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Exam malpractice by school staff up by 149%

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Lead commenter

    Just to say, I personally have never come across any evidence of exam cheating in my whole teaching career (retired now). I have only ever heard about it third or fourth hand and much of that has been from media and politicians who have wanted to gain in some way from the harm it does to teachers status in society.

    Of course there are teachers whose ethics are not up to the high standards we must have in education, but there will always be people who take an amoral position in life. Looking around me I think there are much worse examples of human endeavour.
  2. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    'Cheating' is a slippery slope, the starting point of which depends on your definition of the term. Before the advent of course work, many practices that are accepted now would have been seen as cheating. The dividing line between 'coaching' a student with their course work and telling them what to write is very thin, and ill-defined.
    needabreak likes this.
  3. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Indeed and the idea that even a few hundred students seem to think they'd get away with using a mobile phone in an exam sends out a dubious message to everyone not least other students.
  4. moscowbore

    moscowbore Occasional commenter

    Many practices that are accepted now are STILL cheating. ANY coaching is cheating. My last principal had a view that all schools do it so we should as well and threatened me if I did not "coach" my students. Hence, I am no longer a teacher.
  5. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Lead commenter

    I have to ask (non trolling). What exactly do you mean by coaching?
  6. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    No doubt cheating could contribute to the CBI/recruiters view that there is a skills shortage, since if our young people have paper qualifications but aren't able to function and use the skills allegedly learned at school when in the workplace questions must be asked of the education system that allowed that to happen, as well as the pressure on some teachers to condone cheating to protect their schools/jobs.

    It is clearly counter productive and as such is potentially an important issue, as important as underachievement which underlies the cheating, since no one ever cheated if they were able to get the grade legitmately.
  7. Clive_Candy

    Clive_Candy New commenter

  8. captain scarlet

    captain scarlet Established commenter

    I hate people who quote percentages.
    Like TV adverts, 97% agree, then in font 4, can hardly read it, OF 50 people.

    In total, there were 895 penalties issued to school and college staff for malpractice with GCSEs and A-levels in 2017, compared to 360 in 2016 - a rise of 149 per cent., but what is this out of?

    How many exams were sat? you can then form a better view.

    Agree with a lot of previous posters, if grades mean CASH, you are going to push for more grades.

    If higher grades means more pupils in schools, which equals more cash, you go for the higher grades.

    Hang on a mo................I think I see a pattern forming here..............................CASH
  9. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Lead commenter

    I have picked up on the term "coaching" that has been used here. I have often wondered about what my attitude to "coaching" should be. I am taking it to mean extra help outside the lesson. It could include teaching the student about the exam format and how they would go about answering the questions. As such it would not give the students the actual exam questions to learn how to answer of course, but questions of a similar nature and structure to those in the exam room that they could practice with. It might also narrow down the syllabus to a more manageable size, identifying questions that are likely to come up, which the student should learn about and those that are not likely which the student should not waste their time on.

    Is access to this "coaching" not the difference in the education of the student whose parents can afford public school or private tutors, and those who can not. Is it not the basis for the market for 11 plus tutors and other exam crammers? Is it not why Oxbridge has a preponderance of the children of middle class and above high earning parents?

    Tell me I'm wrong.
  10. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Lead commenter

    76% of statistics are made up.
  11. moscowbore

    moscowbore Occasional commenter

    Most "controlled" assessments do not allow ANY help. The student is meant to pick up the brief and go do it. Most will require a specific statement of any help given beyond handing out the brief. The students are not allowed to bring anything with them to the CA sessions and, for Computer Science, the sessions are under exam conditions.

    For Computer Science, part of the assessment is reading a brief and meeting the requirements of the brief. A major part of the CAs for Computer Science is having the language skills to read and understand the requirements.

    If a student employed a tutor who sat down with the student and explained what the brief meant and how to go about meeting the requirements of the brief, that is cheating.

    Revising exam questions which are likely to be similar to actual exam questions is fair play. Otherwise, why do we revise past paper questions?
  12. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Lead commenter

    Hi MB
    I am not familiar with computer science exams, having taught the Sciences in secondary and elec eng in FE and been retired for 5 years. If I understand you correctly, I would certainly agree that a student meeting the brief before they entered the exam whilst others had not seen it, would most certainly be cheating.

    I also agree entirely about student access to practice exam questions.

    What I was trying to raise was the question about how far can you go with exam preparation. When, for instance does it become teaching "to the exam"? And what should I think about parents being able to buy advantage for their child by public schooling or private tutors?

    Maybe this is wandering away from the point of this string and it needs one by itself.

  13. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    That doesn't represent any sort of increase in cheating, it represents a tiny increase from " virtually no one" to " almost completely no one" in the numbers being sanctioned.

    In my experience cheating is far more normal than not cheating, and the staff sanctioned are seemingly chosen at random, never the main instigators, the biggest cheaters or even the people who want to go along with it. Almost all of it goes unpunished.

    the effect is that it devalues the qualifications.

    What I would like to see is 1000x more random checks carried out on schools during exams, and schools losing their status as exam centres if they are not conducting exams properly.

    I would like to see CCTV in all exam centres in all exams, and exam boards calling it up to check it.

    In my last school children had mobile phones out during exams. Children were sat close enough together to see each others papers with ease, children using laptops had access to all the files saved on that lap top, and scribes and readers provided answers.

    The whole GCSE season was a mockery and a farce.
  14. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    in my experience controlled assessments are dictated, with the teacher at the front of the class dictating 4 or 5 different correct wordings for each question and telling each child which wording to write down, so papers don't look to similar.

    If the class is particularly low ability, these wordings ,and which child is to write down which, is projected onto the white board, so they don't have to try and remember.

    The last child I saw doing a controlled assessment had taken it down to the canteen during break time, and was sitting copying from his "pupil speak" version of the mark scheme, conscientiously differentiated for him by his teacher, who was concerned he might not be able to access the original published mark scheme.

    This was in front of a couple of hundred children, at least a dozen members of staff, including several senior managers, none of whom turned a hair, because this was completely normal.
  15. moscowbore

    moscowbore Occasional commenter

    Thank you dunnocks. Like I have stated many times, cheating is the norm and I am no longer a teacher.
  16. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Lead commenter

    I have seen readers interpreting the question for the candidate. When my son did his GCSE mfl speaking his teacher 'accidentally' left all the notes in full view on the desk. The local primary head tours the room of sats children occasionally suggesting one should look again at a particular question. Cheating is normal and rife. Children are being given the idea that they're at school to pass tests not to learn stuff. Padding the test is all that matters, however that is achieved.

    My son works for an exam board. What's most interesting about some of the cheating that comes to light is the audacity of it. It couldn't have happened without complicity from many members of staff.

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