Education Committee Examines the Examiners

Synopsis: 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 Committee for Education visited the headquarters of the examining body for Northern Ireland – the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment.

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 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.

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