Private school pupils get more time for exams

Extra exam time to finish GCSE and A Level tests was given to one in five independent school pupils last year, analysis shows.

Following an inspection of official exam data by BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, it has been revealed that the number of pupils receiving extra time in state schools is less in comparison to private, with one in eight being given a time boost.

According to HMC, a group which represents independent schools, the higher number was because of “proper resourcing” which “can be lacking in state maintained schools”.

However, the head teacher of a state school in Suffolk believes the information raises “serious questions”.

Pupils with special needs or disabilities can receive more than three hours to complete a two and a half hour exam and it has been claimed that schools with more resources are more likely to receive this.

More than 27,000 independent school pupils were given extra exam time in their GCSE and A Level exams last year, which accounts for 20 per cent. However, in regards to state schools, 200,000 pupils gained more time for their exams, which represents less than 12 per cent of all state sector students.

The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), which represents UK exam boards, said that extra time is approved only for students who need it.

The group said in a statement: "Fairness is ensured by the process being the same, irrespective of location or type of school or college."

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