P7 Pupils should be allowed to sit AQE/GL in the primary school they attend. #bringitbackt

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Following the abolition of the Transfer Test for primary 7 pupils by former Education Minister Caitriona Ruane,  the AQE and GL entrance exams have been in operation for P7 pupils in Northern Ireland.

These exams are unofficial, however 1000s of children are still sitting the test each year but instead of the familiar setting of their own primary school they now have to attend the unfamiliar setting of their local grammar school. A setting which is arguably overwhelming despite the visit beforehand. Children of 10 and 11 are not emotionally ready for these formal exam environments at this stage in their school career.

The Belfast Telegraph reported on 30 January 2019 that there had been a 21% rise, over three years, in children being treated for mental health issues in Northern Ireland. With these harrowing statistics in mind and the likely emotional response children of 10 and 11 years old face when sitting, what can be perceived as a life changing exam, this petition aims to encourage the Northern Ireland Assembly to permit the AQE/GL to be taken back to the familiar primary school setting in preparation for next years exam and the years that follow until an agreed solution is found.