Both private providers, AQE Ltd and PPTC, have now announced their dates and plans for transfer tests in November and December 2021. The GL test will take place on Saturday 13 November (back up Saturday 11 December) while the three AQE papers will take place on Saturday 20 and 27 November and Saturday 4 December. Registration for AQE opened on Tuesday 25 May and opens for the GL test on Tuesday 1 June. Current P6 children have finally been given the dates and now know what they are working towards. The question many parents are asking is what happens if these goal posts are moved again due to surge of Covid-19 in the autumn? No one can blame them! As the pandemic raged throughout 2020 and into early 2021, the transfer test process was thrown into ‘hokey-cokey’ chaos. Parents are adamant this cannot happen again!
In a bid to ease concerns and provide much needed clarity, AQE Ltd and Education Minister Peter Weir, agreed to a Q&A session with Head of Parentkind in Northern Ireland, Jayne Thompson and #BringItBackToPrimary campaign organiser, Naomi McBurney on Monday 24 May. Parents were asked to submit their questions prior to the session. The main themes arising from the questions were:
- Contingency plans
- Covid-19 guidance
- Children’s wellbeing
- AQE process preparation
- Test preparation
- Test content
- Test day
Jayne and Naomi were both blown away with the number of questions they received by telephone and email from parents right across the province and were delighted to be able to put 31 of those questions to the panel. A further 15 questions have been forwarded to AQE Ltd and both Parentkind and #BringItBackToPrimary have very strongly encouraged that AQE FAQs are updated to include answers on these questions and provide further clarity for parents.
Here are the current set of FAQs and guidance on the Literacy and Maths AQE transfer content as referenced in the interview.
Parentkind and #BringItBackToPrimary wish to extend their sincerest thanks to the parents who came forward with questions and to AQE Ltd and the Education Minister Peter Weir MLA, for so keenly engaging with us and answering questions as honestly and openly as they did.