Exam malpractice by school staff up by 48%

Most cases involved staff giving 'inappropriate assistance' to GCSE and A Level candidates during exams, Ofqual reveals

Eleanor Busby

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The number of penalties given to school and college staff for exam malpractice has climbed by 48 per cent this year, figures published by Ofqual today reveal. 

Teachers and invigilators, who carried out malpractice, were either given written warnings or were suspended from involvement in exams or assessment, a report from England's exams watchdog reveals. 

More than half of the penalties (56 per cent) were issued after staff gave inappropriate assistance to candidates. This is an increase of 33 per cent on summer 2015 when there were 164 cases.

In total, there were 388 penalties issued to school and college staff this year, compared to 262 last year - a rise of 48 per cent. 

But Ofqual insists that the change in the actual number of penalties is small - and is likely to be a very small percentage of the total number of staff - given the large number of schools and colleges delivering GCSE and/or A level exams. 

The new findings also reveal that the number of students penalised for possessing a mobile phone or other electronic device in an exam increased by 15 per cent, from 790 last year to 900 this year.

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Eleanor Busby

Eleanor Busby is a reporter at TES 

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