Archbishop Eamon Martin has appealed to Catholic schools in the North to set aside the traditional transfer tests which decide based on academic selection which secondary school a child attends.
In a letter sent this week to 165 schools across the dioceses of Armagh and Dromore, Archbishop Eamon insisted that children are under enough pressure due to coronavirus.
The so-called 11+ exams to decide on whether a child could be admitted to grammar schools or not were abolished in 2008. However, some schools that wanted to continue to select children based on academic criteria set up their own process.
Archbishop Eamon asked “in the best interests of our children and schools” that the education community “support a suspension of the use of academic selection for entrance to post-primary schools in September 2021”.
He urged grammar schools to draw up criteria for admission that do not rely on the tests and insisted that he had no desire to “re-open the arguments for and against the transfer tests”.
At the time the 11+ was abolished, members of the hierarchy were sharply critical of Catholic schools that wished to retain academic selection.