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'Ban all watches from exams to stop cheating'

All watches should be banned from exam halls to discourage cheating, says an inquiry into the extent of malpractice in exams taken by pupils across the UK.

Smart watches, connected to the internet, are already banned from use by students taking public exams.

But the review, commissioned by exam boards, says it is becoming difficult to distinguish between hi-tech and traditional watches.

Review chairman Sir John Dunford called for a "blanket ban" on watches.

The Independent Commission on Examination Malpractice, set up by exam boards to investigate the prevalence of cheating in public exams in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, says that overall there is a "very low level of malpractice".

There are exam centres which already do not allow pupils to wear watches - but the review says there needs to be clarity with such a ban applying across all exams.

Pupils in exams would still need to know the time - and Sir John said schools would have to make sure there were enough visible clocks on the wall.

The review also raised other hi-tech cheating concerns - such as students potentially concealing a device below a false fingernail - and called on exam boards to check the "dark web" for illegal sales of exam papers.

The Joint Council for Qualifications says it will consider whether such a ban on watches could be in place for exams taken next summer.

Read more at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-49639413

More than £1,000 for prep school uniform

Enrolling your child at a preparatory school comes at a premium. But the fees are only the beginning — most require pupils to look the part, often at great expense.

At Garden House School in Chelsea, west London, where fees are £7,850 a term, dressing a girl costs nearly £1,300, including a £152 Harris Tweed coat and a £30 beret. Most items are from a single approved supplier, although shoes can be bought from Harrods, Peter Jones or Papouelli Shoes.

Hill House primary in Knightsbridge requires £50 red breeches from sole supplier Billings & Edmonds. Allowing for several tops and shorts per child, a new uniform could set you back £900.

At many schools parents organise second-hand uniform sales. Kate Perks, a mother with two daughters at the £6,670-a-term Falkner House prep school in London, runs sales where proceeds go to charity.

Read more at: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/fees-then-its-1-000-more-for-a-uniform-qt55sl0bx