Works starts on process to streamline academic selection

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info@newrytimes.com
Monday, November 28th, 2016
Community, Politics
Education Minister Peter Weir has announced the team of educational professionals who will seek to simplify the current transfer test process. teach2Currently some primary schoolchildren are taking up to five tests in order to secure a place at a grammar school. The Minister wants there to be a common assessment by autumn 2018. The panel who will now engage with the transfer test providers are: Professor Peter Tymms, Head of Department and Chair of the Board of Studies and Professor David Galloway, Emeritus Professor both based in the School of Education, Durham University and Paul Latham, an independent education consultant. Peter Weir said, “My views on academic selection are well known. I believe it has the potential to change people’s lives for the better and I fully support the rights of schools to select pupils on the basis of academic ability.
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nov-22-2016-big-box“I recently made it clear to schools, parents and children that teachers can prepare children for the transfer test if they so wish. The issue remains, however, that we have two distinct transfer tests which place pressures on primary schools and in particular our young people. I want to improve the process, where possible, for everyone involved.” Continuing, the Minister said he had commissioned a group of educational professionals to take this work forward. “I have asked Professor Tymms and colleagues to engage with the current transfer test providers to see what progress can be made towards a common assessment for academic selection. “This will be dependent on the two main providers, namely AQE and PPTC, as well as the contribution of other key stakeholders including schools. The process is at a very early stage, and any agreed change will not impact on pupils who are currently in Year 6 or 7. “My aim is to strengthen and protect the academic selection process to enable it to deliver high quality assessment for everyone.
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nov-22-2016He added, “Ultimately, I would like there to be a new test for children to sit in the autumn term of 2018 with parents being advised of changes to the testing arrangements, at the latest, by autumn 2017.”

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