Our Lady’s Grammar School announce support to ‘phase out’ academic selection
Our Lady’s Grammar School in Newry has said it backs plans by the Catholic church to phase out academic selection for 11 year olds.
Our Lady’s, which is part of the Sisters of Mercy Trust, has joined the Abbey Grammar School in Newry – which Newry Times exclusively revealed last week has supported the bishop’s call – is one of the first grammar schools in the country to back the bishop’s June 21st call for a gradual phasing out of academic selection. Under Cardinal Sean Brady’s plans, Catholic grammar schools are being asked to admit at least one out of every four pupils without having to sit the Post Primary Transfer Consortium’s GL Assessment test.
Speaking on behalf of the Newry school, a spokesperson from the Sisters of Mercy Trust said in a statement, “The Sisters of Mercy, as Trustees of a number of post-primary schools in Northern Ireland, are fully supportive of the policy that academic selection at age 11 be phased out in the foreseeable future, with appropriate monitoring and evaluation of the impact of the process. We welcome the statement of the Northern Catholic Bishops setting out clearly their collective stance in relation to the ending of academic selection at this early age.”
“In our commitment to just and equitable educational provision for all children, we support the development of selection criteria that recognise the diverse expressions of intelligence beyond the purely academic. While respecting the concerns expressed by Governors of some Grammar Schools, we support the proposal that all Grammar Schools reduce academic selection from 100% to a maximum of 75% of enrollment, to take effect for the school intake in 2014, and we will offer our Governors every support to accomplish this goal.”
The spokesperson continued, “We recognise and appreciate the excellent academic and pastoral standards achieved by our Grammar Schools over many years and we are confident that they can, and will, continue to provide that high quality education, while adapting to the evolving requirements of young people in our rapidly changing world.”
“The Sisters of Mercy support the recommendations of the NICCE Post-Primary Review, Catholic Education for All, 2012, and we will co-operate with the leadership and Trustees of other Catholic schools in the implementation of its recommendations.”
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