Page last updated at 11:17 GMT, Monday, 20 April 2009 12:17 UK

Catholic principals support Ruane

Caitriona Ruane
The principals say Caitriona Ruane's criteria make testing unnecessary

The principals of Catholic secondary schools are to form a group to press for the ending of academic selection.

They say they support the Minister for Education's guidelines for admission to post primary schools without testing.

The principals say Caitriona Ruane's admission criteria make testing unnecessary and no Catholic school should have any problem with them.

They are forming an association which they say will speak for those whose views have not been adequately heard.

All but one of the Catholic grammar schools in Northern Ireland have said they will set entrance exams in the absence of an official test.

Sinn Féin Education spokesperson John O'Dowd MLA welcomed the statement from the principals.

"This again acknowledges that the vast majority of key stakeholders within the education sector supports an education system which offers educational excellence for all of our children," he said.

"The ending of the 11+ is a positive move for our children and the fact Catholic Secondary schools today have taken a stand against its replacement is good for education.

"It is now time to build an holistic education system and to encourage and to recognise the work of all our educationalists."

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