ASCL Northern Ireland comment on A level results

Robert Wilson, Regional Officer at ASCL Northern Ireland comments on results for A levels, AS levels and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland published today. 
Commenting on results for A levels, AS levels and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland published today, Robert Wilson, Regional Officer at ASCL Northern Ireland, said:
“Congratulations to our young people on the AS and A level results they have received today. This has been a most difficult year for our school students and the Centre Determined Grades based on their work should reflect their ability and thus enable them to progress to the next stage of their studies or into the world of work. 
“Students have worked incredibly hard in extremely difficult circumstances and deserve huge credit for their efforts, whilst teachers have shown great commitment and professionalism to ensure the grades awarded are fair and evidence based. CCEA has carried out external quality assurance across all centres in Northern Ireland to ensure consistency of standards.
“The system used to assess students this year is different from both formal exams and the approach that was used last year and we should therefore avoid making direct comparisons with other years. What is crucial is that we celebrate the achievements of this year’s cohort, who have had to endure so much over the past 18 months.
“This year’s approach has been based on teachers using a range of assessment methods to make a holistic judgement on the appropriate grades for their students and these have then gone through rigorous quality assurance processes. Schools have worked diligently to implement this system and provide fair and accurate grades. Students, universities and employers can all place their trust in this robust system. 
“The majority of university applicants will now go on to their preferred university, and those who have missed grades and go through the clearing process will receive support from universities, schools and colleges to find a course which meets their needs and goals. It will be important that universities provide educational and pastoral support to their new undergraduates given the extreme disruption they have faced during the course of the pandemic and we are sure this is fully understood already.
“We wish all students well for the future, and once again extend our thanks to teachers and leaders for all that they have done.”