Following extensive consultation and evaluation, CCEA provided a research report to the Department of Education in July 2013. This report highlighted a number of common messages coming through from principals and teachers, including the pace of implementation; the submission date for Levels; the tight timescales; and workload. This report is now available here.
Consequently, revised assessment arrangements will be put in place for 2013-14 with the intention of reducing the pressure on teachers and schools, as indicated in the Minister’s letter of 4 October 2013. The appendix to the Minister’s letter outlines the proposed arrangements for 2013-14 and CCEA will send out further details of these arrangements through the following communications:
- Updated Assessment Arrangements Booklet for Communication and Using Mathematics;
- A revised version of Supplementary Guidance;
- Information about the Standard Setting Support for UICT; and
- Timetable showing revised dates and clarifying what schools/CCEA will do this year.
In summary, the revised arrangements are intended to address teachers’ concerns about:
The pace of implementation:
- There will be no Quality Assurance Moderation during the school year 2013-2014 for Using ICT. This will be deferred for at least one year. Schools wishing to report using the Levels and/or avail of standards verification will be given the option to do so and further communication about this will issue to schools in the very near future.
- Primary schools, in particular, requested further time to embed the first skill in which they were moderated. Consequently, primary schools will be moderated in the same skill as last year but with the option to change. (See accompanying letter.)
The Submission date for Levels was too early/timescales were too tight/unrealistic:
- The submission of levels data has been changed from March to May. Schools no longer need to make final judgements about the levels of individual pupils until May.
- Teachers will be invited to standard setting support events. (See accompanying letter.)
- Schools will have the opportunity to have their standards verified before reporting in May.
- Schools will be supported with constructive feedback throughout the process.
The arrangements created a heavier/unmanageable workload:
- We have reduced the number of pieces of work to be submitted for verification. A school portfolio consisting of fewer samples will be required in February. (Schools do not need to have assessed their pupils by that date.)
- Minimum number of pieces for Communication 6 – Maximum 24, depending on the range of levels the school intends to award.
- Minimum number of pieces for Using Mathematics 5 – Maximum 20, depending on the range of levels the schools intends to award.
For those schools not verified in this first step, there will be support provided and schools will be asked to submit pupil portfolios in June. (It is anticipated that this will represent a small percentage of schools and up to a maximum of four pupil portfolios will be required.)
If you have queries regarding any aspect of this update, please contact CCEA by email at Assessment1314@ccea.org.uk - Please state your name, school name, DE number and the nature of your query.
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