Press Release

Education Committee Examines the Examiners

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Thursday, 02 May 2013

Reference: EDUC 08/12/13

As part of its on-going consideration of GCSEs, A-levels and concerns relating to Computer-Based Assessment and the new Levels of Progression assessments, the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Education visited the headquarters of the examining body for Northern Ireland – the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA).

Committee Chairperson, Mervyn Storey MLA, said: “The Department and CCEA are consulting on potential changes to GCSEs and A-levels.  The proposals for A-levels are wide-ranging and include restrictions on resits and the number of modules.  The Committee has undertaken a lot of work with practitioners – school principals and teachers – to identify their concerns and consider a way forward.  We all want to see an inclusive exam system which helps all of our children obtain qualifications which are respected by employers and universities anywhere in the world.

“This visit gave us an opportunity to speak to those with responsibility for maintaining educational standards and developing A-levels and GCSEs in Northern Ireland.  The Committee will consider the mechanics of exam-setting and what the proposed changes might mean for all A-level students.”

Mr Storey concluded: “The Committee has also spent a considerable amount of time considering the Computer-Based Assessments (CBA) undertaken by all primary school children in P4 to P7.  Members were very unhappy with widespread reports of technical and other issues but were glad to see that a wide-ranging review is underway.”

“The Committee is keen to learn more about the progress of the CBA review and the next steps for schools in September. Members will also be asking questions about the progress of the new Levels of Progression assessments.”

ENDS

From L-R: John Daly, Business Manager Financial Services, CCEA; Trevor Carson, Chairman of CCEA; Anne-Marie Duffy, Director of Qualifications, CCEA; Mervyn Storey, Chairperson of the Committee; Ruth Kennedy, Business Manager Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting, CCEA; Richard Hanna, Interim Chief Executive,  CCEA.

From L-R: John Daly, Business Manager Financial Services, CCEA; Trevor Carson, Chairman of CCEA; Anne-Marie Duffy, Director of Qualifications, CCEA; Mervyn Storey, Chairperson of the Committee; Ruth Kennedy, Business Manager Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting, CCEA; Richard Hanna, Interim Chief Executive,  CCEA.


Notes to Editors:

A picture is included with this press release.  Caption for picture: From L-R: John Daly, Business Manager Financial Services, CCEA; Trevor Carson, Chairman of CCEA; Anne-Marie Duffy, Director of Qualifications, CCEA; Mervyn Storey, Chairperson of the Committee; Ruth Kennedy, Business Manager Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting, CCEA; Richard Hanna, Interim Chief Executive,  CCEA.

CCEA is responsible for GCSE and A-level curricula and examination standards in Northern Ireland and also manages the controversial Computer-Based Assessments (CBA) undertaken by all primary school pupils in P4 to P7.  Following technical and other issues, a wide-ranging Departmental review of CBA is underway.  CCEA is also responsible for the new Levels of Progression assessments which are undertaken at Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 involve a review of how pupil’s communicate and use maths in line with the Revised Curriculum.

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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