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Caitriona Ruane’s excuse for the continued deregulated and chaotic vacuum in post-primary transfer arrangements has been made clear in answer to a question put by an assembly member

Post-Primary Transfer: CCEA Test

Mr W Clarke asked the Minister of Education to detail why she has withdrawn the test that CCEA had been developing.

(AQO 2304/09)

Minister of Education: Is é an t-aon bhealach amháin gur féidir teist a chur ar fáil ar bhonn freagrach, ná creatlach reachtach a chur léi a mhíníonn cén dóigh a n-úsáidfear í.

The only way a test could responsibly be made available is if there is a legislative framework defining its use. The successful operation of an admission-determining test requires not just a test, but a legal framework providing for which schools can and cannot use it, stating exactly how it should and should not be used and also stating that it alone should be used.

The test was a contingency for an agreement. My proposals featured a test in the interests of compromise and to give grammar schools three years to adjust to a long-term future without any selection and without any test. The reason that will not now happen is because others were not capable of equivalent concessions.

Minister Ruane’s warped thinking is exposed in her answer. She had hoped to gain political consensus from her victims, the grammar schools and those who believe in a choice for a grammar school, via their political representatives, to agree their own suicide.

Her effort has rightly failed but it remains her responsibility and duty of care to uphold the rights of children and their parents to a form of schooling which meets their needs. Ms Ruane continues to preside over a failed administration. It is unfortunate that her political opponents have been unable to outwit her.

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