Covid-19: Omagh and Enniskillen schools scrap academic selection in 2022

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More grammar schools in Northern Ireland have announced they will scrap academic selection for 2022.

Christian Brothers Grammar in Omagh, County Tyrone, and Mount Lourdes Grammar and St Michael's College in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, are the latest to rule out transfer tests.

The three Catholic schools said it was due to the impact of the pandemic.

St Mary's Christian Brothers Grammar School in west Belfast was the first to abandon transfer tests last month.

Some grammar schools in Londonderry, Newry, Kilkeel and Belfast have also ruled out transfer tests this autumn.

In a joint statement from the Diocese of Clogher, the principals and governors of Mount Lourdes Grammar School and St Michael's College said that they recognised there had been "significant disruption to the education of pupils since March 2020, and understand that there may be further disruption for children throughout the remained of the 2021-22 academic year and beyond".

They added they were "particularly aware of the impact of school closure on the current Primary 6 pupils who were also affected by school closure as Primary 5 pupils".

Christian Brothers' board of governors said that "in response to these unprecedented circumstances and to provide early clarity to families and schools, the board of governors has decided that academic criteria will not be used for admission to Year 8 in September 2022".

In a statement, the board said they have "considered the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the significant disruption to the education of pupils currently in Primary 6 and the prospect that there may be a similar interruption to learning during the first term of the 2021-2022 academic year".

The schools normally use results from the GL Assessment test.

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