Legal bid over transfer test halted

Published Friday, 09 November 2012
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A landmark legal challenge to the level of assistance provided to a special needs pupil due to sit the grammar school transfer test has been halted by the child's parents.

Legal bid over transfer test halted
The appeal case has been halted. (© UTV)

Proceedings had been launched at the High Court in Belfast against the body which runs one of the unofficial entrance exams, claiming discrimination on the ground of disability.

It was the first case of its kind since the Association for Quality Education began to oversee tests in place of the abolished 11-plus.

The child at the centre of the legal challenge is among thousands due to begin such assessments on Saturday, with three test papers to be sat at grammar schools across Northern Ireland.

The judge has previously heard that the child, who cannot be identified, has been assessed by an educational psychologist as having "unique" circumstances.

The exact nature of the disability involved was not disclosed.

According to the child's lawyers, an offer of an extra 15mins to complete the one-hour test was insufficient and additional access arrangements were also unsatisfactory.

At an earlier court hearing, it had been alleged that there had been a failure, or refusal, to make reasonable adjustments.

Further arguments were due on Friday, with submissions on whether the AQE - as a private body - could be subject to judicial review proceedings which examine the lawfulness of decisions or actions by public bodies.

But senior counsel for the child's family instead confirmed that the case was not continuing.

Mr Justice Treacy was told: "The position now is that the application for judicial review is withdrawn."

No further reasons for ending the challenge were given in court.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Ex Teacher in Belfast wrote (808 days ago):
The old 11 plus and the modern transfer procedure are both a form of child abuse, and no indication of how the pupil will do later in life. The Grammar Schools are a waste of space (speaking as one who was sent to one), and it is time the education authorities came up to the 21st Century and abandoned this crap once and for all.
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