Education Minister must explain how A-Level appeals process will address low grades, says Lyttle

The Education Minister must explain how the appeals process will address the low grades received by many A-Level and AS-Level students here, Alliance Education spokesperson Chris Lyttle MLA has said.

More than a third – 37 per cent – of estimated grades allocated by teachers were lowered in the final results, with only 5.3 per cent being raised. Last year, over 45 per cent of estimated grades given by schools matched the final results of pupils.

“My thoughts are with every pupil who has received A-Level and AS grades today. We need to recognise the sacrifice they have made during this pandemic, from school closures to having exams cancelled. The least they can expect in return is fair grades,” said Mr Lyttle, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee.

“I have been clear in these unprecedented times, grades must be based on individual ability and teacher assessment, and any anomalies must be addressed by engaging with schools and a robust appeals process. Going by today’s reactions by principals and pupils, that engagement has not taken place.

“There are serious questions for the Education Minister as to whether the appeals process will be able to address all of this adequately. The Minister and CCEA will be appearing before the Education Committee tomorrow and we will be seeking clarity from both. A-Level results are far too important to allow any lack of clarity or hint of unfairness.”