Ulster Unionist Education Spokesperson, Rosemary Barton MLA, has hit out at the Board of the AQE after it openly criticised the most recent plans for a single transfer test in a letter to school principals and governors.
Rosemary Barton, a former teacher for over 30 years, said:
“It is totally unsatisfactory that for over a decade now young people wanting to sit the transfer test have had to go through an unwieldy and unregulated process, totally out of the control of the local Department of Education.
“The failure of successive Education Ministers at Stormont to intervene on this serious issue was a total abdication of one of their key responsibilities.
“That’s why I was delighted last year when the two organisations that separately run the differing exams here, seemingly agreed on proposals for a common transfer test.
“It’s hugely frustrating now that the AQE Board have intervened so publicly and cast doubt over the entire process.
“Just because they supposedly were kept in the dark by the principals working on the new test – exactly the people I believe who are best placed to find a lasting solution – that alone is not reason enough for them to simply rubbish the plans.
“It is my hope that the principals succeed in their efforts of creating a final agreed test, and despite this regrettable intervention by the AQE Board, I am still hopeful for a positive outcome as ultimately it will be for schools alone to decide whether they wish to agree to a single test or not.”