ID cards to stop exam cheats

29th July 2005 at 01:00
Pupils sitting exams may soon have to wear photo cards to allow invigilators to check their identity.

The workforce agreement will mean that teachers will no longer be required to stand guard in exams from September. ID cards may be necessary then to prevent pupils passing themselves off as someone else to invigilators unfamiliar with the class.

The National Assessment Agency, although not universally recommending the photo cards, is promoting St Bede's Roman Catholic school, in North Lincolnshire, which has been using the "homemade" cards for two years.

An agency spokeswoman said: "Where schools and colleges have concerns about pupil identity, we will be relating the experience of St Bede's as a possible solution."

However, it is up to schools, colleges and exam boards to decide whether the cards will help to prevent exam fraud.

Gerard Cadwallader, assistant head at St Bede's, Scunthorpe, said the cards bearing photos, names and candidate numbers are made by the 670-pupil school and then placed on examination desks for invigilators to check.

He said there had been no cases of exam fraud, but St Bede's found the cards useful in "boosting the efficiency of running exams".

Veronica Branton, of the Joint Council for Qualifications, said the ID cards initiative was unlikely to be suitable for all schools.

Stevie Pattison-Dick, of Edexcel, said: "Schools are required to ensure students sitting exams are who they say they are. We welcome any tightening up of the security systems already in place."

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