Exam cheats double — but it’s teachers, not the pupils

The Times is reporting that official figures released yesterday show that while the number of candidates penalised for cheating dropped slightly this simmer, the number of staff penalties more than doubled.

The paper reports the number of individual school or college staff penalised for malpractice during the summer’s GCSEs and A-levels was 262, up 120% from the year before.

In addition, the number of schools or colleges penalised rose by a third to 288.

Offences by staff members are reported as including “breaching security, helping candidates, opening papers early without authorisation, allowing pupils to sit an exam at the wrong time or not invigilating properly”. 

For candidates, the penalties were most likely to be for students bringing “unauthorised material” into exams or for plagiarism. The number caught with a mobile phone dripped from 850 last year to 790 this year.

Ofqual, the exams regulator, is quoted:

“While numbers are still low, they are at the highest level seen over the last five years.” 

More at: Exam cheats double — but it’s teachers, not the pupils (subscription may be required)


Read or download the report from Ofqual in full:

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Whenever we cover cheating stories some readers insist it is a victimless crime or justified (as opposed to explained) because teachers are under pressure.

Do you agree, or do you think it is time a zero-tolerance approach to cheating, and to those pressuring others to collaborate in cheating, becomes the norm?

Please give us your feedback in the comments or via Twitter…

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  1. High stakes tests increase the incentive to cheat.  That’s what’s happened in the USA and England is following.  
    That doesn’t make cheating acceptable – it’s unprofessional and teachers caught cheating should be sanctioned.

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