ASCL comment on Department of Education decision to suspend the Summary of Annual Exam Results

Robert Wilson, Regional Officer at ASCL Northern Ireland, comments on Education Minister Michelle McIlveen’s announcement on exams.
We welcome the confirmation from the Education Minister that, given the continuing challenges presented by the pandemic, the Summary of Annual Exam Results (SAER) will be suspended this year.
“Given the pressures schools are under, it seems eminently sensible that exam outcomes from this academic year are not used for school accountability purposes.
“We further welcome the Department of Education’s recommendation that schools can now prioritise teaching of the mandatory units of assessment in order to prepare students for this summer’s exams. This is we something we have been asking the department to do for some time. 
“Schools have been trying their very best to follow previous DE advice by preparing students for the whole specification in each subject and this new advice will now allow them to focus on the units which will be assessed.
“Students facing exams in just a few months’ time have seen unprecedented disruption to their entire courses over the past two years and it is only fair that they, and their teachers, can now focus on the units to be assessed, which will help them demonstrate their learning with a realistic chance of achieving grades that match their ability. We thank the Education Minister for this sensible and practical assistance for young people in Northern Ireland.