Schools: Substitute Teachers

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:15 pm on 6 December 2021.

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Photo of Michelle McIlveen Michelle McIlveen DUP 3:15, 6 December 2021

I thank the Member for her question. My priority is for examinations to take place in this academic year. I am very mindful that A-level students are going into their first public examinations, as they did not have the experience of GCSEs or ASs. That, in itself, means that it is an incredibly anxious for them, never mind the challenges that there are as COVID is still with us.

A series of exams ran between 22 November and 2 December. CCEA will look at some of the data coming back from schools on young people who missed those examinations, and will be able to see the reasons why they did not turn up. There will be options to take those modules again later in the year, particularly in February and during the summer series. We will work alongside schools to assist pupils who missed exams at this point in the year.

Very early on, before the summer break, we made announcements to take account of the potential for disruptions to exams this year. Learners will be permitted to omit units of assessment, which will reduce the overall assessment. We have put in place other mitigations and methods of assistance, particularly for GCSE maths. An Engage programme focused on that. We are keeping an eye on what is going on. Any further contingency arrangements that are required will be put in place.