Saturday, 7 February 2009

Snow Joke

IT’S (s)no(w) joke being a politician these days, what with the miserable weather and receiving flak from almost all sides every time you take a decision.

Just ask Education Minister Catriona Ruane. The Minister finally released her long-awaited and much touted criteria for transferring to post-primary education. Branded as ‘Transfer 2010’, Ms Ruane set the criteria that she hoped would begin the road to settling down to a new education regime.

Ooops, even before the snow came down, Ms Ruane was facing a blizzard of criticism. No change there then!

No-one can agree on much when it comes to post-primary transfer, but they can agree on one simple fact - Ms Ruane can end the 11+ but cannot end academic selection. Her criteria therefore amount to legally unenforceable guidance.

This, of course, is why the grammar sector is going its own merry way - setting tests and generally ignoring what the Minister has proposed.

With a group of Catholic bishops entering the fray with their own ideas, the debate has descended yet further into confusion.

As the last set of 11+ results arrived in the post this weekend, next year’s 11-year-olds have as yet no idea what will be the definitive way to get to the big school.

Testing times indeed.

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