Exam body head: Children who miss AQE cannot sit it again

Norovirus
Norovirus
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The joint head of the AQE exam body has said that children who miss today’s third and final transfer exam will not get to sit it again.

Dr Darrin Barr spoke out after 10 schools across Northern Ireland were closed this week due to the winter vomiting bug.

He said that he felt sorry for those affected but “there is no provision” for an extra test.

“The model of AQE is the two best results are taken from the three tests and that will produce a standardised score which can be used for application for entry into grammar school,” he told Good Morning Ulster.

“If the children only manage to do one test then they will be issued with a raw score by AQE at the same time as the children who are issued with the AQE result.”

Dr Barr said that this raw score can be used with any other primary school data to apply for special circumstances at grammar schools.

Chris Currie, principal of Killinchy Primary School, said more than half of its 350 pupils were off sick in a situation he described as “unprecedented”.

“I’ve been a principal for seven years and a teacher for nine years before that and I’ve never experienced anything like this at all,” he said.

“Attendance is still very low but I expect a lot of that is precautionary and will return to some form of normality on Monday once AQE is out of the way.

“Our sickness hasn’t just been related to Norovirus, in fact we are only assuming that’s what’s causing the vomiting, but we also have Flu-A running alongside so it’s been the combination of both of those which has done the damage at Killinchy.”

Mr Currie added that only five of 47 P7 pupils were in.