The scrapping of academic selection to Catholic grammar schools in Derry has moved a step closer with local church leaders poised to meet with Boards of Governors to discuss a “phased transition” away from the controversial transfer model.
The move comes as the Catholic Church in Derry
publishes an analysis of the public’s response to its radical plans to
transform the face of post-primary education in the city.
“Together Towards Tomorrow” proposals include the abolition of academic
selection, an end to single sex schools and the creation of two new
Diocesan Administrator Monsignor Eamon Martin
also plans a “partnership of distinct but linked Catholic post-primary
schools in the Derry area known as the “Le Chéile Partnership”.
Chéile is Irish for ‘together’.
Mons. Martin told the ‘Journal’ that the proposals had generated “considerable debate and interest throughout the community.”
said he was encouraged to find ‘a high level of support” for the Le
Chéile plan and he believes it is now time for post-primary principals,
in consultation with their Boards of Governors, to take the
‘Partnership’ idea to the “next stage in its evolution.”
to academic selection, he revealed that, while a majority of the
individual written responses to the proposals was opposed to moving away
from academic selection as an admissions criterion, the majority of
‘corporate responses’ - mainly from Boards of Governors - expressed some
support as did a majority of those who completed school-designed
He told the ‘Journal’ that, in coming months, he
will engage directly with Boards of Governors in an effort to agree a
method of “phased transition” away from the use of academic selection.
will also facilitate discussions about alternative admissions criteria,
taking account of the long-standing tradition of the three current
grammar schools accepting pupils from a wide catchment area.”
The analysis report is available on the Diocesan website at www.derrydiocese.org