B1505-The Protection of Public Examinations Bill 2019 (Third reading) Watch

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Andrew97
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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.


The Protection of Public Examinations Bill, 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 a maximum fine equivalent to level 4 on the standard scale.
(X) (4) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be barred from the examination process for one examination series.

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 twelve months, and a maximum fine equivalent to level 5 on the standard scale.
(X) (4) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be barred from the examination process for a minimum period of three years or ten examination series - whichever occurs first.

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 may, at the discretion of the Secretary of State, be subject to enhanced examination oversight, including but not limited to the requirement to have an independently appointed third party verifying procedures throughout one or more examination series, or third party management of the handling and storage of examination papers.

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.

Spoiler:
Show

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.

Following further constructive criticism, the liability of the centre has now been removed - instead, centres with 'inadequate mechanisms' may, at the discretion of the SoS for Education, have to comply with additional requirements. Similarly, the liability of individuals involved has been revised down.

For third reading, disqualification from public office has been removed.
Last edited by CatusStarbright; 1 month ago
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Ruzanna
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Thanks for the useful information!
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yaseen1000
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AYE
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shadowdweller
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Like the changes that have been made this time, would be happy to support it :yep:
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barnetlad
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I feel it is still a half measure and does not address my prevention suggestions, but half is more than none and sends a message so I can support this Bill.
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04MR17
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So fields haven't worked.
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Jammy Duel
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Formatting could do with fixing (although one suspects at least part of the problem comes from the copying process rather than the authors)

One question about 2(4) would be what is currently the case? It seems extraordinary to me that somebody would currently be able to compromise exams and be an invigilator or whatever without issues, that feels like something where the existing legislation would be weakened and one series isn't really that long and beyond that disqualification for a series doesn't do much to prevent repetition of the error
Last edited by Jammy Duel; 1 month ago
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ns_2
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
Formatting could do with fixing (although one suspects at least part of the problem comes from the copying process rather than the authors)

One question about 2(4) would be what is currently the case? It seems extraordinary to me that somebody would currently be able to compromise exams and be an invigilator or whatever without issues, that feels like something where the existing legislation would be weakened and one series isn't really that long and beyond that disqualification for a series doesn't do much to prevent repetition of the error
In the application of other offences, if applicable, such as theft or fraud, it is my belief that schools would reconsider who they allow access to the exams.

The exclusion from series in the bill is considered to be a minimum and automatic sanction; with schools JCQ, and examination bodies themselves free to permanently bar.
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04MR17
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I'm pleased to see the changes made to this bill.

What this leaves us with is an incredibly watered down version of the original, which it would have to be if it's going to get through division.
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CatusStarbright
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I've fixed the formatting as much as I can without being in possession of the original codes.

As for the substance, I think this is a much better bill than the one that was first put before the House, and as such would be inclined to support.
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Andrew97
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This item has entered cessation.
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Andrew97
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Division, clear the Lobby!!
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