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Education Minister John O’Dowd launched a cynically-timed attack on Northern Ireland’s grammar schools running 11-plus selection tests on the eve of this years first examination. It comes on the back of his recent speech on teacher assessment replacing testing. Unfortunately for Mr O’Dowd PACE have already demonstrated the innacuracies associated with teacher assessment at Key Stage 3. https://paceni.wordpress.com/2009/12/17/northern-ireland%E2%80%99s-key-stage-3-literacy-levels-crash/

When will John O’Dowd learn that the battle to end academic selection has been lost?  Since his DENI withdrew the regulated 11-plus without a replacement in place the vacuum was filled by parents teachers and pupils willing to continue a long tradition of providing an academic education to match pupil needs.