Northern Ireland news

SDLP calls for Assembly to be recalled over A-level results row

A-level exams were cancelled this year

The Assembly should be recalled from summer recess to deal with the A-level results controversy, the SDLP has said.

A petition to recall the legislature would require the backing of 30 MLAs.

More than a third of A-level grades issued yesterday were lower than teacher estimates.

In 37% of cases teachers were over-optimistic in their prediction, while in around 5% of entries they under-estimated the result.

READ MORE: Peter Weir says replacing exam results with teacher predictions would lack 'credibility'

Overall, the percentage of top grades allocated in 2020 was up on previous years.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said: "Students across the North have been put in an intolerable position.

"Instead of recognising that he made a mistake and working to fix it, the Minister for Education has doubled down. He has chosen blind faith in a deeply flawed algorithm, over trust in our teachers and the educational results children have achieved in previous exams.

"Students across Northern Ireland have been left aggrieved and many feeling robbed of a fair chance.

"SDLP will not stand for it. That is why we are seeking an immediate recall of the Assembly, to hold the Minister for Education to account. Children and schools across the North deserve answers.

"As joint heads of Government, it is simply disgraceful that there has been no leadership shown by the Joint First Ministers. This is happening on their watch. Therefore, the SDLP won't just be asking the Minister to sort out this mess but for the Joint First Ministers to step up. Students deserve nothing less."

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