Ofqual identifies trust issue with students handing over mobiles during exams

Ofqual identifies trust issue with students handing over mobile devices during exams

In a letter to headteachers, the chief regulator of Ofqual, Sally Collier, says GCSE and A-level students are not handing over their phones before exams because they are worried that their devices will be misplaced or damaged.

This follows a rise in the number of students caught with their mobile phones during exams. The latest figures, which cover GCSEs, AS-levels and A-levels taken in England last summer, show that 2,715 penalties were issued to students, up from 2,180 the year before.

The most common type of malpractice was taking unauthorised materials into an exam. In most cases this was a mobile phone or other electronic communication device.

Ofqual chief regulator Sally Collier says: “It is clearly important that candidates do not have access to mobile phones during exams.

“We have seen an increase in the number of students being issued with a penalty for breaching the rules, albeit that they might not have intended to use their phone during the exam.

“We have asked students why this is happening and some have told us they are unwilling to hand in their phones in case they are lost or damaged.

“We are encouraging centres to reflect on how they can best assure their students their phones will be safe and that students understand the risk of being found with a phone during an exam.”

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