The first stage of the Review was the publication of an online survey to gather feedback on how the current qualification system is viewed and how it might be improved for the future. Anyone with an interest in this important issue was encouraged to log on to our website between 19 November 2012 and 21 January 2013 and fill in the questionnaire. Hard copies could also be requested.
The online survey sought views from across the community on GCSE and A level qualifications, and attracted more than 500 responses. You can access a copy of the questionnaire here.
From the end of February through to the middle of March consultation events took place to allow for face-to-face discussion on the future of GCSE and A level qualifications in Northern Ireland. These events were open to all and anyone interested in discussing issues relating to the current qualifications was welcome to attend. Afternoon and evening sessions were scheduled at each venue.
A Qualifications Issues Paper was developed and published online to help inform stakeholders about issues relating to the Review, the Terms of Reference and the Qualifications System. You can access a copy of this paper here.
Further bespoke events and briefings were scheduled throughout March and April for key stakeholder groups, such as: Learners, Further Education and Training Organisations, Higher Education, Core Subject (as defined in the Review Terms of Reference) representatives, Employers, Sector Skills, Teacher Unions, Area Learning Communities and Awarding Organisations.
Following the feedback received from stakeholders in phases 1 and 2 of the Review and a review of international qualifications systems, a second survey detailing possible options for the future of GCSE and A level qualifications in N. Ireland was launched. This was an opportunity for all stakeholders to shape the future of these important qualifications and help inform the advice sent to the Minister for Education, John O’Dowd, MLA, at the end of June 2013.
CCEA Interim Chief Executive Richard Hanna commented:
'This summer more than 56,000 pupils will sit GCSE and A level examinations in Northern Ireland. The results they achieve will play an important part in their future education, training and employment.
It is critical that GCSEs and A levels continue to be highly valued qualifications, meeting the needs of our young people, the economy and society.
I would urge any individual or group who wishes to contribute to this debate to complete our survey.'
The survey was available to be completed online from 9 April until 31 May 2013. Hard copies of the survey could also be requested. There were over 500 respondents to the questionnaire. You can access a copy of the questionnaire here.