Investigation after A-level paper leaked

Image copyright PA

Exam board Edexcel has launched an investigation into how part of an A-level maths paper was leaked online.

Blacked out images of two questions were shared on social media on Thursday afternoon.

Pearson, which runs Edexcel, said the images were circulated “in a very limited way” shortly before Friday’s Maths Paper 3 exam.

It reassured students no-one would be advantaged or disadvantaged and they would not have to re-sit the paper.

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The questions were first posted from a Twitter account in a since deleted post, where the user urged students to get in touch, offering the whole paper for £70.

It is the third year in a row that A-level maths questions from an Edexcel paper were put up online head of the exam.

The leaks in 2017 and 2018 were investigated by the police and evidence was passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for consideration over whether criminal charges should be brought.

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Pearson said it had taken action to identify the source of this week’s breach and was “determined to identify the individual involved”.

After visiting a small group of centres, the company said it had identified one “in serious breach of correct practice”.

Earlier this year, Pearson said it would be trialling a scheme where microchips were placed in exam packs to track the date, time and location of the bundles.

Hundreds of students have signed a petition calling for Edexcel to take the leak into consideration when they set grade boundaries.

One student who sat the exam told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he was “frustrated” to hear about the leak.

“After I came out of the exam, I was speaking to someone and they said that, ‘those leaked questions on Twitter came up on the paper’ and I was like, ‘what leaked questions?'” he said.

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“I’m not frustrated because I feel like I absolutely failed the paper, it wasn’t that kind of frustration,” he added.

“It’s more the frustration that I’ve spent two years studying maths A-level only to realise that some students through some sort of opportunity could have not learnt anything for two years – and just spent £70 and got an A-level.”

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