Police investigate leak of GCSE religious research exam paper

Police have been called in to analyze another examination leak after an unknown number of students had strengthen sight of part of a GCSE spiritual research (RS) paper final month.

It is the today’s of a series of unfavourable safety breaches to hit summer time exams in latest years, with social media enabling cheats to disseminate leaked questions speedy and without problems.

Such is the extent of issue that a review of exam malpractice is underneath manner, that is due to file later this summer season. Hoaxes about leaked exam papers, once more shared widely on line, have compounded students’ stress and tension.

The modern-day security breach involved an AQA GCSE RS paper sat by way of hundreds of pupils on 20 May. One determine told the Guardian a number of students went home and stated an element of the paper have been circulating on Snapchat beforehand of the exam.

AQA showed that police were contacted and an investigation became beneath manner. The exam board stated only one page become affected. The “loss of on-line conversations about this issue indicates that it can now not had been extensively shared”, it stated.

In a separate incident, an Edexcel A-degree further maths exam had to be withdrawn and changed last week because of worries approximately a possible protection breach. The circulate turned into related to a leak this month when some other A-degree maths paper became presented on the market via social media. Two questions from the paper first regarded on Twitter, providing students the complete paper for £70.

The rules governing examination safety are particular and rigorous. Papers are stored in sealed packets and introduced via courier to examination centres in which they must be signed for, with the date and time of receipt recorded. They then have to be without delay locked in a comfy room entirely assigned to exams, ideally with out windows and on an higher ground.

The use of smartphones and social media has changed the landscape for each cheats and regulators. One deputy headteacher, who asked to remain nameless, said: “We are going for walks a twentieth century-fashion paper-based examination system in a twenty first-century international. We typically have confidence within the system, but these said protection breaches genuinely knock that self assurance.”

Exam forums have taken measures to try to keep up with the cheats. Pearson, which owns Edexcel, said in April that it become piloting a scheme wherein exam papers are microchipped to music the date, time and vicinity of each package. AQA says it has a devoted crew using “modern” on line tracking systems.

“We’ve extensively multiplied our on-line monitoring this year and added new ways of handling social media posts claiming to offer examination questions,” the board said. “We have tried-and-tested plans in region to make certain no person gets away with cheating – along with superior statistical tracking throughout the marking method.”

After the modern incident, a headteacher in Gloucestershire wrote to parents pronouncing the ability leak have been reported at a number of faculties and was below investigation. “We had been confident via the board that as our college students aren’t worried in sourcing or liberating the cloth there might be no consequences for them.”

One parent whose child sat the affected exam stated: “There become this photograph of a paper doing the rounds on Snapchat. Nobody at my baby’s college became responsible for the leak, however it became going between schools. That’s the component with social media. The unfold is nearly immediate. As quickly as someone is aware of some thing secret, it spreads like wildfire.”

Louisa Fyans, AQA’s head of assessments integrity and inspection, said: “We were extremely disenchanted to find out that some college students have been able to see a page from a GCSE spiritual research paper before the examination. We contacted the police without delay and we’ve been doing our own investigation too.”

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