As it stands, the current situation brought about by the Minister will potentially create even greater inequality in educational attainment, with transferring children left to move schools in an unregulated system.
John O'Dowd’s guidance is not legally binding and every post-primary school can set their own transfer test - this is wrong and will lead to children having to set multiple, non-standardised exams. Moreover, in the event that a DUP member becomes Education Minister in the future, the guidance is likely to be subject to complete change or substitution which would only cause further chaos and concern for pupils, parents and teaching staff.
The SDLP has put forward a short-term solution to the 11+ crisis, which would provide for transfer for two years and a guaranteed end to academic selection afterwards.
Our solution would mean schools that choose to use a test would all use the same test, and for a limited time only.
We further recommend that educators be enabled to lead the way in finding a solution to be put in place in two years time, which could involve moving towards transfer at 14.
Our solution would mean no school would be able to admit all children by testing and every school must admit some children from socially deprived backgrounds.