GCSE grading system review ‘an urgent priority’

The Belfast Telegraph is reporting that retaining an alphabetical grading system for GCSEs in Northern Ireland is going to be reviewed. 

Two English exam boards – AQA and OCR – announced their intention to pull out of Northern Ireland earlier this year after former minister John O’Dowd announced he would retain letter grades.

This would leave just the local exam board, the NI Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA), and Welsh board WJEC operating here.

Education Minister Peter Weir said he wants to ensure maximum choice for schools and pupils.

“Roughly about a quarter of the market has come from AQA or OCR. If they take themselves out of the market then you are left with very limited choice,” he continued.

“And there is also a specific issue – some of these subjects offered by AQA and OCR aren’t currently offered by other boards and there would have to be a very swift development of courses if the situation isn’t resolved.”

Mr Weir said he also believes it is important that students here receive grades that are comparable with other parts of the UK, and are portable. 

More at: GCSE grading system review ‘an urgent priority’

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Categories: Northern Ireland and Secondary.


  1. Rushed exam reforms in England are having an undesirable effect on Northern Ireland which wanted to retain continuity of grading.   But NI is  being impacted for its decision because of factors beyond its control.

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