Penalties for school exam cheating double in a year

 

Education Editor

The number of schools and colleges penalised for cheating in GCSE and A-level exams has more than doubled in the past year, according to figures released yesterday by the exams regulator Ofqual.

They show 130 were penalised for malpractice during the 2012 exam season compared with just 56 the previous year.  In most cases (119) they were given a written warning. In five cases, though, exam boards withdrew permission for the schools and colleges to act as an exam centre.

They emerge at a time when the regulator has expressed concern over a rise in the number of candidates granted extra time to finish their exams with a separate report saying Ofqual is “concerned that in some cases extra time is being given to candidates to help them improve their grades rather than to address a significant disadvantage”.

Yesterday’s figures revealed the main reasons for issuing penalties to schools were breaches of security, i.e exam papers being opened too early, or giving inappropriate assistance to candidates.

Other reasons included allowing candidates to sit the exam at the wrong time or a lack of supervision during it.

The rise was down to one of the big three exam boards, Edexcel, toughening up its procedures for dealing with allegations of malpractice and insisting on delivering written warnings to all schools and colleges found guilty opf malpractice. In the past, many had received a more informal ticking off.

Yesterday’s report also revealed a total of 2,550 students were penalised for malpractice during this year’s exams - with the largest number being for bringing mobile telephones or other electronic gadgets into the exam room.

The penalties, the report adds, varied with 728 receiving a warning, 1,279 having marks deducted and 543 being either disqualified from the unit being examined or the overall qualification.

“Candidates who bring a mobile phone into an exam room but do not have their phone at their desk might receive a warning whereas candidates found using a mobile phone during an exam might be disqualified from the unit or the qualification in that exam series,” the report added.

Other common forms of malpractice include plagiarism, copying or collusion (415 cases) and writing obscene or offensive comments on the exam paper (250).

In addition, 60 teachers were penalised - with 23 of them suspended from any further involvement in exams or assessments.  Most of these were for giving “inappropriate” assistance to candidates during the exam.

Bot the figures for the number of pupils and teachers disciplined were a decrease on the previous year - by 32 per cent and 41 per cent respectively.  The number of scripts was down by five per cent.

The statistcis also show the number of requests for candidates to be given extra time (up to 25 per cent more) went up from 122,214 to 128,744 this year.

The regulator acknowledged the increase could be down to better diagnosis of disability but warned against allowing to help candidates achieve a higher grade.

Meanwhile, Ofqual is due to deliver its final report into the crisis over the marking of GCSE English papers on Friday.

The report, which will look at the wide discrepancies in schools’ results, is expected to suggest this is down to teachers’ marking standards - with some marking the new English syllabus more harshly in controlled assessments.

Ofqual and two exam boards, Edexcel and the Oxford and Cambridge and Royal Society of Art(OCR) are facing a legal challenge after the boundaries for a C grade pass were raised for candidates sitting the exam in June.

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Manager - £50,000

£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

BI Project Manager - £48,000 - £54,000 - Midlands

£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...

VB.Net Developer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...

SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game