Coronavirus: Omagh grammar schools abandon transfer test for 2021

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

Loreto Grammar School and the Christian Brothers' Grammar School said they had taken the decision "in light of the unique circumstances".

Both County Tyrone schools normally use results from the GL Assessment test.

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

Two Catholic grammar schools in EniskillenEnniskillen and five in County Down and had previously said they would not use the PPTC test this year.

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

'Help reduce concerns'

A joint statement released by the two Omagh schools said they will "review and publish admissions criteria in the winter term in line with the timetable for Post-Primary Transfer 2021 published by the Education Authority".

It added: "This should help to reduce some immediate concerns in education at this time for Primary 6 pupils, their parents and staff in primary schools in this area."

West Tyrone Sinn Féin MLA Catherine Kelly welcomed the decision and urged other schools in the area to "follow suit".

'Undue pressure'

''This is absolutely necessary to allow our teachers, school staff and of course children to prepare for a return to school, rather than the stress of a high-level exam," she said.

"Academic selection is wrong, unnecessary and places undue pressure on children. It should be scrapped altogether."

The majority of 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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