AQE is an alliance of parents, principals, governors and teachers, who believe that the future of post-primary education in Northern Ireland should be based on our excellent secondary and grammar schools and not on imposition of the failed one-size-fits-all comprehensive model.
While we are not against change, we believe in celebrating the achievements of all types of post-primary schools in Northern Ireland , for example:
a) Pupils in Northern Ireland each year outperform their peers in terms of the percentage of young people obtaining 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C. (If we consider 5 GCSEs A*-C including the key subjects of English and Mathematics, the gap is even greater).
b) Pupils in receipt of Free School Meals, a common indicator of poverty, outperform their peers in Great Britain by a wider margin than the population as a whole, in terms of the percentage obtaining 5 good GCSE grades.
c) Northern Ireland ’s higher education institutions have a much larger percentage intake from poorer socio-economic groups than anywhere else on these islands.
We oppose a system in which schools would be forced to select pupils on the basis of postcode, advocating instead that schools be given the freedom to develop academic, technical and vocational pathways to ensure that all children have the opportunity to attend a school which will cater for their interests and accommodate their needs and abilities.