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Last Updated: Monday, 1 December, 2003, 18:35 GMT
Minister receives 11-plus report
Thousands of children are sitting the exam
The future of the transfer test is uncertain
The latest report on the future of the 11-plus examination and academic selection has been sent to the Department of Education.

The Department is to consider the Costello Group's findings before publishing the report.

The government-appointed working body has been investigating alternative ways of transferring pupils from primary to post-primary schools.

Education minister Jane Kennedy said on Monday that its recommendations required detailed consideration before any decisions were made.

Ulster Unionist Party education spokesman Danny Kennedy challenged the minister to release the report.

He said that with no early return to devolution, clarity and openness as well as proper discussion of the issues were essential.

Previous reports

Last month, about two-thirds of the 24,000 eligible primary seven pupils sat both of this year's hour-long examinations.

Former education minister Martin McGuinness had moved to abolish the current secondary level education selection system hours before he left office in October last year.

The Sinn Fein MP said the final 11-plus tests should be in 2004.

Ms Kennedy, who assumed the education portfolio when the Northern Ireland Assembly collapsed, had said she intended to follow the course of action set out by Mr McGuinness.

So far, no alternative has been found and no decision taken on whether academic selection should remain.

Mr McGuinness did not recommend a system to replace the 11-plus.

A previous report recommending the scrapping of the 11-plus was shelved in 2001 because the then-devolved assembly was suspended.

The Burns Review of Northern Ireland's education system, set up by Mr McGuinness, recommended an end to the test.

Grammar schools opposed the Burns proposal and argued for the retention of some sort of academic selection.

They wanted the right to choose pupils of the highest ability, while others felt the plans were not radical enough.

Children face final 11-plus paper
21 Nov 03  |  Northern Ireland
Kennedy 'will abolish 11-plus'
29 Oct 02  |  Northern Ireland
Education proposals 'not enough'
17 May 02  |  Northern Ireland
Consensus needed over Burns Report
02 May 02  |  Northern Ireland
Children give views on 11-plus
22 May 01  |  Northern Ireland
Report calls for end of 11-plus
24 Oct 01  |  Northern Ireland

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