O’Dowd tells WELB to sort school IT fix

THE Education Minister John O’Dowd has told senior officials at the Western Education and Library Board (WELB) that he expects long-term solutions to be put in place urgently after an IT glitch affected new literacy and numeracy tests in hundreds of Northern Ireland primary schools.

Over one hundred schools reported problems with the new computer- based assessments. Mr O’Dowd said it was not acceptable that any schools were facing problems.

He stated: “While some schools have reported problems with the operation of the new computer based assessment programmes, many others have successfully completed the assessments.

“However, it is not acceptable to me that any school should be facing avoidable difficulties in operating the assessments.”

WELB is responsible for the C2k service which hosts the assessments. Mr O’Dowd said he had met with senior officials at the authority.

“I have met with senior officials from CCEA and the Western Education and Library Board which is responsible for the C2k service which hosts the assessments and have made clear to them my expectation that solutions will be put in place as a matter of urgency.

“I have also met with the private companies which provided the literacy and numeracy assessments and with the company contracted to deliver the C2k managed service to schools to seek their assistance in identifying and fixing the current problems.

“I will be keeping this issue under review until I am satisfied that the difficulties some schools have encountered have been addressed,” he explained.