Exam chief's 'profound regret' over A-level leaks

The top of one in all England’s largest examination boards has expressed “profound remorse” after leaks hit two of its A-level exams prior to now few days.

Rod Bristow mentioned Edexcel’s maths and economics exams had been overshadowed by considerations that content material had been obtainable beforehand.

A few of an economics examination appeared on social media and a maths paper was apparently on the market on-line.

Police arrested and launched two males pending additional inquiries within the case.

The alleged leaks prompted indignant responses from lecturers’ and head lecturers’ leaders, who mentioned this 12 months’s exams had been “plagued” with issues.

Pearson, which owns Edexcel, mentioned the sale of maths examination papers had been confirmed on Friday.

Contingency plans

However Pearson chief govt Mr Bristow mentioned this was “too late to exchange papers to be sat that day and the next Monday”.

“We notified the exams regulator Ofqual and took the proof we had gathered to the police, who instantly started their investigations.

“The police quickly made arrests, however their detailed investigation takes time, and we needed to decide about easy methods to method the exams that college students nonetheless needed to sit,” mentioned Mr Bristow.

“In any state of affairs like this now we have well-established contingency plans that adhere to 1 over-riding precept – equity for all college students.

“Now we have to make sure that the exams are safe, and that we will mark papers to make sure honest outcomes.

“If we had had any motive to consider that there had been a widespread breach of the maths papers, we might have postponed this week’s sittings with out hesitation.”

Because the police had recommended the issue was localised, the board determined to situation substitute examination questions for the papers to be sat within the small variety of colleges and faculties considered affected.

‘Lack of confidence’

Employees visited these centres on Monday morning to assist lecturers situation the substitute questions, mentioned Mr Bristow.

The difficulty of the economics A-level paper was fairly totally different in nature.

The board was alerted after some content material from the examination appeared on social media about 20 minutes earlier than it was as a result of be taken.

Mr Bristow mentioned: “This contained no exact particulars about particular questions and we don’t consider any pupil has been deprived, though we are going to monitor traits very intently.”

Mary Bousted, basic secretary of the Affiliation of Lecturers and Lecturers, mentioned: “The popularity of examination boards depends on the safety and efficient administration of examination papers.

“However this summer time’s exams have been plagued with questions leaking, unanswerable questions and important data lacking from examination papers. College students, mother and father and lecturers are prone to be distressed by these failings and lose confidence within the examination system.”

Geoff Barton, basic secretary of the Affiliation of College and Faculty Leaders, added: “We anticipate extra of the examination boards, whose popularity rests of their potential to design and examine examination papers, after which to ensure their safety.

“Faculties and faculties pay hundreds of kilos annually for this service.”

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Printed at Wed, 28 Jun 2017 10:19:34 +0000