NI A-level and GCSE students to receive highest predicted grades

The highest predicted grade is to be given to A-level students in Northern Ireland, Stormont’s education minister said.

Peter Weir abandoned plans to use centralised standardisation following an outcry from teachers, parents and pupils over last Thursday’s results.

A-level and AS-level candidates will be awarded grades expected by their teachers when they are higher, Mr Weir confirmed, after exams were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

New grades awarded are expected to inflate by more than 10% as a result.

The minister said: “Concerns remain over the impact of changes to the qualifications system throughout the United Kingdom and any potential solution offered has its flaws.

“However, my prime concern is to ensure that young people in Northern Ireland are in no way disadvantaged in comparison to their peers elsewhere.

“Portability and comparability of qualifications is critical for students, particularly in Northern Ireland.

“Whilst standardisation is normally an important feature of awarding qualifications, these are truly unique circumstances and this approach is now being adopted across the UK. This is why I have taken this decision today.”