Coronavirus: Two Enniskillen grammar schools abandon transfer test for 2021

By Robbie Meredith
BBC News NI Education Correspondent

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Two Catholic grammar schools in Enniskillen have become the latest to abandon the use of transfer tests to select pupils for 2021.

Mount Lourdes Grammar and St Michael's College said they had taken the decision "in light of the current circumstances".

Both schools, which are in the Diocese of Clogher, normally use results from the GL Assessment test.

It is run by the Post-Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC) to admit pupils.

Five Catholic grammar schools in County Down had previously said they would not use the PPTC test this year.

The schools in Newry and Kilkeel said they had made the move due to the disruption to the education of P6 pupils.

The integrated school Lagan College also said it would not use transfer tests to select pupils for one year.

image captionBoth schools normally use results from the GL Assessment test to select pupils

Mount Lourdes Grammar has about 750 pupils and admits 96 girls every year.

St Michael's College is a boys' grammar with more than 650 pupils and admits 100 children each year.

A joint statement released by the schools said there had been "significant disruption to the education of pupils since March 2020, including that of P6 pupils".

"The Boards of Governors and Principals of Mount Lourdes Grammar School and St. Michael's College have agreed, in light of the current circumstances, and for one year only, that neither school will use outcomes from the GL Entrance Assessment as part of their admissions criteria for the academic year 2021-22," said the joint statement.

"Pupils applying to these schools will not be required to provide a GL Entrance Assessment result.

"Mount Lourdes and St Michael's will temporarily amend their admissions criteria for the 2021-22 academic year accordingly.

"Both schools remain committed to Catholic Ethos with a focus on pastoral care and high quality learning and teaching. Those who would normally apply to be admitted to each individual school are encouraged to continue to do so."

About 20 other Catholic grammar schools who use the transfer tests run by the PPTC have yet to announce if they will also change their admissions procedure for 2021.

About 30 other grammar schools in Northern Ireland use the transfer test set by AQE to admit pupils.

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