A-level and GCSE exam papers are to be micro-chipped for first time in bid to combat online leaks
25th April 2019
Exam papers are to be micro-chipped for the first time this summer in an attempt to combat online leaks, one of the country's biggest exam boards has announced.
Pearson, which owns the exam board Edexcel, is piloting a new security initiative which will see micro-chips inserted into packs of A-level and GCSE questions.
The technology will allow Pearson to track the time, date and location of an exam pack if it is opened prematurely, meaning the school or exam centre in question can immediately be alerted to the breach.
It is hoped that the technology will make it easier for officials to swiftly identify the perpetrator and contain any potential leak before information is circulated more widely.
Derek Richardson, Pearson’s vice president, wrote to headteachers to explain the various ways that it is stepping up security ahead of this summer’s A-levels and GCSEs.
Pearson has also written to students and parents, encouraging them to come forward and report any information they might have about potential malpractise and warning about the consequences of involvement in exam leaks.
Two independent school heads have launched a book that looks at the ten biggest challenges today for private schools
David James, deputy head at Bryanston School, and Jane Lunnon, head of Wimbledon High School, have both worked in independent schools for over 20 years.
Their book, The State of Independence: Key Challenges Facing Private Schools Today, brings together over 50 leading educationalists from around the world.
They hope to bring balance to the view of independent schools, which they say has become “increasingly politicised” in the media.
James told Independent Education Today: “Jane and I decided to put the book together about a year ago. There were various reasons for doing so, but fundamentally we felt that the press around independent schools was unbalanced and becoming increasingly politicised. Nobody, apart from various associations such as the ISC, HMC, GSA and GDST, seemed willing to stand up for the sector and point out the good our schools do every day.
“But what we didn’t want was a critical encomium or a whitewash. We know that there are challenges ahead and we approached contributors who we knew would be constructively critical of independent schools. We wanted to include those voices, and learn from them, and to spark a debate which we felt would benefit everyone involved in schools today.”