Aontú Rep for East Derry, Gemma Brolly, welcomes the recent statement from the Minister of Education calling for ‘early clarity’ for parents and children regarding the intention of grammar schools and the transfer test for September 2022 admissions.

In line with his desire for early clarity, we would encourage the minister and his department to follow their own advice and prioritise the emotional wellbeing of our children by cancelling the 2021 transfer test immediately.

This year’s Year Six pupils have missed approximately six months of education in the last twelve months. The transfer test can place an increased amount of stress and pressure on young shoulders within a normal school year. To place any extra pressure upon children in these times, whilst demanding mental health and wellbeing are prioritised would be hypocritical and unjust.

Aontú demands that the minister cancel the transfer test for 2021 and begins to establish a method of consultation, to facilitate essential admissions criteria which is both fair and consistent ‘across the board.’