11-plus and admission procedure, AQE, AQE test results, Carol McCann, CCEA, Dr Bryan Gregory, G F Hamilton, GL A, Grammar school entrance assessments, Hilary Woods, John O'Dowd, Mr Francis Martin, Mr Owen O'Connor, Mr Sean Sloan, Mrs A McNamee, Mrs Susan Bell, Ms P Slevin, Ms Wilma Fee, Northern Ireland Education Minister, PPTC, R M Robinson MBE
The results of the transfer tests taken last November will be delivered to parents on Saturday 31st January 2015
This year saw a combined record entry of 14,531 pupils (66% of P7 pupils)
However a fundamental bias against children who have taken the AQE test can be identified in the admission procedure used by these dualling schools.
The schools using both tests in 2015 are:
Victoria College, Belfast
Campbell College, Belfast
Wellington College, Belfast
Lagan College, Belfast [this school is described as an all-ability integrated secondary]
St Patrick’s Grammar, Downpatrick
Antrim Grammar, Antrim
A single example will be used to illustrate this bias, but the example generalises to all the AQE-GL comparisons made by dualling schools. If parents examine the table used by dualling schools to make admission decisions, they will note that for GL candidates, a minimum standard score of 100 is required for admission to band 2†.
However, an AQE candidate is required to reach a higher standard (103) in order to be assigned to the same band.
An AQE candidate with the same standard score as the GL candidate will be placed in the lower band i.e. band 3.
In short, there will be a significant number of AQE test-takers assigned to band 3 (the lower band) who have nevertheless reached a higher academic standard than GL candidates assigned to band 2.
Since this seems to fly in the face of natural justice, it is vital that those schools using dualling can explain how this AQE bias can possibly be justified.
On behalf of your child, ask for an explanation, in writing, from the school chair of governors or alternatively seek legal advice.
†A candidate on the 50th percentile has, by definition, a standard score of 100.