North's primary school body rejects Burns report

 

Grammar schools in Northern Ireland are being made scapegoats for the failure felt by children attending secondary schools, it was claimed today.

The Governing Bodies Association, which represents 54 voluntary grammar schools came out strongly against the Burns Report, claiming it would lead to a neighbourhood comprehensive system.

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Every child has the opportunity of an academic education; under Burns, not even the 8 per cent will get to grammar schools because they will no longer be able to exist
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The Governing Bodies Association

It argued that the Burns proposals, while stimulating debate, would not deliver a better educational system for Northern Ireland.

"The simple fact is that at the moment every child has the opportunity of an academic education; under Burns, not even the 8 per cent will get to grammar schools because they will no longer be able to exist.

"It is reprehensible that the academic excellence of grammar schools is blamed for the sense of failure felt (in varying degrees) by children who go to secondary schools."

The GBA described the Burns proposals, particularly an end to academic selection, the development of pupil profiles and the creation of a collegiate system of schooling, as "fundamentally flawed".

However, it did support the scrapping of the controversial 11-plus.

"How can we in Northern Ireland justify launching an untried and unproven educational experiment on our children, when at present we can demonstrate higher educational achievement that the rest of the British Isles?"

PA