Outgoing Minister’s failure to act on transfer unacceptable, says Lyttle

Chris Lyttle Education

The outgoing Education Minister’s failure to act on post-primary transfer is unacceptable, Alliance Education spokesperson Chris Lyttle MLA has said.

Over 23,000 children received news this past weekend regarding their post primary school placement, which followed a number of grammar schools announcing they would not be using transfer test for admissions after they were cancelled due to the pandemic. However, 280 children still remain without a place.

“We have been warning of these potential outcomes for some children for over a year, which further expose an unfair and unnecessary system that causes inequity and trauma for children every year,” said Mr Lyttle.

“The failure of the outgoing Education Minister to intervene in any way in the process this year and enforce a common contingency criteria for schools – as called for by the Assembly and the Education Committee in November – has resulted in the use of uncoordinated and non-recommended criteria, which has undoubtedly contributed to this outcome for some children.

“The Department of Education and all relevant authorities must work together with the utmost urgency to meet the needs of all unplaced children and the incoming Education Minister must establish a common contingency criteria to ensure more children are not subjected to this flawed approach, should transfer tests not be possible in the next school year.

“I am seeking an urgent meeting with the Department of Education and will do all I can to help unplaced children in whatever limited way I can at this late stage.”