GCSE and AS-level papers go missing weeks before exams, forcing schools to get replacement papers

Teenager arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods 

Eleanor Busby
Education Correspondent
Wednesday 08 May 2019 21:08
Comments
GCSE and AS-level papers go missing weeks before exams, forcing schools to get replacement papers

Hundreds of schools and colleges have been forced to get replacement exams after a batch of GCSE and AS-level question papers went missing. A teenager has been arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods.

A courier company was supposed to deliver a package of exam papers to a school in Milton Keynes but it never arrived.

Thames Valley Police said a 16-year-old had been arrested on suspicion of theft and handling stolen goods. He has been released under investigation.

Exam board AQA has decided to replace the papers for GCSE French reading and writing and AS-level sociology, some of which start next week, to maintain the integrity of affected exams.

It comes after Edexcel’s A-level papers were leaked two years in a row.

Police launched an investigation last summer after questions appeared for sale online the night before the exam.

Last month, Pearson, which owns Edexcel, announced plans to insert microchips into packs of A-level and GCSE exam questions this summer in an attempt to combat online leaks.

AQA found out that the exam papers had not arrived at a secondary school more than a week ago.

The exam board then informed the police and an investigation was launched.

Claire Thomson, the firm’s director of operations, said: “These exam papers were sent to a school but never arrived. The police and the courier company are both investigating and an arrest has been made. We’ve known about this issue for over a week so the process of sending new papers to schools to make sure no one has an unfair advantage is well underway.”

The incident comes as thousands of students begin their GCSE, AS and A-level exams from next week.

“Our message to students is that there’s nothing for them to worry about – they can carry on with their revision as if nothing’s happened and we’ll take care of it,” Ms Thomson said.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in