Page last updated at 11:22 GMT, Wednesday, 26 September 2012 12:22 UK

Education Committee

Members of the Education Committee expressed concern at the situation faced by pupils caught up in the controversy over the marking of English GCSE papers, on 26 September 2012.

Thousands of pupils scored lower than expected results when grade boundaries were raised mid-way through the year by English and Welsh exam boards.

Some pupils in Northern Ireland were also affected.

Sean Rogers of the SDLP said he had been in a school the previous week where many pupils had been affected.

He noted that the Welsh Assembly had asked for a re-mark of papers.

Committee chairman Mervyn Storey said he believed the Education Minister, John O'Dowd, had ordered a review.

The committee had written to the minister but had yet to receive a reply, he added.

The UUP's Danny Kinahan said the committee should ask for a re-mark.

Department of Education (DE) officials briefed the committee on the October monitoring round.

Trevor Connolly explained that the monitoring round allowed DE to review departmental spending plans and priorities.

It also allowed the Executive to consider possible reallocation of funds.

Mr Connolly said at the end of the June monitoring round the department had an overcommitment of £6.5m on current expenditure and £12.7m on capital expenditure.

He outlined a number of bids for capital funding, including £1m for Arvalee Special School in Omagh, which suffered a major fire.

Mr Storey wanted reassurance that Arvalee would remain a priority even if there was no allocation of additional funds.

Mr Connolly said Arvalee was top of the bid order.

DE official Katrina Godfrey briefed the committee on the department's Programme for Government delivery plans.

The DUP's Jonathan Craig was concerned about the number of changes being imposed on teachers at one time.

"It looks like different sections of the department are not talking to each other," he said.

Katrina Godfrey said she was "genuinely disappointed to hear what you're saying".

She said she would relay Mr Craig's concerns to her colleagues.

Education committee membership


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