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Test misconduct exposed

REPORTS of misconduct involving school tests have more than tripled over the past three years, according to new figures.

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority received 479 allegations of possible malpractice last year compared to 270 in 2001 and 147 in 2000.

However, the QCA only annulled results in seven of the 96 cases it investigated in 2002. This compares to 59 cases investigated in 2001, of which 11 were annulled.

Ian Valvona, a QCA spokesman, said the dramatic increase in reported malpractice did not reflect a surge in cheating but showed that teachers were more willing to report their suspicions.

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