If a better example of how the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly (108 MLAs) have failed to represent the interests of parents and pupils on education matters it would be hard to find. The media have poured torrents of ink and pixels over concerns about cheating by exam boards. This week the UK Parliament Education Committee met in Select Committee to hear evidence on the matter. One group was missing. Yes – you have probably guessed it by now. None other than CCEA, the Northern Ireland Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment. CCEA were the exams body caught up in examination errors and a spending scandal in the summer. It seems they are beyond accountability. Parents and pupils are paying for this and accepting second-class service. Your MLA is doing nothing to represent your interests. Think carefully about what this will mean for your children and their CCEA certificates when they wave them in front of a university or employer.
The Daily Telegraph failed to mention CCEA, the Northern Ireland exams body which is also the regulator for Northern Ireland. What confidence can parents, pupils and the public have in this conflict of interest in the provision of qualifications?
Glenys Stacey said the regulator would be
“looking in detail at just these possible conflicts of interests in the provision of qualifications”.
And she outlined a number of sanctions available to Ofqual including pulling “examinations set for January and for next summer with awarding bodies providing substitute scripts”.