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Staff exam malpractice up by 150%

Ofqual today (5 Jan) released their official statistics for malpractice in GCSE, AS and A level exams in summer 2017.

  • 2,715 penalties were issued to students in 2017, up from 2,180 compared to 2016 and representing 0.015% of entries (compared to 0.011% in 2016).
  • Having access to a mobile phone was main reason for student penalties.
  • 895 penalties were issued to staff, up from 360 in 2016. This still involves a very small proportion of the total number of staff in England (350K FTE staff).
  • Exam boards are more likely to issue formal written warnings for similar offences rather than informal advisory notes this year.
  • 120 penalties were issued to schools or colleges, down from 155 in 2016.
  • The actual number of penalties issued to schools or colleges is small given the overall number of centres (over 5,000).

Commenting on reports that staff exam malpractice is up by 150% and student malpractice is up 25%, Layla Moran MP, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson, said:

“This is an extremely worrying trend in our exam halls and throws into question whether the current assessment process is even fit for purpose. 
“This is the impact of a system which puts enormous pressure on teachers and students, making them feel like they will succeed or fail based on only a few hours of narrowly focused, high stakes exams. 
“We need a fundamental rethink of our education system so that we stop putting so much pressure on those involved that they feel forced into bending the rules.”

Report – Malpractice for GCSE and A-level summer 2017

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