Exam boards face fines for blunders

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Tough new powers to fine exam boards millions of pounds for GCSE and A-level blunders came into force yesterday.

Under new legislation, Ofqual – the exam regulator – will be able to levy fines totalling up to 10 per cent of an exam board's annual turnover. In recent years serious mistakes have made it impossible for candidates to answer some questions.

As exam boards have annual turnovers of up to £200m, this could mean levying fines of £20m.

The watchdog also has the power to strip the exam boards of their right to set papers in individual subject areas.