Just when we thought a decision had been made comes this report in the Belfast Telegraph: Ulster school pupils facing uncertain future . It appears that Education Minister Caitriona Ruane has decided to wait on the Assembly to make a firm decision on academic selection before she issues the consultation document promised on how over-subscribed schools determine their intake after the
11-plus is scrapped next year. This was due to go out for public consultation months ago. (Personally, I worry about the meeting of the word “firm” here – given that I seem to remember Martin McGuinness telling us the exam was gone!)
Here’s my take – and I’m prepared to have all hell dumped on my head for saying this – but… we simply can’t go on telling generations of children that the 11+ will be over before they have to take the exam! I seem to remember a group being told in 1978 that the 1979 11+ exam would be the last. How many pupils have had to undergo changes of mind, and the ensuing pressure, since then?
Now, schools can live with a stupid system, parents can come to terms with how a system operates and prepare their offspring for that but children should not have to suffer uncertainty because of the dithering of politicians.
Come on Caitriona… do what you were appointed to do – make a decision. That’s why you are in the office, yes?
Oh, if you have read this far then tell me what you think by posting in the space below.