The findings of a report, by Queen’s University, into academic selection will come as no surprise to those who have opposed the 11 Plus and the grammar school system, but they are worth repeating.
This latest report finds that transfer tests and the grammar school system “disadvantages the already most disadvantaged”. That invariably will be children from working class backgrounds.
Previous studies, like those undertaken by the United Nations experts and by educational specialists at Queen’s University and Stranmillis University College have repeatedly confirmed that academic selection reinforces “privilege and disadvantage” and recommend the end of academic selection in Northern Ireland as a key way to help in reversing educational disadvantage.
There are many issues to be addressed in our education system, for example how it is structured and the results it produces. The continued use of academic selection at 11 is just one of them.
All those opposed to academic selection – parents, teachers, trade unions and others – must reignite this debate and pursue the complete and final abolition of this brutal and archaic system.