Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Pat Sheehan has welcomed the decision by St Mary’s Grammar School in West Belfast to cancel transfer tests this autumn.
Speaking following the announcement the West Belfast MLA said:
“I want to commend the leadership within St Mary’s Grammar School who have acted early and decisively in cancelling the use of unregulated entrance exams this autumn.
“They are recognizing the ‘unprecedented mental and emotional stresses’ faced by our children and young people due to the pandemic.
“This is a welcome move and I hope other schools will put the needs of children first and follow suit.
“In the absence of leadership from the Minister of Education on this issue it’s heartening to now see schools having these conversations and looking at alternative ways to proceed with post primary transfer in the midst of this public health pandemic.
“Cancelling the tests now would save children from months of anxiety and stress.
“Schools should be offered the full support of the Department of Education in looking at alternatives to academic selection in order to prevent a repeat of this year’s transfer test saga.”