SDLP Children and Young People Spokesperson Cara Hunter has said new research from Queen’s University (QUB) reinforces the need to end academic selection in the North.
The research found that academic selection perpetuates divisions and disadvantages children from certain backgrounds.
Ms Hunter said there was already more than enough evidence to justify ending academic selection once and for all.
East Derry MLA Ms Hunter said:
“The SDLP has spent years campaigning for an end to academic selection and this latest research from QUB underscores the harmful impact it has both on our society and our young people. Given the societal issues we are still dealing with on a daily basis as we emerge from our past, we need to be focusing on what brings our young people together and allows them to learn in a situation that best meets their needs.
“Not only does the current system force children to undergo rigorous testing at the age of 10 and 11, but it stops many pupils, particularly those from working class backgrounds, from going on to realise their full potential. The idea that children’s abilities at such a young age should have a high influence on their futures does our young people a great disservice. Children learn and develop at different paces and we need to see allowances for that within our education system.
“The move to a single transfer test from next year is a welcome move that will reduce the pressure on pupils, parents and schools, but what we really need is a new system that provides children with a post-primary school experience that gives them the best platform to develop and grow without relying on transfer tests.”