pupils since March 2020, including that of P6 pupils, and understand that there may be further disruption during the 2020-21 academic year".
"As a result, none of the five schools will use outcomes from GL Entrance Assessment as part of their admissions criteria for the academic year 2021-22."
Pupils applying to these schools will not be required to provide a GL Entrance Assessment result.
The five schools said the move was for one year only for pupils due to sit the transfer tests in December 2020 and enter the schools in September 2021.
They added that the decision was made after "careful consideration" and is "specific and particular to this group of five schools".
"Each school remains committed to its own ethos and academic focus on high quality teaching and learning.
"It is hoped that this decision will provide clarity in the local area for P6 pupils and their parents or carers."
Over 20 other Catholic grammar schools who use the transfer tests run by the PPTC have yet to announce if they will also change their admissions procedure for 2021.
Around 30 other grammar schools in Northern Ireland use the transfer test set by AQE to admit pupils.
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