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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 February, 2004, 13:22 GMT
Pupils receive 11-plus results
Children sitting the 11-plus
The last 11-plus transfer test will be in 2008
More than 16,000 schoolchildren in Northern Ireland received the results of the 11-plus selection on Saturday.

The pupils sat the tests, in English, mathematics and science last November to determine whether they will go to a grammar or secondary school.

The transfer test and academic selection has proved controversial in recent years.

The government has decided to abolish the tests in 2008.

Education Minister Jane Kennedy made the announcement last month following consideration of the Costello Group's report.

The government-appointed working body was set up to suggest alternatives to the current transfer tests.

Pupils currently in primary 2 will be the last to do it.

Former chairman of the assembly's education committee Danny Kennedy, said current excellent standards would be lost if that happens.

"Without academic selection it is not possible to retain the ethos or the style of the grammar schools," he said.

"Without that academic excellence, then will fail."

On Saturday, over 6,000 pupils received an A grade, with just over 4,000 achieving a D grade.

Parental choice

The boys fared slightly better than the girls with 41.2% achieving the top grade, compared to 37.4%.

However, those who get the lowest grade may take comfort from research which suggests there are only 18 marks separating an A from a D.

The next step for parents is an interview with the primary school principal within the next two weeks which will help decide which list of schools to apply for.

A recent survey by the BBC suggested 88% of people in an 11-plus opinion poll got into their first choice school.

However, the education boards have warned pupils to make a wise and realistic list.

New transfer arrangements would be based on parental choice, informed by pupil profile and better information about options.




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC NI's Maggie Taggart:
"The government has decided to abolish the tests in 2008"


BBC NI's Maggie Taggart
visits the home of one girl who received her result



SEE ALSO:
'Pressure' of transfer test
04 Feb 04  |  Northern Ireland
11-plus to be abolished
26 Jan 04  |  Northern Ireland
Majority 'favour academic selection'
26 Jan 04  |  Northern Ireland
Minister receives 11-plus report
01 Dec 03  |  Northern Ireland


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