27 February 2017
DUP Fermanagh and South Tyrone candidate Maurice Morrow has welcomed today’s news that talks will take place with a view to having one transfer test.
Maurice Morrow said, "I am delighted that AQE and PPTC, the two P7 transfer providers have declared their intent to work together towards a common entrance assessment to Grammar school. As a Party, the DUP has worked tirelessly to secure and protect academic selection. The DUP have actively engaged with both groups to support their work. During any future negotiations, we will stand firm on this issue. We believe selection allows every child, regardless of their background, postcode or religion, the opportunity to succeed.
Even in the face of huge political opposition, both assessment providers have stood firm, ensuring every child is afforded the opportunity to enter a Grammar school. I commend them for their efforts and implore them to work together towards one common entrance assessment. The DUP believe it is important that we bolster and protect selection. It is obvious that even with political interference, more parents are choosing to enter their children for the transfer tests. The DUP will continue to support and work with both sides.
Before the election in May 2016, Arlene Foster promised that we will 'protect our education system so that we can continue to offer opportunity to ALL of our young people in Northern Ireland. Retention of academic selection is a top priority because it increases social mobility and allows everyone the opportunity to progress.' Eight months on, we continue to deliver on this pledge. No empty words, flashy scripts or false promises but delivery for Northern Ireland's young people.
I have no doubt that the hard work and foresight of Party colleague, Peter Weir, has created the atmosphere and environment for compromise between AQE and PPTC. Relaxing 'coaching' guidelines for Primary schools, commissioning an independent report into improving selection and continued engagement with school Principals has taken the stigma away from parents and schools who enter their pupils in a transfer test. This is firsthand evidence of DUP delivery.
As other Parties try to score political points, criticise, complain and scaremonger, the DUP continue to deliver for the people."