Sinn Féin MP for North Belfast John Finucane has called on schools in Belfast to suspend academic selection transfer tests for the upcoming school year.
The North Belfast MP said:
“Across the North many schools have shown leadership and taken the decision to suspend academic selection transfer tests for the upcoming school year.
“This decision has been taking in the best interests of the young pupils.
“I am calling on schools in Belfast to end their silence on the issue of academic selection and to give parents clarity.
“It is my firm view that these unregulated tests should be suspended.
“No child or parent should have the additional worry of these exams as schools struggle to return to a new normal.
“Academic selection is wrong, unnecessary and places pressure on young children.
“There is growing evidence that academic selection has a detrimental impact on the development of young pupils.
“The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Equality Commission, Human Rights Commission, Children’s Commissioner, OECD, the trade union movement and the Catholic Church hierarchy have all called for an end to academic selection.
“The focus of local schools should be preparing teachers and pupils for a return to school when it is safe to do so.”