Board sides with junior highs in exam impasse

Gavin Boyd
Gavin Boyd
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The board’s interim chief executive, Gavin Boyd, has turned down Portadown College’s request to bring forward the date of Year 10 transfer examinations held at Killicomaine, Tandragee and Clounagh junior highs.

The College had requested the transfer test results and pupil rank orders by April 22 but in a recent meeting of headmasters held to try and resolve the impasse, the junior highs said this was not possible.

The exams are currently held in late March in Tandragee and Clounagh and immediately after Easter in Killicomaine, and the junior highs guaranteed that the College will receive their results by May 8.

There was no resolution during the meeting but all sides agreed to leave the final decision to the SELB.

In a letter seen by the Portadown Times, Mr Boyd said the “board does not consider that it is in a position to request any junior high school to change the planned dates for Year 10 examinations”.

Portadown College and Craigavon Senior High School had claimed that the exams should be held earlier because they need more time to work out timetables.

An SELB spokesman said it will “continue to engage with all parties with a view to achieving an equitable solution in the interests of all pupils.

“The three senior schools can be assured that the board would wish to offer practical support with any administrative arrangements following the issue of placement letters.”

Peter Aiken, chairman of Portadown College board of governors, said, “I can confirm that I am in receipt of correspondence from the interim chief executive, Gavin Boyd, of the SELB relating to the admissions criteria to Portadown College published by Portadown College for the academic year 2015/16.

“This criteria is in keeping with that published by the College over recent years. There is to be a meeting of the College Board of Governors next Thursday, February 12, to discuss this correspondence.”