10/10/2017

UUP And SDLP Hit Out At CCEA Over Exam Grades

The UUP has hit out at the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) after it was revealed that some exam grades have been significantly changed after a review was requested.

The revelations were made on the BBC's Stephen Nolan Show after a GCSE student's grade jumped from a D to one mark off an A* after being remarked.

Ulster Unionist education spokesperson, Rosemary Barton MLA, said she was "shocked" by the revelations and called for the marking and scoring process by the CCEA to be reviewed.

She said: "We believe and trust that professional bodies like CCEA will not make such major mistakes, especially those which can have such a lasting impact on a young person's entire future.

"Now that such a mistake has been exposed the question remains as to how many other children were given the wrong result?
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"More urgently however they should investigate the cases that have been brought to their attention, particularly those that have been marked by individuals where there are such significant differences in the scores. I also believe it may be necessary to reopen the appeal process to allow those who received what they believe to be wrong scores to have them looked at again.

"It should also be noted that prior to an examination teachers make a submission to CCEA of the expected grade of a pupil – I would urge CCEA to check these against the actual grade awarded and if there is a great discrepancy to investigate immediately."

SDLP MLA Sinead Bradley said: "The stories of the personal impact these irregularities have had on young people is heart wrenching. It is completely unacceptable and unforgivable that the alleged irregular marking that has taken place has led to real hurt and damage for the young people affected.

"I have asked for an urgent meeting with the Chief Executive of CCEA and for all pupils to be contacted immediately, if CCEA has reason to believe the grade they received is questionable. Given the grave variation in the grades awarded, I have also requested that the closed deadline for remarking be extended with immediate effect.

"This is about the futures of our young people, we cannot underestimate the extent of the emotional damage that such vast discrepancies could have."

(CD/JP)

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