Page last updated at 16:15 GMT, Monday, 20 October 2008 17:15 UK

Class criteria for school places

Education Minister Caitriona Ruane
Caitriona Ruane announced the move to the assembly

Criteria will be introduced to ensure children from socially disadvantaged backgrounds do not miss out on places at the most popular secondary schools.

Education Minister Caitriona Ruane said she wanted to ensure working class children were not at a disadvantage.

"In secondary schools an average of 19% of pupils are on free school meals, in grammar schools the average is 7%," Ms Ruane told the assembly.

The DUP's Mervyn Storey accused Ms Ruane of "social engineering".

Briefing notes previously obtained by the BBC said Ms Ruane was considering setting quotas based on children who qualify for free school meals.

The notes suggested that if a school received 20% of applications from children eligible for free school meals they could be required to reserve 20% of places for children in this category.



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