Back in 1993 the journalist Fionnuala OConnor wrote In Search of a State: Catholics in Northern Ireland.� One of the Roman Catholics she interviewed was John Hume, then leader of the SDLP, and the conversation came round to the subject of�academic selection pp 23,24.� O'Connor summarised the case against academic selection, describing it as 'socially divisive' and stating that it 'unfairly favoured children from more literate, middle-class homes'.� She then continued
Hume still will not have that.� 'There's no education system in the world that'll put brains into someone who hasn't got them,' he says.� 'Selection means that people of ability, no matter what their social level, can break through.'
I cant remember when the SDLP changed its stance but there you are – John Hume, a founding father and long-time leader of the SDLP supported academic selection.