Exam malpractice: The true picture

Malpractice by school staff in public examinations always gets media attention, but this leads us to think that it is far more common than is really the case, says Sarah Hannafin

The start of a new term is always a time of optimism for school staff and students. The possibilities for the year ahead are endless, and end-of-year exams and assessments are far enough off not to cast a shadow.

At the start of September the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) published the report of its Independent Commission into Malpractice in the UK assessment system (see further information).

The media attention on school and teacher malpractice means that the impact on confidence in the exam system is disproportionate when compared to the number of incidences that actually occur.

The data clearly identifies where the focus needs to be: 2,735 penalties were issued to students in 2018 – with the introduction of unauthorised materials into the examination room being the main reason. This has increased by 26 per cent compared to 2017 and mobile phones accounted for 47 per cent of all student penalties.

Register now, read forever

Thank you for visiting SecEd and reading some of our content for professionals in secondary education. Register now for free to get unlimited access to all content.

What's included:

  • Unlimited access to news, best practice articles and podcast

  • New content and e-bulletins delivered straight to your inbox every Monday and Thursday


Already have an account? Sign in here