Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Bonus for spelling in GCSEs considered

More marks could be made available for good spelling and grammar during GCSEs, the Stormont education minister has said.

Pupils may also be assessed at the end of the two-year course, as opposed to the current system of examination on a rolling basis.

The changes would help reduce bureaucracy caused by re-sitting, free up teaching time and ensure those taking the tests are more mature and ready for them.

John O’Dowd announced the consultation on the proposed changes yesterday. Similar methods were adopted in England.

He said: “I, and my department, remain committed to delivering an education system that meets the needs of all pupils in the north of Ireland. An important element of this is ensuring that public examinations are sufficiently robust and in the most suitable format.

“GCSEs, in particular, are a vital passport to further employment, educational and training opportunities in later life.

“I am keen, therefore, to gather as much information as possible on any proposed changes to how they are delivered before deciding on the best way forward.”

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