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Last Updated: Friday, 28 January 2005, 11:40 GMT
Post 11-plus test options listed
Children sitting the 11-plus
The last 11-plus transfer test will be in 2008
A list of options for what should happen when the 11-plus transfer test ends in 2008 has been published by the Department of Education.

It said it wanted comments from the Northern Ireland public on issues such as how oversubscribed schools should be allowed to choose between pupils.

The department said the intelligence of a pupil would not be permitted as a factor.

The deadline for responses to the consultation is 30 June 2005.

Commenting on the document, NIO Education Minister Barry Gardiner said: "School admissions arrangements should work for the benefit of children.

"Based on the principle of informed parental choice, the arrangements should be as simple as possible for parents to use.

"They should help parents make the best decisions about the most appropriate school for their child.


"The arrangements described in this document will not come into effect for some time.

"The consultation paper is being published at this early date because parents need to understand the likely changes and be able to plan well ahead for their children's future."

The decision to abolish the 11-plus transfer test and academic selection in Northern Ireland was announced in January 2004.

The announcement was made following consideration of the Costello Group's report.

The government-appointed working body was set up to suggest alternatives to the current transfer tests which determine, at age 11, whether a child will go to a grammar or secondary school.

However, opponents to ending academic selection have rubbished the list.

Concerned Parents for Education said "the proposals represent blatant destruction of success".

The Confederation of Grammar Schools' former pupils' association said the document looked like an attempt to draw the debate away from the real issues.

"The real question the minister has yet to answer is why he is still ignoring the expressed wish of the people to retain a system of selection in Northern Ireland," it said.

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