Pearson – the owner of the Edexcel exam board – has announced today that police have made progress in their investigation into the leak of A-level maths papers in 2017 and 2018.
In 2017, a leaked paper was being illegally offered for sale on the morning of the exam when it was too late to replace exams to be sat that day. Pearson notified exams watchdog Ofqual and the police, who began an investigation and later made arrests.
In a statement issued today, Pearson said the police had now referred that case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
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The company also said police were finalising their investigations into the leak of a separate A-level maths paper in 2018, from which questions were allegedly being sold on social media before the exam, and that it was hoped they would soon be sending materials to the CPS.
A Pearson statement said: “Today, we are sharing this news with our customers along with a broader update on the measures we have taken/continue to take to enhance security around our process.
“This is a critical development as it helps to ensure that vital public confidence in the examination system is upheld, highlighting that the individuals involved are being held to account for the disruption they have caused."
The 2018 paper was allegedly leaked on the internet the night before thousands of students sat the exam, and five A-level students were subsequently disqualified following an investigation by the exam board
In 2017, Pearson was also alerted to the fact there had been a possible breach of content of an A-level economics paper in one school, resulting in some high-level content being posted on social media for a very short time immediately before the start of the exam.
In a letter to heads that year, Sharon Hague, vice-president of Pearson and the officer responsible for Edexcel, says: "I am writing to express my profound regret that exams for two of this year's A levels, economics and maths, have been overshadowed by concerns about whether or not content from the papers was made available before the exams were sat."