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Exams regulator Ofqual to review rules around teachers writing exam papers

The move comes after Eton College's deputy headmaster left the school amid claims he leaked questions from an economics exam he helped prepare

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The move comes after Eton College's deputy headmaster left the school amid claims he leaked questions from an economics exam he helped prepare

Exams regulator Ofqual will conduct a review of the rules under which serving teachers take part in writing and reviewing question papers.

Ofqual will also review the safeguards in place to prevent disclosure of confidential information.

It comes it was revealed that a teacher at Eton had left the school amid allegations that he leaked exam questions ahead of upcoming papers that, as a principal examiner, he had been involved in preparing.

The exams regulator has stressed today that the involvement of serving teachers in the process of exam setting has many benefits and exam malpractice by teachers is rare.

However, Ofqual has added that access to live materials must be appropriately controlled and risks to security minimised.

The exams regulator has said: "We will investigate whether the safeguards in place are sufficiently robust and whether changes are needed."

Ofqual will provide a progress update in their summer report  to be published later this year.

Nick Gibb, school standards minister, said: “The public must have confidence in the integrity of the exam system and cheating of any kind is unacceptable.

"Exam regulator Ofqual is now reviewing the rules under which teachers take part in writing and reviewing question papers and have confirmed to me that they are considering whether action is needed. 

"The overwhelming majority of teachers act appropriately when working with exam materials but where they do not schools have a responsibility to report it to the exam board for investigation."

Chris King, chair of the Headmasters and Headmistresses Conference (HMC) and head of Leicester Grammar School, said: “Pupils, parents and schools deserve an examination system which is open, transparent and supported by the best teachers.

"While exam malpractice is very rare, it has no place in any school as demonstrated by the decisive action taken by HMC heads involved in recent instances.

“We therefore welcome this review of exam safeguards and hope it will reassure teachers they need not be put off becoming involved in exam paper design.”

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