AQE and QUB Professor Tony Gallagher blame politicians for educationalists’ failure on 11-plus solutions
November 16, 2009
Sir Kenneth Bloomfield and Professor Tony Gallagher were interviewed on BBC Good Morning Ulster after the first of the five unregulated tests to determine entry into grammar school in Northern Ireland.
What they failed to admit during the interview were a number of important points for parents.
The AQE developed their CEA tests and offered them as a common exam for all grammar schools. This was rejected by the Catholic Voluntary grammar schools who set up an arrangement with GL Assessment thereby creating the necessity for pupils to take up to five tests.
- Sir Kenneth Bloomfield’s school, Inst, is a member of the Governing Bodies Association, an organisation claiming to be the representative body for all voluntary grammar schools. Sir Kenneth Bloomfield has been a spokesperson for the GBA on many occasions. Yet GBA schools operate two separate exam systems. Parents will naturally wonder which of the two testing systems is better since they cannot be the same.
- Sir Kenneth told BBC listeners that negotiations were ongoing to agree one common test for next year. He neglected to inform listeners that members of the GBA were split deliberately in order that two tests were imposed upon the very pupils that AQE and GBA claim to be concerned about.
- Tony Gallagher cited his concern over those not entered for the entrance exams. For someone charged with responsibility for the School of Education at Queen’s University perhaps he should have considered the possibility that their parents were actually content with the choice for a secondary school. PACE have previously highlighted Professor Gallagher’s contradictory position on academic selection and in particular (s)election at 14, the latest phase in the plan to impose comprehensive schools in Northern Ireland.
- Tony Gallagher once again attempted to blame politicians for their failure to implement his advice to government. Perhaps the politicians should use their powers to examine Professor Gallagher to the same level of scrutiny as the unregulated tests given his anti-selection background and contradictory advice.
November 14, 2009
Having subjected Northern Ireland parents to a decade of disruption and confusion over the selective system of education in Northern Ireland Professor Tony Gallagher and Professor Alan Smith have been reduced to becoming mere commentators for the Belfast Telegraph. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/education/post-primary-selection/experts-offer-ten-ways-to-resolve-the-transfer-muddle-14562283.html
It will hardly escape the notice of most that while Professor Gallagher and the Belfast Telegraph are calling for Caitriona Ruane to “Sit Down and Sort it Out” it is Professor Gallagher’s advice and research to the DENI that created the mess in the first place.
Compare and contrast the statements from Prof T. Gallagher made this week to the research he was paid for delivering to the DENI in 1998.
”A decade of debate has produced no consensus, only a self-interested battle of wills between the Minister and the grammar lobby in which the only losers are our children. The chaos must not be allowed to continue. St Andrews means responsibility for re-establishing a regulated system rests with the DUP and Sinn Fein. Can we end the injustice of early, high stakes selection and preserve the academic traditions of the grammar schools? Some form of selection at age 14 fits with the revised Northern Ireland Curriculum and with collaboration in area learning communities. It can advance the goal of making every school a good school, and give every child genuine curriculum choice and a guarantee of a high quality education.
If the politicians don’t buy this, then let them take no more than three years to come up with an alternative agreed solution and, in the interim, establish a simplified system of selection at 11 which restricts grammar schools to grade A pupils only. This will give all schools the stability they need to educate our children, while our elected representatives face their responsibility to prove that shared government can in fact work.”
Professor Tony Gallagher, Head Of School Of Education at Queen’s University, Belfast Telegraph November 13,2009
“the researchers have concluded that the evidence of this study does not suggest that it provides a better alternative to the 11+ system used throughout the rest of Northern Ireland. In particular, the evidence does not suggest that the two-tier system provides a better educational experience for less able pupils than the 11+ system.”
Title: An evaluation of the Craigavon Two-Tier System RB 6/1998 Issue date: Nov-1998
Instead of parroting the flawed and contradictory views of Professor Gallagher the entire political body of MLAs and those omnipresent ”education experts” should hold him to account for his flawed analysis. Professor Gallagher seems more concerned with propping up the Assembly mandatory coalition than admitting his role in helping to undermine and destroy and education system that worked for the vast majority.
September 25, 2009
The Chairman of the Association of Quality Education (AQE) Sir Kenneth Bloomfield has been appointed to an ‘academic brain trust’ to help with the complex policy choices the country is facing. Given the uncertainty and virtual chaos surrounding the economy and particularly the transfer to post-primary education system this may seem appropriate. It may surprise readers to learn that the country in question is the Republic of Ireland not Northern Ireland.
The president of the Royal Irish Academy, Prof Nicholas Canny said Ireland was lagging behind other developed countries which were following the example of Franklin D Roosevelt, who chose a “brain trust” of professors to help him solve the problems created by the Great Depression of the 1930s.
“Academics should feature more prominently as opinion leaders and architects of recovery in our society, since they are the ultimate source of new knowledge and innovation,”
PACE are just waiting for the appointment of Professor Tony Gallagher of QUB to this august body to ensure a prolonged depression where the education system is concerned.
Sir Kenneth Bloomfield has yet to express his views on the Belfast Telegraph campaign to ‘Sort Out’ the mess in Northern Ireland’s education debacle , his purported area of expertise. Perhaps he is too busy counting the profits earned by AQE since their introduction of aState deregulated private grammar school entrance test.