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Donal McKeownMcKeownAttack on GrammarsRoman Catholic auxillary bishop, Donal McKeown demanded that he was referred to as “president” when he was principal of St Malachy’s College in Belfast. Therefore his attack on parental choice for 11-plus testing and academic selection in the Irish News (subscription required) May 28th 2013 smacks of yet another slathering of hypocricy from the Catholic hierarchy.

Without a hint of irony Bishop McKeown describes the Northern Ireland education system as “bad” while neglecting to acknowledge his own part in imposing a constructivist regime currently dedicated to attempts to make academic selection illegal. In a carefully chosen form of words Donal tries to position “academic education” as an equivalent to the grammar schools by suggesting that all schools provide an academic education for their pupils. Perhaps he should examine the examination results of the grammar schools with those of his favoured comprehensives and let the evidence speak. Parents should not be vexed by Bishop McKeown’s insidious attempts to undermine parental choice for education to be provided in accordance with their philosophical convinctions as described in ARTICLE 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights

No person shall be denied the right to education. In the exercise of any functions which it assumes in relation to education and to teaching, the State shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religions and philosophical convictions.

The Bishop may recall that it it this very same convention that his Catholic Church relies upon to maintain their separate schooling system.

Parents will not miss this attack by the Roman Catholic church on the parental role as prime educators of their children. The attack on parental choice is led by a group of non parents, their spokesman a former grammar school principal who has, like many grammar school principals, failed to represent the interests of all pupils by defending the right of parents to choose.

Bishop McKeown backs a shared education programme which seeks to purge grammar schools (schools which use academic selection by test at 11 as the first admission criteria) out of existence. There is not much room for sharing in a system where 97.7% of pupils attending Catholic schools are Catholic (see http://www.deni.gov.uk)

Of interest the state controlled schools referred to as “Protestant” are made up of only 71% Protestants