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OCR is today setting out its long-term approach to schools that redact exam questions.
Last summer we discovered that two schools had redacted - covered up - questions before the students sat the exams. We immediately launched malpractice investigations and brought the issue to the attention of the Regulator, Ofqual.
We also alerted Ofsted and the Department for Education as we felt that it raised more general concerns that extended beyond matters of assessment, to the delivery of the National Curriculum and student entitlement. We also raised the issue with our fellow Awarding Bodies.
We have now been able to consider our position and have concluded that as a matter of policy schools should not be permitted to tamper with question papers prior to a student sitting an exam. (In cases where changes are required to facilitate disabled candidate access, adjustments are made by the Awarding Body).
OCR believes that this approach should be adopted by all Awarding Bodies and supported by the Regulator. We told Ofqual that this is the approach we would be taking and wanted clarity from its Board as to whether it would be supporting this policy. We are pleased that the Regulator has said that it agrees with us that such a practice should not be permitted.