CCEA consultation on examinations for summer 2021

Date published: 25 August 2020

Education Minister Peter Weir has encouraged teachers, parents and students to respond to a consultation on proposed changes to examinations in summer 2021.

News Update

The Council for Curriculum, Qualifications and Assessment (CCEA) has launched the consultation on proposed changes to CCEA GCSE, AS and A level qualifications that are due to be assessed in next summer. 

The consultation proposes a reduction in the number of exams that pupils will be required to take, as well as a number of adaptations to qualifications to ensure they can be delivered safely and meet current public health requirements.

Commenting on the consultation, Minister Weir said: “Young people preparing to take exams and assessments in 2021, and their parents, carers and teachers, are concerned about the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on their education. Today, CCEA has launched its proposals for changes to exams and assessments next year which take account of the disruption to date and potential for on-going public health safeguards.  These changes are designed to free up teaching time, reduce pressure on students and allow assessments to be undertaken within current public health restrictions.

“CCEA wants to hear the views of school leaders, teachers, parents and students on the proposed approaches for the year ahead. I understand that this a particularly stressful time for our teachers and learners, who want clarity on arrangements for next year as soon as possible.  However, it was right for CCEA to reflect on the lessons learned from Summer 2020 Awarding and ensure these proposals take account of the issues and concerns raised in the past couple of weeks. It is important that changes to qualifications are easily understood and support our young people and their teachers by taking steps to reduce the burden of assessment in the coming year.

“I would assure schools that everyone in my Department and CCEA are fully committed to working with you to deliver for our learners at this exceptionally difficult time. I thank you for your patience and co-operation.”

The consultation is open until 7 September 2020 and is available on the CCEA website at CCEA launches consultation on proposed changes to GCSE and GCE Qualifications for Summer 2020

Notes to editors: 

  1. Follow us on Twitter @Education_ni
  2. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office at
  3. The Executive Information Service operates an out-of-hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

Share this page

Back to top