‘Transfer tests should be scrapped not combined’ – Mullan

Public money should not be wasted on trying to combine transfer tests, when the solution is clearly to abandon them altogether, Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan has said.

The party’s education spokesperson was commenting after it was revealed that £30,000 has been spent on a panel established by the former DUP Education Minister to explore the feasibility of creating a single transfer test.

“Public money should not be squandered on researching the creation of a single test system when all the evidence shows that academic selection tests drive educational inequality and create barriers to parental choice.

“This has been confirmed yet again in the latest Executive Office report Investigating Links in Achievement and Deprivation (ILiAD) which concluded that transfer tests exacerbate educational inequalities and damage the confidence and self-esteem of children.

“A publicly-funded education system should be providing the same opportunities and support to all children, not just a select few. So rather than looking at ways of combining the transfer tests, we should be encouraging those schools that not yet moved away from academic selection to show some leadership and end these tests which only serve to perpetuate inequality and disadvantage.”