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Maths exam blunder sees NI kids given wrong marks

By David Young

Thousands of primary school children in Northern Ireland have received the wrong marks in a computer-aided maths test.

A Northern Ireland exams authority, the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA), has had to apologise after almost 17,000 primary school children were given the wrong scores.

The error meant children received scores lower than they actually achieved.

Some 267 primary schools used the Northern Ireland Numeracy Assessment (NINA) test and 24,076 children took the test.

CCEA chief Justin Edwards said he was disappointed by the quality of the service, and apologised to parents and children affected.

He said the error was spotted after children received scores that were lower than expected.

"CCEA noted that the outcomes provided demonstrated lower than expected scores. We took immediate action," he said.

"CCEA asked for a detailed review of the assessments and systems. We were provided assurances that the assessments were performing as designed.

"Not satisfied, we continued to raise queries with the provider, until it was reported that they had identified an error within their systems. It was confirmed that the error was in the software used to calculate final scores for a number of children taking the assessment.

Mr Edwards said that the error has been fixed and the correct scores are now available.

"We apologise unreservedly for any inconvenience or distress this error has caused," he said.

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