Page last updated at 12:08 GMT, Monday, 1 October 2012 13:08 UK

Review of GCSEs and A levels

Education Minister John O'Dowd launched a review of GCSEs and A Levels, on 1 October 2012.

The minister explained that the review had been prompted by "decisions taken in England in respect of GCSE examinations".

The UK government recently announced that GCSEs would be scrapped in England and replaced by an English Baccalaureate Certificate.

The minister said, "I believe the time is right for us to take stock of our examination system and consider whether change is now desirable or necessary".

"If the current suite of qualifications at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 is deemed to be appropriate I will be content to stick with what we have," Mr O'Dowd added.

He said the review would be carried out by CCEA (Council for the Curriculum Examinations & Assessment).

The minister said he thought it was "regrettable" that the English Education Minister, Michael Gove, had decided to break up the "three-country ownership" of GCSEs.

"There was a better way of doing this," the minister said.

In reply to a question from the DUP's Mervyn Storey, Mr O'Dowd said, "I have asked to meet Mr Gove and he has refused to meet me"

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