Decisive action needed to deliver fair grades for all pupils

Alliance Education spokesperson Chris Lyttle MLA, Assembly Education Committee Chair, has said the Minister must act immediately to ensure fair grades for all pupils.

Mr Lyttle was speaking after he convened a special meeting of the Committee on Friday morning, allowing an opportunity for Education Minister Peter Weir and exams body CCEA to be quizzed on their handling of the situation, where he also proposed pupils receive whatever is highest among their AS-Level grade, their teacher-assessed grade or their CCEA-awarded result – a move backed by the Committee.

He said: “MLAs on the Committee and many others have heard from many pupils, parents and teachers, who have been left shocked, confused and distressed by the outcome of the results this week. It is clear we have a serious and significant problem caused by the Education Minister’s model for achieving the grades.

“However good intentioned it was, the model has failed many pupils across Northern Ireland, putting university places at risk. The extent of this failure is such that I cannot see how it can’t be adequately addressed by an appeals process in the timescale available. This failure also seems likely to be replicated in the GCSE results next week.

“The Minister should act quickly and decisively, and move to ensure pupils are awarded whatever grade is higher among their AS-Level result, their teacher-assessed grade or their CCEA-awarded grade, and apply that same approach for GCSE results. Children and young people have made many unprecedented sacrifices; the Minister can take unprecedented action to deliver a fair outcome for them all.”