The loss of GCSE and AS-level exam papers that required replacements to be dispatched to schools is the result of theft and not a "blunder", an exam board has said.
In an email sent to schools, AQA said it had to replace question papers for AS Sociology papers 1 and 2, and GCSE French Reading and Writing papers in both the foundation and higher tiers after the board “received information about the integrity and security of the question papers”.
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The Daily Mail, which originally reported the news, described the incident as a "blunder".
However, AQA said the incident was a criminal matter, with the papers stolen when they were no longer in the board's possession.
Claire Thomson, AQA’s director of operations, said: “These exam papers were sent to a school but never arrived. The police and the courier company are both investigating and an arrest has been made.
“We’ve known about this issue for over a week, so the process of sending new papers to schools to make sure no one has an unfair advantage is well underway. Our message to students is that there’s nothing for them to worry about – they can carry on with their revision as if nothing’s happened and we’ll take care of it.”
A school in Milton Keynes contacted AQA when they did not receive one of their packages of exam papers. The board contacted the courier company to find out what happened and informed the police, who have made an arrest.
Thames Valley Police confirmed that they are investigating a theft from a vehicle that occurred in Milton Keynes on 26 April in which exam papers were stolen.
They said a 16-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of theft and handling stolen goods, and has since been "released under investigation".
AQA said such incidents are extremely rare, and that pupils would not be affected at all.