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Weir weighs up options for grading of NI exams

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Clarity: Peter Weir

Clarity: Peter Weir

Clarity: Peter Weir

Education Minister Peter Weir is set to determine how Northern Ireland's examination grades will be decided.

This summer's GCSE and A-level exams will not be sat due to the coronavirus crisis.

In England Ofqual has announced that teachers will assess grades using a variety of work and results for those studying for qualifications set by the AQA, Eduqas, OCR and Pearson examining bodies.

Most school and college pupils here sit exams set by local body the CCEA.

In a statement yesterday, the CCEA said it has "finalised a number of options" for how qualifications should be decided.

Mr Weir is to consider these options and his department told this newspaper that the minister hopes to take a decision next week.

In the statement the CCEA said it wanted to reassure students, parents and teachers that they are doing "everything we can" to ensure attainment is "fairly recognised".

A CCEA spokesman said: "We understand the urgent need for clarity for both students and teachers, and plan to rapidly implement the arrangements, once these are set out by the minister of education.

"We will also publish the process that we will follow to ensure grades are fair across all schools and colleges in Northern Ireland.

"We want to reassure students, parents and teachers that we are doing everything we can to ensure that the full attainment of all students is fairly recognised, during this unprecedented time.

"As further information becomes available we will update schools and colleges with the guidance and also via www.ccea.org.uk."

Mr Weir said: "I understand that students and teachers are seeking urgent clarity in relation to the arrangements for this year's GCSE and A-level examinations in Northern Ireland.

"I want to assure everyone that we are working as quickly as possible to resolve this issue but we want to take the time to get this right.

"I hope to be in a position to take the necessary policy decisions for Northern Ireland students in the next week, at which stage my department will issue an instruction to CCEA to implement those decisions," the minisrer added.

Belfast Telegraph