Northern Ireland news

Collection of school exam data suspended

The central collection of exam statistics has been suspended

SCHOOL exam data used to create league tables will not be published this year due to the cancellation of GCSEs and A-levels.

The central collection of exam statistics has been suspended.

While there are no GCSEs, AS and A-levels for a second consecutive year, pupils will still be awarded grades.

Controversial algorithms that saw thousands receive lower grades last summer have been scrapped.

More weight will be given to the professional judgement of teachers.

Pass rates can still be made public by individual schools in early August.

However, this year they will not be included in the Summary of Annual Examination Results (SAER).

The SAER includes figures on the proportion of pupils that achieve three or more A-levels or seven or more GCSEs at grades A*-C.

These are used by some media organisations to create different kinds of performance lists.

The Irish News introduced its annual tables in 2006, creating separate tables for grammar and non-grammar schools.

There had been no rankings from 2001 when former education minister Martin McGuinness scrapped them. The Conservative Party had originally introduced them in 1993 and official data is still published by the Department for Education in England.

Between 2001 and 2006, schools in the north continued to celebrate their results and achievements in prospectuses while the Department of Education kept compiling them.

Results for the last four academic years for every post-primary school can usually also be found on the department's website.

A department spokeswoman confirmed: "The collection and publication of school level outcomes through the Summary of Annual Examination Results will be suspended for a further year in recognition of the significant disruption experienced by schools. 2021 examination outcomes will not be used for accountability purposes."

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