Part of Oral Answers to Questions – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:00 pm on 12th March 2013.

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Photo of John O'Dowd John O'Dowd Sinn Féin 2:00 pm, 12th March 2013

I could end up in a constant circle of review and do nothing else but review.  However, as I said to the Member who asked the previous question, I am reviewing the computer-based assessments in primary schools.  The levels of progression have been under constant review from their introduction, and we will have a report on those.  We will see what lessons have to be learnt from that and how we can fine-tune levels of progression.  We have recently had with us the best international comparator in the world, the OECD, which is looking at how we assess.  It will report to us as part of an international report.  We will learn from that report.  We will learn from its examination of our system and its examination of other countries' assessments.

I have no difficulty with review, but it will not be review for review's sake.  There has to be assessment in the classroom.  You have to assess to benchmark, to ensure that we are doing things right and to share good practice.  All professions out there are assessed.  I have no difficulty with the principle of assessment, but I do want to ensure that we do it right.

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