Teachers suspended over exam cheating allegations

Author: By Charlotte McCathie, Press Association

The tutors, from the Little Lever School in Bolton, are suspected of showing
pupils exam questions in advance of Spanish, German and French speaking

The allegations affect 110 pupils at the specialist language college, whose
exam results were due in 17 days.

But they will now be withheld until the results of an investigation into “a
potential breach of regulations”, Bolton Council said.

Headteacher Philip Hewitt said the school is taking the matter “extremely

He added: “I would like to reassure parents that we are taking appropriate
action to ensure that the matter is dealt with thoroughly and with minimum
impact upon our pupils.”

The Oxford, Cambridge and RSA (OCR) examination board notified the school in
July when they spotted anomalies in the oral exam results.

There is no suggestion that the children were aware of what their teachers
were doing, the council said.

Letters have been sent to local sixth form colleges, who have agreed to honour
their offers to the 36 Year 11 pupils affected, based on their predicted
results. The remaining 74 are younger students who took the exam early.

The school is carrying out the investigation and will report back to the exam
board in mid August.

Margaret Asquith, the council’s director of Children’s Services, said: “This
is a serious situation. The council is supporting the headteacher and the

Officials will either award the GCSE, disallow it, or discount the speaking
test mark, which accounts for 25% of the overall result.

The school was awarded the Good Schools Guide Award 2009 for the best results
at Asset Languages Intermediate (Level 2) for both girls and boys for French

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