Testing times

school Over 13,700 pupils sat the breakaway tests set by AQE and GL Assessment in November, with one exam to come on 5 December, in an attempt to gain entry to 68 schools across the province.

Pupils who sat the Catholic schooldominated GL assessments navigated two multiple choice papers on 2 November while the AQE’s first two exams were on 14 and 28 November.

For pupils taking the AQE exam, only their best two scores will be taken into account. Both GL Assessment papers will count.

Sixty-eight schools rejected those and instead pressed ahead with academic selection.

Caitríona Ruane’s guidelines outlined her wish to see an equal proportion of children who are free school mealseligible (FSME) to be admitted to schools as applied to them i.e. if 25 per cent of all applicants to a school were FSME then 25 per cent of entrants should be FSME.

Only 5 per cent of pupils taking the entrance tests fall into that category but at present only 6 per cent of pupils at grammar schools claim free school meals. These factors alone, John O’Dowd said, expose what “a socially unjust system selection is”.

All results will be available to all pupils on 6 February.

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