Cancellation of the transfer test in Northern Ireland

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Private companies doing post-primary transfer testing in Northern Ireland have announced that they will not be providing assessments this month.
The first AQE test was due to take place on Saturday.

In a statement on its website, AQE said: “The board of directors of AQE Limitée met on January 5 and, in light of the decision to close the schools, decided not to proceed with the tests. scheduled for January 9, 16 and 23.

“The board will now consult with member schools, and another statement will be released afterwards.”

Tests conducted by the Post Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC) have also been canceled. They were to take place on January 30 with an additional test on Saturday February 6.

A PPTC spokesperson said he was told Monday evening by executive sources that an imminent decision would be made, saying schools would close until the mid-term break in February, at the earliest.

The move, the spokesperson said, triggers a “what if” scenario that was presented in early December to parents and students enrolled in the PPTC entrance assessment.

“Namely, if no student can take the entrance assessment on January 30, 2021 due to the Covid restrictions, and those restrictions would not have ended by February 6, 2021, PPTC will not be in able to provide an assessment for any student. It is the responsibility of PPTC schools to ensure that their admission criteria cover this eventuality. ”

The spokesperson added, “PPTC accepts that this decision may be disappointing for many children who would have appreciated the opportunity to participate in the assessment. We wish all the children success in their future journey. ”

It is understood that examining bodies have been told it will be ‘impossible’ for them to pass the tests as Covid infections continue to run out of control in Northern Ireland.

The BBC Nolan Show reported that the Sinn Fein, the Alliance and the SDLP have been informed by Attorney General Brenda King that they have the power to prevent review bodies from holding the tests.

The Northern Ireland executive is also due to further clarify other measures it agreed to in a meeting late at night on Monday in its battle to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

After Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled a series of new measures for England and Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a new lockdown on Monday – the executive agreed to put the stay-at-home instruction in the law and a travel ban.

Distance learning in schools is also to be extended, but no details were given.

Prime Minister Arlene Foster said ministers had “reflected on the gravity of the situation here” before agreeing to extend the measures.

She said it was right for the executive to take their time and craft the correct message on what was agreed and in order to provide any answers people may have.

Another 1,801 people have tested positive for Covid-19, the health ministry said on Monday.

That’s 12,507 diagnoses in the past seven days. 12 other deaths have been reported.

Deputy Prime Minister Michelle O’Neill said “urgent and decisive” action is needed.

Telegraph de Belfast

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