The plan by Omagh’s two largest grammar schools to end academic selection from next year has been approved by the Department of Education.
In January, Omagh CBS and Loreto Grammar formerly announced their proposal for a phased end to entrance examinations for year eight pupils from September 2017, or as soon as possible thereafter.
On Tuesday, Education Minister, Peter Weir, approved development proposals to discontinue academic selection at both schools.
The Edmund Rice School Trust and the Trustees of Loreto Education Trust say they plan to have a totally non-academcially selective intake by September 2020 “or as soon as possible thereafter”.
Both schools are due to relocate to brand new buildings at the new Strule Shared Education Campus from September 2020.
Commenting on his decision, Peter Weir said, “My Department has considered the proposals in depth and examined their permutations and impacts on the wider area.
“These proposals were instigated by the school management of Loreto Grammar School and Christian Brothers’ Grammar School and are very confident there will be no significant changes to their respective pupil numbers for Year eight intakes.”
The DUP Education Minister, who supports academic selection continued, “I have been open in my stance on academic selection but have also clearly shown my support for giving schools greater choice.
“So whilst departmental policy is supportive of academic selection, I respect the right of schools and managing authorities to use their freedom to choose not to use it as a means of selection as illustrated by my decision here.”
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