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Grammar Schools (North Down)

Volume 986: debated on Wednesday 18 June 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many primary pupils in North Down were assessed this year as suitable for grammar school education; and what is the position with regard to matching such pupils to grammar school places.

The transfer procedure recognises that up to 40 per cent. of pupils are capable of following an academic education. Under the procedure these pupils are graded P (pupils thought to be especially capable of taking academic courses) and R (pupils thought to be capable of benefiting from mixed, including academic, general and practical courses).The number of pupils in the North Down area so assessed by their school principals this year was 1,168, of whom 390 were assessed as P. However, not all the parents of these children have sought places in grammar schools in the North Down area.The number of places available in grammar schools in the area for admissions in September 1980 has been provisionally fixed at 670.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the number of primary school pupils who qualified for transfer to grammar schools in North Down in each of the last four years; and how many qualified for transfer in the current year.

The number of pupils who qualified for grammar school scholarships under the selection procedure for 1976 and 1977 and who were enrolled in grammar schools in the North Down area was 583 and 564 respectively.The number of pupils who obtained non-fee paying places in these grammar schools under the transfer procedure for the years 1978 and 1979 were 662 and 664 respectively. The provisional figure for 1980 is 647.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether, in view of the fact that Regent House grammar school, Newtownards, is prepared to take additional pupils, including those graded P minus, he will instruct the South Eastern Education Board to make the necessary arrangements and thereby ease the present shortage of grammar school places in North Down.

No. Regent House grammar school is a controlled school and as such is under the management of the South-Eastern education and library board.