Exam boards reveal ‘huge amount’ of time spent checking for cheating on social media

The news comes as the Joint Council for Qualifications have set up dedicated teams to monitor social media as part of moves to clamp down on cheating. The Telegraph reports

The JCQ – which represents UK exam boards – also announced an independent inquiry into exam malpractice.

Malpractice is still “extremely rare”, it was suggested, and official figures show that last year, 2,715 penalties were issued to candidates (0.01%), along with 895 to school staff and 120 to schools and colleges.

Sanctions issued to candidates were overwhelmingly for possession of a mobile phone in an exam, the JCQ noted.

Announcing the new commission, to be led by Sir John Dunford, Mark Bedlow of the OCR exam board said: “Malpractice that is deliberate is still extremely rare.”

He added that a lot of work is already done to combat malpractice, but more can be done to look at issues such as the role of social media, and to understand the reasons for malpractice.

 “There’s all this technology change that’s going on. We spend a huge amount of effort and time monitoring social media, to look for signs and indicators of malpractice.”

However there are ways of subverting this, for example through secure communication systems.

The commission is due to begin its work in September, with a final report published next spring.

Last month it was revealed that exams regulator Ofqual had launched an investigation after an A-level maths paper was allegedly leaked online, just a day before thousands of students were due to sit the paper.

Read more Exam boards reveal ‘huge amount’ of time spent checking for cheating on social media

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