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17/10/2021

Transfer tests cancelled because of growing concerns about the rate of Covid-19 cases

Exams were due to start this weekend

(Photo - Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)

Lumen Christi College in Derry was one of the schools which would have been using the transfer tests for its 2021 admissions.

Post-primary transfer tests in Northern Ireland, which had been due to begin this weekend, have been cancelled.

The tests are used to select pupils by the majority of Northern Ireland's grammar schools.

However, they have been cancelled as a result of the massive increase in the number of Covid-19 cases and the subsequent closure of schools.

In Derry, Lumen Christi College and Foyle College were to use the tests for their 2021 admissions.

However, St Columb's College and Thornhill College had announced last year that they would not be using the tests this year because of the disruption that had been caused to the education sector by the pandemic.

The transfer tests are run by the Association for Quality Education (AQE) and the Post Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC).

The AQE tests were due to go ahead on January 9, 16 and 23.

The PPTC test was due to take place on Saturday, January 30, with a supplementary test on Saturday, February 6.

In a statement to the BBC, AQE said the tests would not take place in January due to the public health situation.

They said that they would now consult with the 34 grammar schools who use their tests on a way forward.

The PPTC said an expected announcement by the executive that schools would move to remote learning for many pupils until late February meant their tests would not proceed.

"If no pupils are able to sit the Entrance Assessment on 30th January 2021 because of Covid restrictions, and these restrictions would not have ended before 6th February 2021 then PPTC will be unable to provide an assessment for any pupils," they said.

"The responsibility falls on PPTC schools to ensure that their admissions criteria cover this contingency

"PPTC accept that this decision may be disappointing to many children who would have welcomed the opportunity to take the assessment.

"We wish all children well in their future pathways."

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