‘Today’s exam results show that the model being used to determine ‘A Level’ grades is clearly not fit for purpose and that the criteria being used to reach these decisions must be published for all to see’ says Party spokesperson Joanne Lowry.
‘ It beggars belief’ , she said, that Education Minister Peter Weir and the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations & Assessment (CCEA) refuse to accept that major mistakes have been made and that these will adversely effect the livelihoods and future prospects of thousands of local pupils’
‘Many questions remain unanswered about this process’, Joanne said.
Did the CCEA or the Minister deliberately limit the number of pupils receiving A and A* grades?
To what extent was a school’s ‘past performance’ a factor in determining pupils’ grades?
Was ‘ past performance’ applied universally across all schools?
Have non-grammar schools been disproportionately effected?
‘As if to add insult to injury we are told that the measures taken were to ensure the integrity of the education system. This is the same education system that still has selection at 11, educates Catholics and Protestant children separately, has separate teacher education colleges and has 52% of non grammar school pupils leaving school with a minimum of five GCSEs’, she said.
Scotland, England and Wales have already reviewed and amended their grading systems. Northern Ireland remains unchanged. Nothing short of full transparency and a recognition of the long term damage caused to a generation of A level and GSCE students can turn this educational fiasco around’, Joanne concluded