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Coursework on eBay? What a joke

Money, as the song goes, can't buy you love, and nor should it buy you grades. We like to think that the exam room is the great leveller, where the contents of your head matter more than those of your wallet.

So obviously submitting someone else's coursework as your own is wrong: it makes the whole exam process a bit of a joke, and when the rest of your class has sacrificed their weekends at the examiner's altar it probably isn't the best way to win friends.

However, as underhand as the practice seems, the essays and projects I found on eBay are all on sale as "examples of successful practice", and that is really all they are good for.

With only a handful of pieces available at any one time, the chance of finding one that matches the title that you have been set (and being able to pass it off as your own work) is pretty insignificant.

And the ethical waters are muddied by the fact that one project - a CD of lovingly-designed A3 spreads for a GCSE design and technology lampshade project, deservedly scoring 100 per cent - is being marketed online as a teaching resource.

It's little different to the way teachers hand out last year's entries to guide new classes, and it's nice that someone's hard work is paying off in the most literal of senses.

At pound;14.90 for the design and technology CD, I only wish I'd thought of it first. Causes of the Russian Civil War, anyone?'

Matthew Holehouse has just started Year 13 at Harrogate grammar school

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