Pearson Edexcel will replace Further Maths paper due to possible breach

by Hayley Pearce | 18 June 2019

Packet containing Further Maths papers opened by individual

Pearson Edexcel will replace the upcoming Further Maths A-level paper, scheduled to take place on Thursday, the exam board has revealed in a statement.

As part of its ongoing investigation of a centre around the leak of the A-level Maths paper 3 on Statistics and Mechanics on Friday, 14 June, and due to the actions of this centre, Pearson Edexcel has decided to replace the Further Maths A-level paper scheduled for this Thursday, 20 June.

The investigation of the centre in question, which appears to be in east London, has so far revealed that a packet containing the Further Maths paper, which will be sat by around 7,000 students, had been opened by an individual at the centre.

Students will sit this year's contingency paper instead.

But TSR member sade1212 is concerned about the level of care Pearson Edexcel puts into its contingency papers: "So they're replacing this paper. I wonder how the paper we sit will differ from the one they'd originally prepared.

"Do they put as much thought into the contingency paper? Seems unreasonable to expect them to produce two of every paper every year when the vast majority of the time the contingency papers are not sat."

'Necessary precautionary steps'

There is no evidence that the paper or any of its questions have been shared, but Pearson Edexcel says it is "taking the necessary precautionary steps to safeguard the exam for the students sitting it."

The exam board is making arrangements to deliver the papers to all centres shortly before the exam, apart from the centre they are investigating for malpractice.

At this centre, Pearson Edexcel is making separate arrangements to ensure these students can complete their exams.

Centres with entries for this qualification will receive communications from us this morning (Tuesday, June 18.) If any centres still have questions after receiving this, we encourage them to get in touch with us directly.

In a video released on Tuesday, 18 June, Sharon Hague, senior vice president of Pearson Edexcel's schools organisation, said: "As a precautionary measure we have taken the decision to replace the A-level Further Maths exam paper due to take place later this week.

"But don't worry, you can just go ahead and prepare for the exam as normal – students don't need to take any special action. We will work closely with the examinations officer at your school on the next steps."

Fairness

She added: “We have reached out to all of our centres directly to inform them of this decision. We will continue to support and communicate with them through this unusual yet necessary step, that is vital for the safeguarding of confidence in the examination system and to ensure fairness for all learners.

“Our message to students is not to worry about this and focus on your revision as you normally would.”

Yesterday, TSR published a piece on what will happen to students who sat the leaked A-level Maths paper 3 exam, with speculation on what might happen as a result of the breach.

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