An Open Letter of thanks from our Chief Executive, Justin Edwards

Published: 16/06/2020, 4:25pm
Thank You

Dear colleagues,

I wanted to take this opportunity to express my thanks and gratitude to you all, for your immense contribution to the alternative awarding arrangements for this year’s AS, A level, GCSE, Entry Level and Vocational students.

During the last number of weeks over 232,000 calculated grades have been submitted to CCEA, a significant challenge requiring great skill and expertise. This has been a considerable task, and I fully appreciate that these arrangements required a substantial input both professionally and personally, whilst in the midst of a global health crisis. As teachers no one was better placed to have the detailed knowledge and understanding of your student’s achievements and progress.

Your dedicated work is one of the key steps in helping CCEA to award fair and reliable grades, and to make sure that this year’s students are able to progress on to the next part of their journey.

Now, it’s over to us to complete the process. Guided by examination experts, information provided by you will be reviewed and standardised. The models that we are using have been developed in conjunction with the other awarding organisations, many experts on this subject and examination regulators. We will combine a range of evidence to ensure that all outcomes are fair and consistent across cohorts.

As in every examination’s series, we will conduct a number of rigorous quality assurance checks. Our collective aim is to ensure that we provide students with the grades that best reflect what they would have received had they sat their exams under normal circumstances.

Following the Minister’s decision on the summer awarding, the results days will take place as normal this year. It is important that results in Northern Ireland are issued at the same time as those in other jurisdictions as not to advantage or disadvantage anyone, in terms of progression, above that which would normally occur. Entry level outcomes will be published on 30 June, AS / A level on 13 August and Vocational and GCSE on 20 August 2020.

We are also finalising the appeals process and will be publishing the details about that shortly.

As we look towards the next academic year, we continue to listen to and work closely with teachers, school leaders and other key parties. CCEA is working hard to provide advice to the Department of Education about changes we may have to make in response to both the health situation and the impact on students. This week, we released an update on internal assessment arrangements for 2020-21, and as more information becomes available we will share with you.

In the meantime learning must continue and as such I would like to acknowledge the vital role played by you in keeping our young people engaged and focused on their education in these unprecedented times. Your ongoing support and contribution cannot be underestimated.

Thank you once again, the work that we are doing this year would not be possible without you.

My best wishes and good health to you,
Justin Edwards, CEO

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