Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland grammar school described pupils sanctioned after A-level exam 'leak' as 'regrettable incident'

By Claire Williamson

One of Belfast's top grammar schools has described the sanctioning of its pupils after a probe into an alleged leak of details of an A-level exam as a "regrettable incident".

Nine students at Methodist College Belfast and the Royal Belfast Academical Institution are involved and will be impacted following the investigation into the CCEA A2 business studies paper sat on Monday June 12.

It is believed some details from the exam were distributed on social media.

It's understood that two pupils will not receive their A-level grade as a result and will have to resit the exam, but that the majority received a warning and will still receive their grade.

A statement on Thursday morning issued by Methodist College Belfast school principal Mr Scott Naismith said the school fully cooperated with the CCEA investigation.

It said: "A formal investigation of this matter was carried out by the College, in line with JCQ regulations, and information was passed to CCEA. The College then cooperated fully with the subsequent CCEA investigation and information about the decision of the exam board was communicated to the pupils at both centres this week.

"This is a deeply regrettable incident for all those involved. All pupils at Methody are given clear guidance on how to conduct themselves during external examinations, including the requirement to report immediately to a member of staff, the principal or CCEA any incidence of the leaking of information about the content of an exam.”

Royal Belfast Academical Institution said they complied with CCEA.

In a statement it said: "RBAI respects the integrity of the exam procedures and arrangements. The school complied with CCEA and during the investigations was always mindful of the welfare of all pupils."

A CCEA spokeswoman said: "CCEA can confirm that following an allegation of examination malpractice at two Belfast schools, a full investigation has been carried out regarding the GCE Business Studies examination sat on 12 June 2017.

"From the findings of the investigation, the CCEA malpractice committee has applied a range of penalties to candidates at both centres.

"CCEA will not make any further comment in regards to the investigation or outcome of the investigation, in order to protect the identity of the young people involved.

"For any suspected cases of malpractice, we thoroughly investigate the incident to ensure that no individual sitting a CCEA examination has an unfair advantage.

"Our advice to any student who comes across any suspicious examination content is to report it immediately to their teacher, principal or CCEA."

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