So after all, sense prevails… After some considerable pressure from other parties in the Assembly, most notably the SDLP, Peter Weir announces that Northern Ireland is abandoning the algorithmic calculator that Daniel McCrossan had been questioning for months now…
“My prime concern is to ensure that young people in Northern Ireland are in no way disadvantaged in comparison to their peers elsewhere.
“Portability and comparability of qualifications is critical for students, particularly in Northern Ireland.
“In the challenging situation in which we find ourselves, there are no perfect solutions.
“I hope today’s decision will provide a platform for [students] to go forward positively into higher education, employment or training.”
The SDLP leader was quick to claim the credit (with some justification) for a decision that was only remarkable for the length of time it took the Minister to see how things were going…
Glad that the Education Minister has finally listened to students, parents and teachers and U-turned on exam grades under immense pressure. Huge congratulations to all those who fought the algorithm and won! pic.twitter.com/UkiFSVLGxe
— Colum Eastwood (@columeastwood) August 17, 2020
There seems little doubt that tomorrow’s recall of the Assembly played a role in the Minister’s rather hasty U Turn, but his timely change of mind shows that the Assembly has some considerable power when used in the conjunction with a matter of such overriding public interest…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty