Page last updated at 09:01 GMT, Wednesday, 9 April 2008 10:01 UK

DUP proposes 11-plus alternative

11-plus test
The test is being abolished this year

The DUP has said it has its own plan for what should replace the 11-plus.

Education Minister Caitríona Ruane has not revealed what she is going to do when the test is abolished this year.

The DUP has said its plans would end uncertainty for pupils and teachers and have been discussed with the other political parties including Sinn Féin.

However, the minister criticised the DUP plans and said she would make her own plan to replace the 11-plus known when she was ready.

The DUP's Sammy Wilson said unless there was agreement on a way forward in the assembly, grammar schools would decide on some form of academic selection.

"Those schools that wish to include academic selection should have the ability to do that, since again the minister has great difficulty in her department setting a test," he said.

"Those schools that wish to use academic selection should be free to set their own common entrance test or indeed use their own bespoke entrance test."

Caitríona Ruane
Caitríona Ruane said she will announce decision when she is ready

However, Ms Ruane said the DUP was misleading schools.

"The problem here is, we have some politicians being led by people like Sammy Wilson, who have made promises they can't keep," she said.

"They have told grammar schools 'oh sure you can have common entrance tests'.

"He now realises the legal difficulties there are for boards of governors and what should be happening here is the focus is on the new system we are creating."

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