Northern Ireland - 11-plus coaches come under fire

26th March 2010 at 00:00

Primary teachers in Northern Ireland have been criticised by education minister Caitriona Ruane for coaching 10-year-old pupils for 11-plus exams.

Speaking at the conference of the NASUWT teaching union, Ms Ruane reaffirmed her decision not to return to the 11-plus system and added that teachers who were trying to help their pupils pass grammar school entrance exams were contributing to social inequalities.

"I have previously told schools that teaching of the revised curriculum should not be distorted to prepare children for these tests," says Ms Ruane. "I would now urge all teachers not to get involved in a practice that excludes and discriminates against children from lower-income families."

Although the primary curriculum does not prepare 10 and 11-year-old pupils for entrance exams set by individual independents, primary teachers are under pressure from parents whose children will be sitting these exams.

Yet Ms Ruane remains adamant that teachers should not co-operate. "Private tutoring for breakaway tests provides support to a system that is unnecessary and unjust and further perpetuates inequality," she said. "It is a further obstacle preventing children from accessing the education to which they are entitled." MR.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now