ASCL Northern Ireland comment on GCSE results

Robert Wilson, Regional Officer at ASCL Northern Ireland, comments on the publication of GCSE results in Northern Ireland.
Commenting on the publication of GCSE results in Northern Ireland, Robert Wilson, Regional Officer at ASCL Northern Ireland, said:
“Congratulations to students across Northern Ireland on their GCSE results, and enormous thanks to the teachers who have worked so hard to assess and grade young people following the government’s decision to cancel public exams because of the disruption to education caused by the pandemic.
“The system used to assess learners for GCSEs this summer is completely different to public exams and it is not therefore fair or reasonable to compare them directly. The grades awarded to our young people today are an accurate reflection of their performance under the robust evidence-based system used by schools this year, which was subject to moderation by CCEA, and they will now be able to progress with confidence to the next stage of their education.

“We need to offer our congratulations to students for their performance and give them huge credit for all they have achieved in extremely difficult circumstances. They have done so thanks to the support and encouragement given by their teachers, who have shown amazing adaptability and professionalism over the last 18 months.
“A number of pathways post GCSE results now exist for our young people and our schools will play a key part, alongside the Careers’ Service, in guiding them to make the best choices. 

“Many of the young people receiving their GCSE grades will be now going on to study BTECs and other applied general qualifications. These are popular and respected qualifications which provide a proven pathway to universities, apprenticeships and careers. 

“We have particular longer-term concerns regarding the Westminster government’s intention to scrap the majority of these qualifications over the next few years and the implications this might have for post-16 educational provision in Northern Ireland. It is vital that student choice is protected.”