Candidates stay night with staff as number of clashes surges

8th June 2001 at 01:00
HUNDREDS of teenagers are being followed to the lavatory, isolated overnight and having their mobiles confiscated because of exam clashes.With students doing up to five subjects at AS-level this year, the number of papers scheduled to run at the same time has risen dramatically.

Some colleges have up to 100 clash candidates who have to spend lunch times in supervised groups. For many students overnight supervision is necessary. Most schools arrange for pupils to stay with members of staff but some have been forced to depend on parents to agree to keep their children in check. Where possible mobile phones are confiscated and pupils reminded of the consequences of cheating.

This week Darshan Patel had to spend the night at his head- teacher's house because of exam clashes. The 18-year-old, from Gateway sixth-form college, Leicester, had computing and law schedules at the same time. So Wednesday evening was spent in the company of Nick Goffin and family, whofirst had to ensure that his own sixth-former daughter did not compromise security.

At John Leggott sixth-form college, Scunthorpe, eight students opted to extend a day of exams to sit their third paper in the evening. Some will spend eight hours sitting exams that day. Another eight from John Leggot decided to stay with staff. Fifteen students from Notre Dame sixth-form college, Leeds, also spent the night at a local pastoral centre supervised by four teachers.

Students are also facing 9am to 5pm examinations. Mumtaz Janar, from Gateway, had eight-and-a-half hours of English, psychology and law exams one day this week.

Mr Goffin said: "Such extra pressure on staff and students was not really necessary. Better exam timetabling, consideration of the full implications of introducing AS, vocational A-levels and key skills all in the same year and greater preparation and advice from the exam boards would have made things significantly better."

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