Exam bosses replace Maths A-level paper at last minute

Exam bosses replace Maths A-level paper at last minute

Exam bosses replace Further Maths A-level paper at last minute and call in police after discovering source of leak that saw questions appear online

  • Cheating probe was launched last week after an Edexcel exam paper was leaked 
  • The paper will now be replaced after 7,000 had been due to sit it on Thursday
  • Senior vice president of schools at Pearson, Sharon Hague, said the security breach last week has now been referred to police 

By Terri-ann Williams For Mailonline

Published: 20:44 EDT, 18 June 2019 | Updated: 21:04 EDT, 18 June 2019

Exam bosses have replaced a Further Maths A-Level paper and have called in police after discovering the source of a leak which saw the questions revealed online.

Last week an Edexcel maths exam was circulated, resulting in the exam board having to launch a cheating probe.

Pearson, Edexcel’s parent company has now decided to replace the test paper, which was due to be sat by around 7,000 students on Thursday.

Senior vice president of schools at Pearson, Sharon Hague, said in a video that the security breach last week has now been referred to police, who have been asked to investigate it as a criminal matter.

Two questions were leaked online ahead of students sitting an A-level maths paper last week and replacement papers are now being produced (stock image of students sitting exams)

According to Pearson the probe revealed that a package containing the paper had been opened by individuals at the centre.

However, it did reassure students and parents that there was no evidence to suggest that the withdrawn test or any of its questions had been leaked, but that it was taking ‘precautionary steps’ to safeguard the paper for students.

Board rules state that papers can be pulled at any minute for a variety of reasons including malpractice.

In a video Sharon Hague (pictured above) explained the issues the exam board has faced with the recent probe

Last week’s incident saw incriminating tweets that were posted late Thursday evening.

One featured a blacked-out Edexcel paper with some questions visible, along with the message: ‘DM if you want tomorrows a level maths, stats and mechanics paper 3 exam.

The Twitter account was since been deleted. But further tweets accompanying the images reportedly offered the whole paper for sale for £70.’

Ms Hague added: ‘We will continue to support and communicate with them through this unusual yet necessary step, that is vital for the safeguarding of confidence in the examination system.’

Officials said that they had referred the matter to the police and stressed that everyone in the exam system needed to work together

Speaking to the Telegraph, she added that arrangement were being made to deliver contingency papers to all centres before the exam, excluding the one being investigated.

This is while according to Pearson, back-up papers are always built into the process and that separate arrangement were being made to ensure its students could complete their exams.

Ms Hague also stressed that it was important for everyone in the exam system to work together.

‘We are reliant on the collaboration and trust of everyone involved in the exam system, and when someone commits malpractice, they let everyone down.’

If the paper was improperly obtained it could be a case of theft and Ms Hague said that there would be various ways to ensure fair outcomes from the exams, including the possible expulsion of the questions.

Exam board Pearson confirmed that security measures such as enhanced tracking of question papers helped them identify the source of the leak within 12 hours.


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