Press Release

A-Levels Under Scrutiny at Committee Event

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Reference: EDUC 07/12/13

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Education hosted an event this evening to hear views on potential changes to A-levels in Northern Ireland.

Teachers and principals from post-primary schools throughout Northern Ireland offered their insights to the Committee on the Department of Education's proposals for change to the current A-Level system.

Committee Chairperson, Mervyn Storey MLA said: "I am delighted to have hosted this event and to have welcomed schools from every part of Northern Ireland. It is essential that we, in the Assembly, listen to those who know best how these changes to A-levels will affect our children – that is our teachers and principals in post-primary schools.

"The Committee is conscious of the critical importance of A-levels as a qualification and as a conduit to further and higher education. We must maintain the transferability of our children's qualifications. But we must also pay attention to the very real concerns expressed by our schools.

"We are following the consultation on these proposals to change A-levels very closely. There seems to be much uncertainty at this point on the best way forward. That is why the Committee has taken the time to listen before it makes up its mind on these important issues."

He concluded: "I very much look forward to seeing the results of tonight's event – the Committee will be responding to the consultation and will be scrutinising whatever changes follow."


Notes to Editors:

The Department of Education is consulting on wide-ranging changes which could make AS Levels disappear or limit students' opportunities to take or resit modular exams. The proposals, which are being considered in parallel with the Department's wide-ranging review of A-levels and GCSEs, are controversial but are designed to keep Northern Ireland aligned with England and Wales.

Committee Membership:

Chairperson: Mervyn Storey MLA
Deputy Chairperson: Danny Kinahan MLA
Michaela Boyle MLA
Jonathan Craig MLA
Jo-Anne Dobson MLA
Brenda Hale MLA
Chris Hazzard MLA
Trevor Lunn MLA
Michelle McIlveen MLA
Sean Rogers MLA
Pat Sheehan MLA

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