I propose to take Questions Nos. 161 and 162 together.
As part of planning for the State examinations, I established an advisory group of stakeholders, including representatives of students, parents, teachers, the management and leadership of schools, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, the State Examinations Commission, and officials of my Department, including the National Educational Psychological Service. A representative of the Higher Education Authority also attends all meetings of the Advisory Group as an observer. This group has provided very useful feedback and assistance regarding the decision-making about the examinations. I wish to acknowledge the positive engagement with unions, management bodies, the further education and training and higher education sectors on all of the issues involved.
The Advisory Group held meetings on the following dates: 17, 22, 24 and 29 April, and 1, 6, 13 and 15 May. Further meetings are planned. Details of the Advisory Group on Contingency Planning for State Examinations 2020 have been published on my Department’s website. The webpage contains details on the purpose of the group, the terms of reference and the membership of the group. The webpage also includes a link to meeting documentation and agreed minutes of meetings.