Selection tests concern

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Ballymena Presbytery has expressed its “grave concern” over the current arrangements for academic selection tests in the area.

A statement issued on behalf of Presbytery by its Clerk, Joseph J Andrews, reads: “In a situation we understand to be unique in Northern Ireland, the parents of pupils of Ballymena and its catchment area feel they have been put in the invidious position of having to enter their children for both the AQE and GL tests.

“Many members of the Presbytery have seen the negative effects that this is having, year on year, on young people and their families.

“In the interests of children, parents and primary school staff, Ballymena Presbytery therefore calls upon the Boards of Governors of those schools in the area which use academic selection, urgently to formulate and implement a plan to address this situation, in order to militate against the increased levels of stress and anxiety caused by using two tests.”