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Lyttle: Those responsible must find a better way for P7 pupils

Alliance Education Spokesperson Chris Lyttle MLA has said a decision to postpone academic selection tests until January 2021 quashes the Education Minister’s assertion that he has no control over the testing process.

Announced on Wednesday, the move saw the Education Minister, the Association for Quality Education (AQE) and the Post Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC) join together to advise the High Court that the tests would be delayed until January 9, 2021 for one year only, with the Education Authority operating a compressed process for admissions and appeals.

Chris – also Chair of Stormont’s Education Committee, said: “My position remains that the impact of Covid-19 requires those with responsibility to find a better way to administer post primary transfer than testing of 10 year olds, preparation for which will now span the Christmas holidays.

“This delay creates more questions than answers. What is the new process and timeline the EA will follow, how will it be delivered and at what additional cost. Crucially – what arrangements will be made for P 7 pupils who miss further school time due to Covid-19.

“This intervention seems more about preserving a system than supporting children.”