The Association for Quality Education is known to most parents because of their CEA 11-plus transfer tests. They have provided a professional competent service designed to fill the void left by Sinn Fein and the Westminster government when the CCEA 11-plus Transfer Test was abandoned.
The AQE also operate a campaigning and lobbying arm of their business which is less well known and could hardly be regarded as anything other than amateur. It would appear that many of their meetings with politicians take place in camera, in drawing rooms and in secret. Despite regular contact with politicians, directly or more commonly via intermediaries embedded in their orgainisation no public money or political support has been forthcoming. Rather than being protected by the political links they are viewed by the politicians as a pawn that can be moved about and sacrificed at will as part of any larger political deals.
The “about AQE” tab on their website refers readers to this role
Since its inception AQE has tried hard to produce relevant, unbiased and challenging papers to address a range of issues on our society and to maintain regular contact with a range of political leaders and party spokesmen on education on a broad spectrum of issues.
An example of their failure to protect their own interests is highlighted by their collective silence in addressing a subject splashed over several editions of the TES by Dr Hugh Morrison of QUB.
The Pisa controversy is relevant to Northern Ireland because the Education Minister and his advisors have used Pisa as “international evidence” that our system is so flawed that it needs his radical reform.
Parents must ask themselves why PACE are left to highlight these issues when the AQE Ltd claim it as their function.
No contribution from current or former AQE Ltd Directors such as Andrew Wilkinson, Ian Node, Rosemary Wilson, or Stephen Thomas Gowdy, any grammar school principals or teachers. QED