Parents in plea for just one entrance exam | The Transfer Test

Parents in plea for just one entrance exam

Northern Ireland Transfer Test News

Parents in plea for just one entrance exam

A mother has called for an end to primary school pupils sitting multiple entrance tests because of the extreme pressure they cause, the Belfast Telegraph has reported.

Mary Oglesby from south Belfast has spent the last year coaching her son ahead of this month's entrance tests.

The 10-year-old, who she did not want to name, has already gone through three different papers for entrance into his choice of grammar schools.

Mary chose to register her son for both the CEA and GL tests so he would have the opportunity to chose which school he attends. But she believes the current system of selection is damaging children who, at 10 and 11, are too young for the potential disappointments of academic selection.

"If the post-primary schools could come together and come to an agreement to have just one test, in one examination centre, it would take so much of the pressure off," she said.

Her views have been echoed by other parents, who spoke of the stresses of tutoring their children ahead of entrance tests.

In an online survey carried out last June by social enterprise Amazing Brains NI, parents called for a change in the rules to allow schools to prepare pupils for unregulated entrance tests.

Five years after the 11-plus was scrapped, more than six out of 10 parents have cited the pressure of coaching their children for multiple papers for grammar schools. Nearly 70% of 350 parents polled pointed to the stress of managing their child's revision ahead of the entrance tests. However 258 parents planned to register their child for the test.

"Many parents called for schools to be allowed to prepare children given their expertise and for a condensing of GL and AQE papers," a spokeswoman said.

Full Belfast Telegraph article