GCSE and A-Level exams to be cancelled in Northern Ireland

  • GCSE, AS, and A-Level exams are to be cancelled in Northern Ireland this year following discussions by the Northern Ireland Executive.

    With fresh lockdown rules coming into effect for the post-Christmas period, schools across the UK are closing their doors again and moving to remote learning where possible. Some GCSE exams were set to begin this week in Northern Ireland, but the Scottish, Welsh, and English education boards had already announced cancellation of exams.

    BBC News reports that Northern Ireland Education Minister Peter Weir will announce today that all GCSE, AS, and A-Level exams are to be cancelled to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 in schools. Evidence has shown that schools play a major role in spreading the virus to families, but ministers have been hesitant to close schools.

    RELATED: NI students: Is U-turn decision on A-levels and GCSEs too little too late?

    Transfer tests were already cancelled in Northern Ireland, and now all exams scheduled for January, February, May and June are also cancelled. Schools themselves will be shut until at least mid-February, with only vulnerable children, children in special schools, and the children of key workers being allowed to attend.

    It's not currently understood what will replace exams or how the cancellation will affect students' progress through the education system. Last year we saw major controversy when students' grades were predicted by an algorithm and some pupils received vastly inappropriate results.

    Source: BBC News

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