Almost 1,100 students caught using phones in GCSE and A-level exams


Students smuggling mobile phones into exam halls were the reason for a sudden rise in the numbers caught cheating during last summer’s GCSE and A-level exams in England, according to official data. The figures also showed that the number of teachers and school staff involved in exam malpractice more than doubled between 2016 and 2017. Ofqual, the exam regulator for England, said the most common category of malpractice was the introduction of “unauthorised materials” into exam venues. “In most cases, this was a mobile phone or other electronic communications device,” it said. Unauthorised materials accounted for half of all students given penalties for cheating, and of those nearly 80% were owing to the use of mobile phones. Plagiarism was the other major category, accounting for 17% of cases, with the majority in computing.

But Ofqual cautioned that the overall number of cheating cases remained low despite the 25% increase. The 2,715 penalties issued to students represent just 0.015% of exam entrants. In 2016, about 2,180 students were caught, a rate of 0.011%. The figures do not include the scandal over the Pre-U exams revealed by the Guardian last year.In most cases students were punished with a reduction of marks or given a warning, but 490 had their grades annulled. Students found with mobile phones were more likely to lose marks.(theguardian)…[+]