Northern Ireland news

Human rights group asked to present 11-plus mental health findings in detail

The report found that academic selection was damaging children's mental health

A HUMAN rights group that found academic selection is damaging children's mental health has been invited to present its findings in detail.

A report from the Right to Education (R2E) group, facilitated by Participation and the Practice of Rights, said a system that raised some pupils up at the expense of others was cruel.

Its study which sought the views of pupils and teachers said 11-plus style tests were "harmful".

Young people told of not sleeping, loss of appetite, crying, anxiety and depression.

Some said they would not attend primary school for fear of a practice test.

Teachers who took part in the study said the damage to children's wellbeing was long-lasting.

Copies of the report have been sent to the Department of Education and Education Authority (EA).

The department said it would consider the findings while the EA said it would invite the group to discuss the findings.

"The Right To Education Group has shared the report with the Education Authority's chief executive," an EA spokeswoman said.

"Although academic selection is a departmental policy issue, the EA's director of education has agreed to meet with the group to consider its findings in more detail.

"This meeting will hopefully take place over the summer period."

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