Five students disqualified from A-level Maths following online leak

Posted on: 2018-08-13 16:15:00

The education company, which owns the exam board EdExcel, confirmed that one person was the source of a leak and that a further 30 are being investigated over their alleged involvement.

The exam watchdog launched an investigation in June after an EdExcel A-level maths paper was circulated online just before it was due to be taken by students. A police investigation was launched, and the exam board conducted its own inquiry.

In a letter to schools and colleges on Monday, Derek Richardson, vice president and senior responsible officer at Pearson UK, said there was evidence that "a very small number of students" had access to the paper ahead of candidates sitting the exam on Friday June 22.

"Following the examination, we were alerted to the apparent sale of images of questions from the paper in the early hours of the day via two closed social media applications," the letter says.

"There is no evidence to show that they were publicly available before the examination, but after the paper had been sat individuals posted images of the sharing of the secure content on publicly accessible platforms."

The letter says that as a result of Pearson's investigation, it has "identified one individual as the source of the breach, who has been debarred from any involvement with Pearson examinations for life".

The letter adds: "We have disqualified five students and are currently investigating a further 30 with regards to their involvement.

"Their results will be withheld until these investigations are completed. We are continuing to support the police with their ongoing investigation."

The letter also says that Pearson's "absolute priority" is to ensure that students get fair results for their hard work and exam performance, and that students should feel confident that grade boundaries for the A-level were set fairly and results have not been affected by the issue.

"I want to express my sincere regret if this situation has caused anxiety for any of your students, teachers or parents and I am very grateful for your patience and understanding over this exam season," Mr Richardson says.

"The exams system in this country has robust controls in place including security requirements for exam boards, logistics companies, schools and colleges.

"However it is also built on a foundation of trust, that those given responsibility for the security of papers, honour that trust.

"It is regrettable that the actions of a tiny number of individuals have added to the stress of this year's exams for a much larger number of students, their parents, carers and teachers."

The police investigation is ongoing.

Source: The Telegraph

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