Education Minister and CCEA must ensure fair A-Level and GCSE grade awards, says Lyttle

The Education Minister and Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) must ensure students receive fair A-Level and GCSE grades this week and next, Alliance Education spokesperson Chris Lyttle MLA has said.

Assembly Education Committee Chair Mr Lyttle was speaking ahead of the release of results by CCEA, which will be decided on a number of factors, including predicted grades and previous performance of schools and pupils. He has also called the Education Minister and CCEA to appear before the Education Committee this Friday (August 14) to answer questions on the issue.

“The closure of schools and cancellation of examinations in response to COVID-19 has been a significant challenge for pupils across Northern Ireland. This sacrifice has saved lives and the Education Minister and CCEA must ensure children and young people receive fair grades in response,” he said.

“I have been clear – in the absence of rescheduled examinations, grade calculation must be based on individual ability, teacher assessment and existing data and any significant anomalies should be redressed by way of engagement with schools and a free, fair, and robust appeal process.

“It is clear significant concern exists with regards to the use of past school performance and it is incumbent on the Education Minister and CCEA to urgently and fully explain if, why, how and the extent to which centre standardisation has been used for grade calculation this year.

“We must ensure pupils in Northern Ireland receive a fair outcome for their hard work and endeavour, and all the support they need to progress in their educational, training and employment pathway.”


Information on how grades were calculated this year, including an explanation on statistical standardisation, can be found here.


Full information on how to appeal a grade can be found here.


There is also further information and guidance from UCAS regarding processes and appeals, which can be accessed here.


Careers adviser information can be found at the Northern Ireland Careers Service here.


Please note the closing date for appeals is Thursday, September 17, 2020.