Primary school literacy scores in Northern Ireland ‘wrong’ says exam board

The results of computer-based literacy tests used by primary schools in Northern Ireland to see how they compare to other schools and other areas are wrong. This is from the BBC…

The problem concerns tests taken by 88,000 pupils in P4 and P7 across Northern Ireland last autumn.

They were hit by computer glitches.

The Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) said it has discovered problems in the results from a commercial company.

CCEA said on Tuesday that the results received by pupils and parents were correct.

Numeracy results were also correct. But the problem is with standardised scores for literacy.

In a statement on Tuesday, CCEA said that the error had been found in standardised scores for the assessment provided by Tribal Group.

Age-related scores – those reported to parents – were not affected.

“CCEA is extremely disappointed that an error was introduced into the calculation resulting in erroneous scores and recognises the inconvenience and distress caused. CCEA apologises for this without reserve,” the statement said.

Tribal Group also apologised for the inaccuracy and said: “It was caused by a calculation error in the processing of the approved data prior to publication.

“We have taken a number of steps to prevent this happening again, which include additional measures to validate results prior to them being published.”

Last October, up to 400 primary schools had problems with the computer assessment for P4 and P7 pupils.

The Department of Education said that 180 schools had reported problems.

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