Where will my child have to sit their Transfer Test?
At present children do not sit the test in their primary school but must sit their Transfer Test in grammar schools that are designated as Test Centres.
Not all of these test centres are capable of taking all the P7 pupils who want to sit the Transfer Test in that particular grammar school and so, in the past some pupils have had to travel to another venue which may be some distance away.
When registering parents have the opportunity to indicate, in order of preference, the Test Centre (s) they would prefer but it is not always possible to accommodate the choices of all parents – so early application may be very important.
The post primary schools in an area try to work together to provide sufficient accommodation for all children who have registered to take the Transfer Test.
Since the primary schools have no real involvement in organising the Transfer Test the primary schools currently do not act as test centres.
Using the hashtag #bringitbacktoprimary, a mother-of-two from Bangor has begun a campaign to have the P7 pupils sit the Transfer Test “in a more familiar and comfortable setting” ie their own primary school. The Minister of Education, who has reaffirmed his support for academic selection, is now being urged to intervene.
Almost 6,000 people have supported the #bringitbacktoprimary petition.
Since these Transfer Tests are not regulated tests the discussion of the venue in which a pupil has to sit the test will always be an issue. Taking the test in the child’s primary school may help to reduce the stress and anxiety of the whole test process.
Moving the test back into the primary school environment may not be just as easy as it seems and would defectively bring the primary school and its staff, especially the headteacher, back into the debate.