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12th March, 2021

CREU Podcast: Transfer Tests and Access to Grammar School Places

An issue dominating conversations about education in Northern Ireland over the past few months has been the transfer tests and access to grammar school places.

As the transfer tests were first postponed and then cancelled due to the pandemic, we have been left discussing the consequences are for social and educational inequality, as well as assessing the merits and pitfalls of contingencies and of the tests themselves. It has caused great controversy, partly because individual convictions about academic selection are deeply rooted, and partly because reliable data about the transfer process is so difficult to come by.

So what is the evidence?

For this episode, CREU director Dr Noel Purdy spoke to Dr Sam Sims from the Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities at the UCL Institute of Education in London, who published a research paper in 2019 entitled “Why do so few low and middle-income children attend a grammar school?”, to find out more.

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