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DUP Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said,

"It is deeply sad that in the middle of the greatest health crisis of our time that some parties in the Northern Ireland Executive seem to be 100% focused on using the pandemic to advance their political objective of undermining academic selection.

This should not be a debate about selection. It should be about public safety. There is no question of the transfer test going ahead if the public health conditions at that time do not permit it.

This is a legitimate choice being made by parents and schools. It is perfectly legal for schools to select pupils on the basis of academic ability. We want to facilitate that choice and particularly for those children who are an only child or the eldest child in a household. There must be a fair process of transfer which does not disadvantage those pupils who live far away from school.

Those who want to use the pandemic to stop academic selection should be honest and outline their real objective is to close grammar schools and stop hiding behind other arguments.”