The Tes reports that the exam boards made last-minute changes after the bombing at Ariana Grande’s concert in Manchester
Exam boards took the unprecedented step this summer of poring over more than 2,000 exam papers to check for potentially upsetting content following the Manchester bombing, it has emerged.
This led to at least two exam papers being changed at the last minute, one of which referred directly to terrorism.
Exam boards contacted schools about other papers – including one with a reference to pop star Ariana Grande, whose Manchester concert was targeted by a suicide bomber – in case they wanted to warn pupils before the exam.
It has also emerged that the threshold for deciding which pupils should be given “special consideration” for circumstances that may have affected their grades has been significantly lowered. Pupils were previously required to have sat at least 40 per cent of an assessment before an exam board would consider whether to enhance a grade – but now this has been lowered to 25 per cent.
This summer three major incidents happened within just 23 days of each other: the Manchester Arena bombing, the London Bridge attack and the Grenfell Tower fire.
After the Manchester bombing on 22 May – in the second week of exams – 2,144 exam papers that hadn’t yet been taken were checked by the four biggest exam boards in England and Wales.
Two exam papers – an AQA GCSE religious studies paper and an Edexcel general studies paper – had to be changed.
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