19 May 2022

Parents and pupils remain in the dark as Lumen Christi and Foyle College decline to comment on their transfer test plans

Two Derry schools still to say whether they will proceed with academic selection next year

(Photo - Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)

Lumen Christi College and Foyle College in Derry have still not confirmed if they plan to use the transfer test as part of their admissions criteria for next year.

On June 10, St Columb's College and Thornhill College announced they would  'not use academic criteria' for admissions to Year 8 in 2021.

Both St Columb's and Thornhill have used the GL Entrance Assessment results to select pupils since the old 11+ exam was abolished in 2009.

However, in a joint letter to the parents, guardians and carers of children in  Primary 6 published earlier this month, the schools announced pupils applying for September 2021 will not have to sit the exam due to the educational disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Derry's two co-educational grammar schools, Lumen Christi College and Foyle College, are yet to confirm if they will require their 2021 intake to sit a transfer test.

The Derry News contacted both schools on the matter, but they declined to comment.

Last week, two  Northern Irish parents won High Court permission to challenge the decision to delay this year’s post-primary transfer tests by two weeks.

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan, who is the party's education spokesperson, asked schools to take the views of parents and educational specialists onboard when making a decision on the tests.

"While the purpose of this particular challenge is to delay these unfair and unregulated tests, it will add to the growing public debate around academic selection. 

"This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools have already taken the decision to suspend the use of academic selection tests and there are growing calls for it to be abandoned altogether.

"I would appeal to schools still intent on using academic selection to listen to the views of an increasing number of educationalists, trade unions and parents and end transfer tests once and for all."

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