St Patrick‘s Keady: Investigation into alleged dishonest

An investigation into allegations of exam cheating is taking place at a County Armagh school.

The allegations concern some GCSE exams held at St Patrick‘s High School in Keady in the summer of 2017.

In a statement to the , the school‘s principal and board of governors said staff were co-operating fully with the independent investigation.

It added that the allegations affect “a small number of pupils entitled to additional access arrangements”.

Additional access arrangements help pupils with special educational needs or temporary injuries, who may need extra time or a specialist assistance to sit exams.

The Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) and the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) have also been informed of the alleged malpractice.

News NI understands that the allegations centre on some GCSE English and Maths exams taken at the school in 2017.

However, the also understands the allegations only came to light in November and December 2017.

The school‘s statement went on to say: “The Principal and board of governors acted swiftly on receipt of the allegations and immediately elected to invite independent external assessors to examine the arrangements for and conduct of these examinations.

“There is no suggestion of systemic or widespread malpractice in the conduct of examinations at St Patrick‘s High School.

“We have put in place additional arrangements for the supervision of pupils entitled to access arrangements in order to ensure confidence in the integrity of the January 2018 GCSE modules,” it added.

The understands that additional external invigilators will oversee some of January‘s GCSE exams in the school.

It is understood that the investigation by external investigators is expected to be completed this month.

The findings will then be presented to CCEA.

It will then be up to CCEA to decide what, if any, further action to take.

A spokesperson for CCEA said it was “providing invigilation support to St Patrick‘s High School”, adding “we do not comment on allegations of malpractice”.

Meanwhile, the CCMS said it was ed by the school Principal (Pat McGuckian) “immediately upon receipt of allegations of malpractice for certain groups of pupils in two GCSE examinations in 2017”.

“We are content that the school authorities have taken swift and appropriate action,” said a CCMS spokesperson.

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