Grammar-school Admissions Criteria

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:45 pm on 6th December 2021.

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Photo of Michelle McIlveen Michelle McIlveen DUP 2:45 pm, 6th December 2021

I thank the Member for his question. With regard to sanctions, my Department has written to schools that had quite a number of appeals upheld. We are evaluating the outcome of that. I expect that action will be taken against boards of governors who continue to go against the guidelines that the Department has issued. The Member will know, however, that the setting of admissions criteria is, by law, a matter for schools' boards of governors, and my Department issues advice. While schools must, by law, have regard to that guidance, the setting of admissions criteria remains a matter for schools.

Uniform admissions criteria would mean that, in many instances, the same children were prioritised by all schools. That would create an additional problem that would have to be reflected.