Costello Report

Northern Ireland written question – answered on 14th June 2005.

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Photo of Sylvia Hermon Sylvia Hermon UUP, North Down

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to his answer of 25 May 2005, Official Report, column 116W, whether each pro-forma letter received by his Department in relation to the Costello Report is treated as a single letter of support or opposition.

Photo of Angela Smith Angela Smith Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Northern Ireland Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)

In addition to recommending that transfer from primary to post-primary school should be on the basis of informed parental and pupil choice, with no reference to academic ability, the Post-Primary Review Working Group Report made a number of key recommendations. These include the introduction of an Entitlement Framework" to guarantee pupils access to a wider choice of courses, and the development of a Pupil Profile. These and other recommendations have received a large measure of support, including from some of those opposed to the changes relating to academic selection. It is not, therefore, feasible or appropriate to categorise correspondence received by the Department as simply either supporting or opposing the Report as a whole.

Each letter received by the Department on these issues, whether part of a campaign or not, is treated on an individual basis.

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