11 November 2005

Thousands due to sit 11-plus test

BBC

More than 15,000 Primary Seven pupils in Northern Ireland have completed the first of this year's 11-plus transfer tests on Friday.

>>How are northern schools run and funded?

The hour-long exam covered English, Mathematics, and Science and Technology and will be followed by another test in two weeks' time.

The government is to abolish the controversial transfer test in 2008.

Then grammar schools will no longer be able to choose pupils on the basis of their academic performance.

In recent years, the number of children eligible to sit the tests has been dropping, and the proportion of them who choose to do it has also been falling.

The decision to abolish the 11-plus transfer test and academic selection in Northern Ireland was announced in January 2004, following consideration of the Costello Group's report.

The government-appointed working body was set up to suggest alternatives to the current transfer tests.

Earlier this year, the Department of Education published a list of options for what should happen when the 11-plus ends.

The department said the intelligence of a pupil would not be permitted as a factor.

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