The Northern Ireland exam board boss who oversaw last Summer’s A level grades fiasco, has announced he is leaving the job.
Justin Edwards has been the Chief Executive of CCEA for six years.
He says he is leaving the organisation in April to “pursue a new opportunity”.
Last August Education Minister Peter Weir executed two U-turns on pupils’ grades after 37% of their results were slashed by up to four grades in the system concocted by CCEA.
It is understood 10,260 pupils of the 28,000 being graded were negatively affected, some losing out on university places, training posts and jobs.
Mr Weir was forced to dump what CCEA described as an ‘algorithm’ and revert to teacher estimates for A-Level grades in his second U-turn on exam’ results in under 24 hours. The full details of the algorithm have still not been released.
Despite the grading fiasco, CCEA under Mr Edwards’ leadership, was entrusted with the responsibility of 2021’s grading.
In a statement CCEA said Mr Edwards remains “fully committed to the implementation of the minister’s decisions in relation to awarding examinations and CCEA’s wider programme of work”.
Interim chairperson of CCEA, Carol Fitzsimons, said Mr Edwards had “transformed” the work of the organisation since taking the chief executive’s role in 2014.
She said: “He has delivered significant change to many aspects of the work of CCEA and has led the organisation positively through challenging and unprecedented circumstances.
“We are indebted to him for his diligence, hard work and commitment to education over these years and wish him every success for his future.”
CCEA is currently undergoing “re-constitution” and appointed Carol Fitzsimons, on February 1 as interim Interim Chairperson with six new council members.
Timeline to grading fiasco
Exams cancelled by Education Minister Peter Weir
Education Minister Peter Weir unveils plans for how school pupils will be awarded grades for A levels, AS levels and GCSEs affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. They will be given “calculated grades based on a combination of information provided by schools and colleges and statistical information”.
Justin Edwards is warned by Dr Hugh Morrison, a renowned examinations expert that CCEA’s modified grading system would be ‘indefensible’. He received scant response and CCEA’s head of regulation, Sharon King, said: “I have noted your comments and observations,” without further comment.
Dr Hugh Morrison sends a detailed warning backed up by researched evidence that the push for modified grades from CCEA and the Education Minister Peter Weir, would fail Northern Ireland’s pupils.
Justin Edwards announces his confidence in the approach taken by CCEA to award AS and A-Level results on August 13, with GCSE grades due on August 20.
Belfast Live reveals A-level results predicted by Northern Ireland’s teachers will account for just 30% of the final grade for students denied the opportunity to sit exams.
A Levels results reveal the results for 28,000 pupils with 10,360 students seeing their 11,000 grades slashed.
Belfast Live reveals Justin Edwards was warned on May 26 that the modified grading system would be ‘indefensible’ .
Northern Ireland’s pupils prepare to protests over 11,000 A-level grades slashed by a ‘secret algorithm’.
Belfast Live reveals the secret formula that has ruined our children’s A level grades and was set to ruin their GCSE results. Described by examining boards across the UK as a complex ‘algorithm’, it is in fact just a basic ratio calculation dependent on previous performances of each school.
Education Minister Peter Weir has caves in over GCSE modified grades shortly before midnight last night, he announces grades will be “based solely on the estimates provided by schools and colleges”. Teacher estimates which were to have been binned for GCSE pupils will now count for the entire grade, as demanded by schools and campaigners.
But the DUP minister refused to budge on A-level modified grades claiming they were different in terms of “prior performance data”.
The Northern Ireland Assembly announced it is to be recalled on August 18 to discuss A-Level and AS results.
Education Minister caves in over teacher predictions in his second U-turn on exam’ results in under 24 hours. Peter Weir instructes CCEA to ensure that all A level students and AS level students will be awarded either the higher of the grade submitted by their centre or the grade calculated by CCEA.
CCEA is to be scrutinised in a full review following requests from concerned academics by the Office for Statistics Regulation.
CCEA will release the centre results files to schools and colleges at 4pm.
Belfast Live reveal CCEA has been entrusted with 2021 exams process entrusted by Education Minister Peter Weir.
Justin Edwards apologises over ‘mistakes’ made after he was forced to regrade the country’s 28,000 pupils following two U-turns by Education Minister Peter Weir despite his repeated confidence in and defence of his alternative method of assessment.
Public consultation has been launched on proposed changes to GCSE and A-Level exams summer 2021.
Belfast Live reveals Justin Edwards also advised the Republic on their Leaving Cert awards, joining Ireland’s steering committee in May and attending weekly meetings to decide on how students would be graded. The Republic’s Education Minister Norma Foley confirmed 7,200 Leaving Cert grades had been affected by errors in the Irish calculated system. In an unannounced North-South agreement, Mr Edwards was asked to sit on Ireland’s Independent Steering Committee for the Leaving Certificate 2020 by Stormont’s Permanent Secretary for Education Derek Baker.
Survey reveals exam uncertainty in Northern Ireland has had a devastating impact on the mental health of thousands of pupils with more than 80% of young people surveyed reporting they suffered “strained” mental health as a result of doubts placed over exams.
A Deloitte report into 2020’s GCSEs and A-Level grades fiasco in Northern Ireland claims CCEA “adopted a professional approach”.
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-- to www.belfastlive.co.uk