Grammar School Principal loses battle to keep academic selection. | The Transfer Test

Grammar School Principal loses battle to keep academic selection.

Grammar School Principal loses battle to keep academic selection.

Head teacher Fr Kevin Donaghy of St Patrick's Grammar, Armagh has lost his battle to keep academic selection at the school the Belfast Telegraph has reported.

With mounting pressure from the Catholic Church, its governing body and the Education Minister John O'Dowd, St Patrick's will open its doors to boys of all abilities from September 2014. Therefore children wishing to attend St Patrick's will no longer require the GL Assessment as part of the schools admission criteria.

The news comes after Mr O'Dowd yesterday gave St Patrick's the green light to immediately abandon academic selection and increase its enrolment to cater for the phased closure of St Brigid's High, a secondary school in Armagh. St Patrick's had initially sought to retain academic selection, accepting up to 55% of its intake through the GL Assessment, but at the eleventh hour the development proposal was revised to scrap academic selection.

New board member appointments include opponents of academic selection.
The Belfast Telegraph also revealed that at least three opponents of academic selection have recently been appointed to the board of governors of St Patrick's. Sinn Fein members Noel Sheridan and Gerard White were appointed in January alongside Kevin Scally, the former head of St Joseph's High in Crossmaglen and a prominent member of the Catholic Principals' Association, which has been lobbying for an end to academic selection.

DUP education spokesman Mervyn Storey said: "It has been a concern for some time that the appointment process to boards of governors of grammar schools has been driven by the minister's particular view on the use of academic criteria as an admissions policy and this has led to the appointment of those who have been very vocal in their opposition to grammar schools and their ethos."

Belfast Telegraph's full article

Parents who want to find out more information should contact St Patrick's Grammar, Armagh