Northern Ireland news

Mitigations will be in place again for pupils sitting this year's transfer test

The dates for this year's transfer tests have been announced

MITIGATIONS will be in place again for pupils sitting this year's transfer test to "take account of the considerable disruption caused by Covid-19 to children's education over the past two years".

The Association for Quality Education (AQE) and the Post-Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC) have both confirmed revisions to the contents of their papers.

The dates for the tests, which are used by most grammar schools to select pupils for the Year 8 intake, have also been announced.

The GL test will be held on November 12, while the three AQE tests will take place on consecutive Saturdays - November 19, 26 and December 3.

AQE said there will be revisions to the content of both the english and maths sections of the papers, adding that "the mitigation arrangements put in place for the 2021/22 assessment will remain the same for this year".

These include:

:: Pupils will be given an extra 10 minutes to complete each paper (ie.70 minutes instead of 60 minutes).

:: The language within the english and maths questions will be made more accessible.

:: The length of the english passages will be shortened where appropriate.

:: Certain topic areas will be omitted from the mathematics specification.

The PPTC also said "both the english and the mathematics papers will be significantly modified, in the same ways as they were for 2021-22, to take account of the disruption to formal education experienced by pupils".

Among the changes will be a reduction in the number of comprehension passages and a decrease in the topic areas in maths.

Registration for both AQE and GL tests opens on May 4.

It comes as it has emerged that principals from eight post-primary schools are to head up the new body set to run the single common transfer test from next year.

The Schools' Entrance Assessment Group (SEAG) was formally established in February with Michael Carville, principal of Regent House Grammar School in Newtownards, appointed as the first chairperson.

Another seven head teachers from schools across the north have joined the organisation.

They are from Our Lady and St Patrick's College Knock, Royal School Dungannon, Campbell College, Foyle College, Down High School, Dominican College Belfast and Victoria College Belfast.

None of the directors will receive a salary for their role.

Almost 60 post-primary schools have already signed up to run the new transfer test from 2023.

It will mark the end of the current system of separate tests run by AQE and PPTC, which has been in place since the end of the 11-plus exam in 2008.

The new tests are due to take place on the second and fourth Saturdays in November 2023 and will feature English and maths questions with a mixture of multiple choice and written questions.

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