Writer assaults switch check and wider schooling system after outcome left her daughter ‘in tears’
A CO Antrim writer has slammed 11-plus-style exams after sharing a photo of her daughter, who she said cried when she heard her result.
Angeline King, author of novels such as Snugville Street and A Belfast Tale, posted a thread on Twitter attacking the “education system of the past” and urging Stormont politicians to “overhaul” it.
Her criticism was accompanied by a picture of her daughter Eliza, who she said “cried in my arms” when she found out about her transfer test result on Saturday.
Larne-based Ms King, who is writer-in-residence at Ulster University, said her daughter asked about the result “why is she so stupid”.
“I explained that the education system is flawed and that she is very smart,” she wrote.
Addressing Stormont parties, Ms King wrote: “Please explain to this sane ten year old why she was considered a failure on the basis of three hours of her life instead of basing a decision about her future on seven years of work.”
The author, who has also written a children’s book and a non-fiction book on the history of Irish dancing, lashes out at the cost of the tests and how parents are being forced to pay for tuition. She also urged the North to explore “progressive opportunities” for education.
Alliance MLA Kelly Armstrong responded by calling for a “skills education system” that addresses children’s “professional, academic or special needs”.
She added, “If each school focused on nurturing different skills, maybe we wouldn’t have to subject the kids to this annual transfer pressure.”