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(Belfast Telegraph 27/02/2017)

The two groups which currently run the unofficial transfer tests - sat by more than 14,000 P7 children across Northern Ireland each year - say they are "eager to work together to find a common transfer test". 

Since the final official transfer test was sat by pupils in 2008, the vast majority of selective grammar schools here have used tests set by two private organisations to decide their Year 8 intake.

Most controlled grammars whose boards of governors contain representatives of the Protestant Churches accept test scores from the Association of Quality Education (AQE).

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A rise in the number of primary seven pupils taking transfer tests across Northern Ireland is causing pressures in schools leading to some pupils facing long journeys to sit thir exams. (Belfast News Letter 13 October 2017)

Pupils hoping to go to one of Northern Ireland’s grammar schools can opt to sit a test accepted by their school of choice with either of two examination bodies, GL and AQE, and in some cases both.

One school, Wallace High School, say they have made additional places available in light of increased pressures.

Earlier this week, Lisburn mum Lisa Pauley had said she was told there was no room for for her son to sit the test at Friends or Wallace High School and that he would have to travel to Dungannon on November 11.

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bbc 1The two organisations which run the separate school transfer tests in Northern Ireland have said they want to produce a common test. (BBC 27/02/2017)

The Association of Quality Education (AQE) and the Post-Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC) issued a joint statement announcing the move.

"We believe this to be in the best interest of pupils, parents and schools," said the groups.

Sources told the BBC that talks would begin in early March and the aim, they said, was to have a common test in place by November 2019.

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