Exams cancelled in NI for students as a result of coronavirus outbreak - Education Minister Peter Weir

Sit-down exams ‘will not take place in NI’ this summer, Education Minister Peter Weir has said.

Thursday, 19th March 2020, 3:40 pm

Speaking this moring, Mr Weir confirmed the “physical tests will not be going ahead”, and he would be making a further announcement on this later today.

He added that he will give “an absolute assurance that the qualification will be there, that is also something which will operate across the UK,” he said.

“Very good work has gone on by CCEA... we are reaching a situation where all of the examining boards will be in-step.”

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Earlier it was announced that exams in Scotland’s schools this year have also been cancelled as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Education Secretary John Swinney said the “unprecedented” move was a sign of the “gravity” of the situation the country was facing.

Schools will close on from the end of Friday, with Mr Swinney explaining “scientific advice now highlights that closing schools will help to suppress the spread of coronavirus”.

Scotland’s chief examining officer said work has started “at pace” to develop an alternative “certification model”.

Mr Swinney told MSPs at Holyrood: “In all of our history, Scotland has never cancelled the exams.

“Since 1888 they have been held every May or June, without fail.

“In the midst of two world wars the exams went ahead. It is a measure of the gravity of the challenge we now face that I must today announce the exams will not go ahead this year.”

Despite the closures, the Education Secretary said for most pupils teaching would continue, in many cases through online learning, but there would be a focus on pupils in S4 to S6 who need to submit coursework.