Lampshades anyone?

9th September 2005 at 01:00
Money, as the song goes, can't buy you love, and nor should it buy grades.

We like to think the exam room is the great leveller, where the contents of your head matter more than those of your wallet.

Obviously submitting someone else's coursework as your own is wrong. It makes the whole exam process a bit of a joke, and when the rest of your class has sacrificed their weekends at the examiner's altar it probably isn't the best way to win friends.

However, the essays and projects I found on eBay are all on sale as "examples of successful practice", and that is really all they are good for. With only a handful of pieces available at any one time, the chances of finding one that matches the title that you have been set (and being able to pass it off as your own work) are pretty insignificant.

And the ethical waters are muddied by the fact that one project - a CD of lovingly-designed A3 spreads for a GCSE design and technology lampshade project, deservedly scoring 100 per cent - is marketed as a teaching resource.

It is little different to the way teachers hand out last year's entries to guide new classes, and it is nice that someone's hard work is paying off in the most literal of senses.

At pound;14.90 for the design and technology CD, I only wish I had thought of it first. Causes of the Russian Civil War, anyone?

Matthew Holehouse has just started Year 13 at Harrogate grammar school

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