Published Friday, 09 November 2012
Pupils are preparing to sit the first unofficial transfer tests of the year. (© Getty)
UTV NEWS POLL
Do you feel pupils should sit transfer tests?
Almost 14,000 pupils will undertake the first of this year's examinations on Saturday.
The figure has risen steadily each year since 2009, the year after the 11-plus was scrapped, with around 100 extra pupils taking the tests each year.
The increase is most marked with regards to the GL test, which is mainly used by Catholic grammars.
But one principal of a Catholic school has told UTV that the sector is beginning to move beyond academic selection.
"The tests are not unstoppable because the maintained sector, the Catholic schools, have given a very firm commitment - lead by the Catholic Bishops - to move away from academic selection," Dr Seamus Quinn, head teacher at St Patrick's Academy said.
"There are two grammar schools that have already said that they will comply with that."
Sinn Féin Education Minister John O'Dowd was not available for comment on Friday.
But the DUP chairman of the Education Committee said it was obvious that there was parental support for academic selection.
"We still have parents who are saying this is the process we want and this is the one we are choosing," North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey said.
© UTV News