Coleraine educationalist slams 11-plus as ‘fatuous labelism’

Community News
Community News

A Coleraine teacher has branded academic selection as ‘fatuous labelism’.

Jacquie Reid, , Deputy General Secretary of the Ulster Teachers’ Union and formerly a teacher at Millburn Primary, was speaking as hundreds of P7 children across the borough sat the first of their transfer tests on Saturday.

“For the sixth year now since academic selection was de-regulated, thousands of families across Northern Ireland are facing the stress of these unregulated tests – and let’s not forget that it is the child, often just 10-years-old, who is at the heart of this,” she said.

“The pro-selection lobby will argue that parents want a choice of education but what they are offering is an illusion – a fantasy of their making that somehow an education in a school called a ‘grammar school’ offers an elite path to success. It begs the question whether in fact the pro 11-plus lobby have the children’s and parents’ best interests at heart after all when reality proves – actually proves – that this system is in its death throes and that clinging onto it is fatuous labelism at the expense of children.

“Pupils should be able to get the education they are entitled to without any process of selection or rejection. Schools should not be telling children they are not good enough.”