AQE post-primary transfer test scrapped

The test was due to take place on 27 February Credit: UTV

The last remaining academic selection transfer test scheduled to take place in Northern Ireland this school year has been cancelled, provider AQE has announced.Stormont education minister Peter Weir said he was disappointed the transfer test had been cancelled for this year in Northern Ireland. He said transfer tests have never been compulsory for any school nor any student, but what they have provided for many has been parental choice and opportunity for children to gain a place at a post primary school of their choosing. AQE's decision to schedule a test on February 27 for pupils transferring from primary to secondary schools had created a political controversy, with critics claiming it would not be safe in the current health situation. AQE has announced the test will not now take place.Head of the AQE Darrin Barr spoke to UTV:

"Due to the ongoing uncertainty about the potential for an extended period of lockdown, the board of AQE Limited has decided to recommend to our grammar schools, the membership of AQE, that there should be no assessment offered by AQE in this academic year," a statement said. "The test scheduled for Saturday 27th February will therefore not take place. "The health and safety of the children due to sit the exams is our top priority. "As we cannot guarantee that the Executive will not extend the lockdown period at this stage, we do not want to cause any distress to the children and their parents by extending this period of uncertainty. We know these are anxious times for many. "We will be writing to parents individually over the coming days to confirm these arrangements. We hope this will end the period of uncertainty for the children who have been working so hard for these assessments. We wish to thank the Minister for Education, his officials and the Education Authority for their support."