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Lyttle questions Education Minister over refusal to cancel or significantly change exam assessments

Alliance Education spokesperson Chris Lyttle has questioned the Education Minister about what level of disruption to pupils caused by the pandemic is he willing to accept before cancelling or significantly altering assessments of GCSE, AS-Level and A-Level grades in 2021.

East Belfast MLA Mr Lyttle was speaking after Peter Weir announced minor changes for those sitting the exams next year, who will now be subject to “generous grading,” and assessed on significantly reduced curriculum content, sitting fewer exams in the process.

“The Education Minister’s inaction, indecision and U-turns have caused chaos for pupils this year,” said Mr Lyttle.

“We are therefore entitled to expect more than a statement to the Assembly which is vague at best in its detail and commitments. Other jurisdictions have taken decisive action to cancel or significantly modify exams due to the unprecedented disruption we have seen to learning.

“On the week commencing October 12, around 50,000 pupils were not in school. Currently, some pupils are on their fourth period of self-isolation, with many staff affected as well. The question has to be asked – what level of disruption to pupils is the Minister willing to accept before introducing moderated centre/school assessment instead of GCSE, AS-Level and A-Level exams in 2021?”