[Sinn Fein]

24th October 2001

11+ Report can transform the educational landscape

Sinn Fein education spokesperson, West Tyrone MLA Barry McElduff has said that the Burns report and the recommendation to do away with the 11+ transfer test has the potential to transform the educational landscape.

Mr McElduff said:

``Sinn Fein note with great satisfaction the report's recommendations that the flawed and counter-productive 11+ transfer test be done away with. This single move can do more to transform the educational landscape in the Six Counties than many previous initiatives.

``It is a testimony to the approach of Martin McGuinness that he tackled this issue head on. The report is also a result of good work by the Review Body. The whole consultation process was a shinning example of participatory democracy in action, and the report reflects the views and concerns of a wide range of people and organisations.

``We will study the report with great interest, particularly the interesting proposals for school collegiates. Without pre-empting our deliberations, the core principle implied by the concept of school collegiates of a culture of co-operation and teamwork within the education system appears to be an important advance.

``Sinn Fein will also examine proposals that feeder primary schools should be included in these collegiates as a mechanism for enhancing a seamless high quality education environment for children and their communities.'' ENDS

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