ASCL NI comment on GCSE results

20/08/2020
Robert Wilson, Northern Ireland regional officer of the Association of School and College Leaders comments on GCSE results awarded in Northern Ireland today. 
 
Commenting on GCSE results awarded in Northern Ireland today, Robert Wilson, Northern Ireland regional officer of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

Congratulations to students on their GCSE results and to their teachers. These have been extraordinarily difficult circumstances, and this generation of young people has suffered a degree of uncertainty and disruption that is without precedent. Our hearts go out to them. We sincerely hope that they are now able to move on to the next stage of their lives, and we wish them the very best with their future studies.

We are supportive of the decision not to rely on a statistical model for moderating grades which would have produced far too many anomalous results.

However, it is imperative that we now understand what went wrong and why we have ended up in this situation. We will be writing to the Minister for Education to ask him to commission an immediate independent review of the process for awarding grades to GCSE, AS and A-level students in Northern Ireland this year.

Our colleagues in England have made a similar request to the Secretary of State for Education in Westminster, and we note that the Minister for Education in Wales has already committed to an independent review.

In particular, we will be asking the Minister for Education in Northern Ireland why he has chosen to break with the approach in England and Wales for the grades awarded to GCSE students following the decision to revert to centre-assessment grades. In those jurisdictions, students will be awarded either the centre-assessment grade or the calculated grade, whichever is higher.”