Support for NICCE review

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NICCE’s Post Primary Review has called for academic selection at the age of 11 to be phased out in the foreseeable future.

The review also outlines recommendations for future post-primary education including the retention of an 11-19 co-educational, all-ability school at Lismore Comprehensive College and the creation of a new 11-19 co-educational, all-ability school on the current St Michael’s Grammar School site in Lurgan.

The Sisters of Mercy, as trustees of a number of post-primary schools in Northern Ireland, are fully supportive of the policy of the phasing out of selection at 11.

In a statement to the press, the Sisters of Mercy said: “We welcome the statement of the Northern Catholic Bishops setting out clearly their collective stance in relation to the ending of academic selection at this early age. In our commitment to just and equitable educational provision for all children, we support the development of selection criteria that recognise the diverse expressions of intelligence beyond the purely academic.

“While respecting the concerns expressed by governors of some grammar schools, we support the proposal that all grammar schools reduce academic selection from 100% to a maximum of 75% of enrolment, to take effect for the school intake in 2014, and we will offer our governors every support to accomplish this goal.

“We recognise and appreciate the excellent academic and pastoral standards achieved by our grammar schools over many years and we are confident they can continue to provide that high quality education, while adapting to the evolving requirements of young people in our rapidly changing world.”