AQA writes about the reports of a ‘leak’ of a GCSE RS paper

Esther Zarifi, Head of Curriculum Religious Studies at AQA, writes about the reports of a ‘leak’ of a GCSE RS paper:

“The security breach relating to an AQA GCSE Religious Studies (Paper 2 – Themes) exam is being dealt with in confidence as it is being treated as a malpractice investigation at this time. I can assure you that our Research and Compliance teams are working on the matter, and as The Guardian article reports, will be using statistical analysis and processes to ensure that no students are disadvantaged by this. Our responsibility for valid examination results is our upmost priority, and the validity of student results for themes will not be affected by this incident.

Our full statement on this, most of which was reported by The Guardian, is below for your reference. Marking is proceeding as usual, and the statistical analysis will feed into the grade awarding as it always does.”

Louisa Fyans, AQA’s Head of Exams Integrity & Inspection, said:

“We were extremely disappointed to discover that some students were able to see a page from a GCSE Religious Studies paper before the exam. We contacted the police straight away and we’ve been doing our own investigation too.

“We realise students might be concerned - but we’d like to reassure them that there are lots of things we can do to make sure no-one gets away with cheating, such as monitoring for students with inconsistent marks for this page.

“While we often see claims of leaks on social media during exam season, these are nearly always hoaxes designed to trick students or cause panic. Our advice to students is always to steer well clear, as trying to view even a fake paper could affect their results.

“Students work hard for their exams, so we have zero tolerance of anyone who tries to cheat or help others to.”