Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan said today that plans to conduct unofficial transfer tests should be scrapped and alternative post-primary transfer arrangements are found.
The party’s education spokesperson was speaking after the AQE announced it intended to proceed with transfer tests next week despite concerns about the steep rise in Covid-19 cases.
Karen Mullan said:
“It is an executive priority to keep schools open but only so long as it is safe and sustainable to do so.
“The transfer test is an unofficial and unregulated exam provided by private companies. The fact that private companies will be running these tests in some of our schools raises a number of health and safety concerns.
“Private companies should not be permitted to bring large groups of children from different households and different class bubbles together during a dangerous pandemic.
“The increased level of transmissibility of the new variant of the virus is also of great concern in this context.
“It is highly irresponsible for the Minister of Education, who has a duty of care to these children, to display such a wanton disregard for public health and safety.
“I am also appealing to schools, which are insisting on the tests to cancel and put the health and safety of our children, families and community first.
“It is crucial that plans to conduct these unofficial tests are scrapped and alternative post primary transfer arrangements are found.”