B1505 – Protection of Public Examinations Bill 2019 Watch

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Saracen's Fez
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What is this thread about?
This is a bill in the Model House of Commons (MHoC). It's a piece of proposed legislation that is currently being debated, and there's a good chance that the House will later vote on whether to pass it into TSR law. All are welcome and encouraged to ask questions about the bill's content and join in the debate – you don't have to be in a party or be an MP to do so.

What is the MHoC?
It's a political role-playing game where we pretend to be the House of Commons, and it's been going since 2005. We have formed parties, we have elections twice a year, and we debate bills and motions just like the real-life parliament. If you want to know more about how the MHoC works, your first port of call is the user manual. If you'd like to get involved and possibly join a party, you want the welcome thread.


B1505 – Protection of Public Examinations Bill 2019, TSR Conservative & Unionist Party
A
BILL
TO

fortify the legislative force against those who unduly compromise the sanctity of public examinations

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1(X)Definitions
For the purposes of this Bill,
(X) (1) ‘public examinations’ shall refer to examinations approved by the relevant authority, including but not limited to General Certificates in Secondary Education (GCSEs), and General Certificates in Education (GCEs), conducted by approved examination bodies.
(X) (2) ‘relevant authority’ shall refer to Office for Qualifications and Examinations Regulations, colloquially referred to as Ofqual, the Department for Education, or any other associated department or agent of Her Majesty’s Government as specified by the Secretary of State.
(X) (3) ‘approved examination bodies’ shall refer to examination bodies approved by the relevant authority to conduct public examinations in the United Kingdom, including but not limited to:
(X) (X) (a) the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (“AQA”);
(X) (X) (b) the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations & Assessment (“CCEA”);
(X) (X) (c) Pearson Education Limited (“Edexcel”);
(X) (X) (d) Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations (“OCR”);
(X) (X) (e) the Welsh Joint Education Committee (“WJEC”); and
(X) (X) (f) Cambridge Assessment International Education (“CIE”)
the Secretary of State retains the right to amend this list by secondary legislation.
(X) (4) ‘compromising public examinations’ shall refer to any act where an undue advantage may be gifted upon a candidate, or centre including but not limited to:-
(X) (X) (a) the early opening of any examination package sent by an approved examination body;
(X) (X) (b) the direct contravention of examination regulations as set out by the Joint Council for Qualifications (“JCQ”).;
(X) (X) (c) information transfer between senior examiners and non-authorised personnel; and
(X) (X) (d) technological efforts against the central servers of any approved examination body, or high ranking personnel of the aforementioned.

2(X)Compromising public examinations
(X) (1) It shall be an offence to compromise public examinations - whether through malicious intent or gross negligence.
(X) (2) An offence under this section does not negate the application of other offences, which may be sought concurrently or in series, notably offences of fraud, and theft.
(X) (3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, and a fine equivalent to level 4 on the standard scale.

3(X)Personal and collective material gain
(X) (1) It shall be a further offence to compromise public examinations for the purposes of accentuating or engendering personal or collective material gain.
(X) (2) An offence under this section does not negate the application of other offences, which may be sought concurrently or in series, notably offences of fraud, and theft.
(X) (3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, permanent disqualification from public office in the United Kingdom, and a fine equivalent to level 5 on the standard scale.

4(X)Centre offence
(X) (1) Where the sanctity of public examinations has been compromised by an individual, or group of individuals, and where inadequate mechanisms were in place to mitigate the extent of such a compromise - whether through malicious intent or gross negligence - the centre shall be liable for negligence.
(X) (2) A centre found liable for negligence shall be liable to a fine not exceeding 500,000.00 GBP.
(X) (3) Where the sanctity of public examinations has been compromised by an individual, or group of individuals, for personal or collective material gain and where inadequate mechanisms were in place to mitigate the extent of such a compromise - whether through malicious intent or gross negligence - the centre shall be liable for gross negligence.
(X) (2) A centre found liable for gross negligence shall be liable to a fine not exceeding five million GBP.

5(X)Citation and Commencement:
(1) This act extends to the whole of the United Kingdom.
(2) This act will come into force upon Royal Assent.
(3) This act may be cited as the The Protection of Public Examinations Bill.

Notes
Following recent, renewed leaks surrounding the final examination in the new Mathematics A-level offered by Pearson Edexcel, more substantive action has been designed to discourage said activity, and further punish complicity.

This Bill works to introduce new offences surrounding ‘compromising the sanctity of public examinations’ from the perspective of an individual (or group of individuals) and of the centre itself.
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The Mogg
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Aye, I think it's very important that we protect the integrity of our examinations and that all students are on a level playing field.
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shadowdweller
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(Original post by The Mogg)
Aye, I think it's very important that we protect the integrity of our examinations and that all students are on a level playing field.
Strongly seconded, it's an aye from me too.
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04MR17
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So a school should be bankrupted for the negligence of a single staff members.

And somebody should be jailed for 10 years for profiting from an exam leak.

Hot take: Mussolini was relaxed on exam regulations.
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(Original post by The Mogg)
Aye, I think it's very important that we protect the integrity of our examinations and that all students are on a level playing field.
Do you think all students are on "a level playing field" normally by sitting examinations?
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snazzy viking
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Strong aye from me
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(Original post by 04MR17)
So a school should be bankrupted for the negligence of a single staff members.

And somebody should be jailed for 10 years for profiting from an exam leak.

Hot take: Mussolini was relaxed on exam regulations.
What’s Mussolini got to do with anything?
(Original post by 04MR17)
Do you think all students are on "a level playing field" normally by sitting examinations?
Level in terms of they all head into the examination not knowing what’s going to be on the paper.
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(Original post by 04MR17)
So a school should be bankrupted for the negligence of a single staff members.

And somebody should be jailed for 10 years for profiting from an exam leak.

Hot take: Mussolini was relaxed on exam regulations.
"Where inadequate mechanisms were in place to mitigate the extent of such a compromise", the centre would be liable, yes. The fines detailed would simply be the maximum level, reserved for the worst case scenario under each's stipulations.

Ultimately, if the centre is not held at least partially liable, there will be no innate impetus for protection.
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Do you think all students are on "a level playing field" normally by sitting examinations?
A perfect playing field is of course not possible; but that is no excuse for attempting to right its wrongs. If everything was a binary scale of good (level) and bad (not level), we would be able to accomplish exactly nothing, and you know it.
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The Mogg
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Do you think all students are on "a level playing field" normally by sitting examinations?
(Original post by Andrew97)
Level in terms of they all head into the examination not knowing what’s going to be on the paper.
^^

Edit: Yes, what does an Italian fascist dictator have to do with this matter.
Last edited by The Mogg; 1 month ago
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ns_2
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(Original post by Andrew97)
What’s Mussolini got to do with anything?
If anyone has a clue, let us know...please.
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04MR17
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(Original post by ns_2)
"Where inadequate mechanisms were in place to mitigate the extent of such a compromise", the centre would be liable, yes. The fines detailed would simply be the maximum level, reserved for the worst case scenario under each's stipulations.

Ultimately, if the centre is not held at least partially liable, there will be no innate impetus for protection.
Mechanisms and mitigation in this context are not defined and are therefore open to interpretation. With the state of school funding as it is any fine in the 6 figure sum would leave a school unable to educate the students enrolled.
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Mechanisms and mitigation in this context are not defined and are therefore open to interpretation. With the state of school funding as it is any fine in the 6 figure sum would leave a school unable to educate the students enrolled.
The revelant authority would take proportional action, given their intimate knowledge of the sector and the limitations of current protections and systems.
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04MR17
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(Original post by ns_2)
A perfect playing field is of course not possible; but that is no excuse for attempting to right its wrongs. If everything was a binary scale of good (level) and bad (not level), we would be able to accomplish exactly nothing, and you know it.
The biggest "level playing field" wrong is socio-economic status. No other factor has a greater correlation between students and their grades. More so than the school you attend, the location you're in, the qualifications you sit. Your parent's income is THE biggest factor in determining school-age achievement. If you talking about righting wrongs I'd suggest you start there. Rather than introducing massive penalties for cases affecting very few people, but the punishments risk affecting a far wider proportion of people.
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04MR17
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(Original post by ns_2)
The revelant authority would take proportional action, given their intimate knowledge of the sector and the limitations of current protections and systems.
Proportional action would usually constitute £0 then.
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04MR17
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(Original post by Andrew97)
What's Mussolini got to do with anything?

Level in terms of they all head into the examination not knowing what’s going to be on the paper.
Some say the chap was a tad harsh. :dontknow:

Then I'd suggest you ask exam boards to strip the content from their specification, since that tells students what to expect on the paper. :yy:
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Jammy Duel
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The Tories' record on education becomes worse by the term, first they restrict education and increase indoctrination in schools in the name of preventing indoctrination, now we see them wanting to de facto set school budgets to nil or even have negative budgets.
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Some say the chap was a tad harsh. :dontknow:

Then I'd suggest you ask exam boards to strip the content from their specification, since that tells students what to expect on the paper. :yy:
You know full well what Andrew meant; leaks give certain candidates grossly unfair advantages - rewarding those who put in very little effort into revision et cetera.
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(Original post by 04MR17)
The biggest "level playing field" wrong is socio-economic status. No other factor has a greater correlation between students and their grades. More so than the school you attend, the location you're in, the qualifications you sit. Your parent's income is THE biggest factor in determining school-age achievement. If you talking about righting wrongs I'd suggest you start there. Rather than introducing massive penalties for cases affecting very few people, but the punishments risk affecting a far wider proportion of people.
Whilst I agree there are disparities in terms of status, again, this does not warrant the negation of other solutions and policies. The penalties are there to deter, as is the case with many other fines; and if the issue is the extent of the penalty, this is something that can be revised. But, stop pointing to a different issue, which you, as the Government, ought to be tackling.
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Proportional action would usually constitute £0 then.
If the centre has proper safeguards, i.e. a lockable room in compliance with JCQ regulations, defined procedures for the receipt of examination papers et cetera, and were it was a rogue member, yes - the centre would not be punished.

However, if the centre wilfully failed to have these safeguards in place, punishment is appropriate.
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