Schools urged to ban phones from exams


All schools should ban mobile phones from examination halls, exams officers declared yesterday.

At present, more than half the country’s examination centres (53 per cent) are forced to allow what they call “the mobile phone menace” into exam rooms as there is nowhere safe for students to store them.

Just under a third of officers collect the phones from students just before an exam starts and store them at the front of the hall, according to a survey of school exam officers in the annual report of the Examination Officers’ Association.

But in 17 per cent of cases, students are allowed to keep them in their bags – throwing up the potential problem of them ringing during an exam. Mobile phones are also the single biggest cause of allegations of cheating in exams, the figures show.

The report puts pressure on all schools to provide secure storage facilities. It also warns that spending cuts could cause “deep-seated damage” to the delivery of examinations in schools. Exam staff are under pressure, with jobs disappearing as many of their officers approach retirement, the report adds.