A contract to provide Computer Based Assessment (CBA) to a number of primary schools in Northern Ireland will not continue.
Around 30% of primary schools currently use the NINA and NILA assessments which are funded by the Department and have been provided on a voluntary basis to schools for the last four years.
Commenting on his decision, Education Minister, Peter Weir said:
“I recognise the value that CBA has provided to many hundreds of schools over the past decade.
“The decision to end the contract was not taken lightly. It was based on the imminent contract end date, the number of schools actually using the assessment tool, the considerable financial constraints facing the education sector and the current political uncertainty.
“For these reasons, I could not justify extending the contract beyond the 2016/17 academic year, nor the substantial investment that would be required for a centrally developed CBA in the future.
“If schools wish to continue to use a Computer Based Assessment tool for the 2017/18 academic year, they will have to make their own arrangements.”
Concluding the Minister said that he recognised the importance of assessments for primary school pupils.
“While there is no legislative requirement on schools to assess pupils for diagnostic purposes, I expect schools to continue to carry out assessments. The majority of schools already to do so, using an assessment of their own choice and results are then used to inform how pupils can reach their learning goals.”
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