Education Minister faces criticism as transfer tests are cancelled

Tue, 05/01/2021 - 15:25 -- Editor

SDLP Education Spokesperson Daniel McCrossan MLA has said welcomed the announcement today that the transfer tests will not go ahead, but said the delay is disgraceful and has caused significant anxiety to pupils and parents. The West Tyrone MLA commented: “It is disgraceful that this transfer test saga has been allowed to go on for months when we all knew they should have been cancelled in the beginning. Despite this move being the right decision, it has come far too late for the many pupils, parents and teachers who have suffered due to indecisiveness." “The Minister should have intervened weeks, if not months ago, but failed to do so until the eleventh hour. This is not fair on all the young people who have studied hard in recent months. The Minister should reflect carefully on the anxiety his inaction has caused.” “Across the North, young people have suffered significant disruption to their learning. After schools reopened in September following a three-month closure, many students had to isolate and missed teaching time. Access to online learning has been challenging for many pupils, particularly those from deprived areas.”

“Given the level of disruption, there has never been any doubt that the transfer exams should be cancelled. It is deeply regrettable that the Minister failed to act. This lack of action has undoubtedly caused needless anxiety, stress and mental health issues among our young people.”