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Fraud investigation underway after 11-plus exam leaked

400 girls will have to resit their maths and english papers Photo: PA

Hundreds of girls will have to resit their 11-plus exams in Plymouth after it emerged many of them had seen the papers already.

A fraud investigation is underway, after the City Council reported the leak to Devon and Cornwall Police.

It's thought it will affect 400 pupils who were trying to get a place at Plymouth High School for Girls and Devonport High School for Girls. They sat a Maths and English exam on two consecutive weekends earlier this month - but immediately afterwards there were reports that some girls had been shown the test beforehand.

With 240 places at stake, the council has taken the decision to resit both Maths and English tests on October 8th.

The city council says its working closely with fraud investigators and has apologised to the pupils:

We regret to announce that due to a security breach, the candidates who sat the papers are going to have to re-sit them, and while we recognise that this is not ideal, it is the only way we can ensure the tests and admission process are carried out fairly. Investigation into the source of the breach is ongoing.

This is now being treated as a fraud investigation and a police matter so we are working closely with GL Assessment and fraud investigators, but we cannot comment further at this stage until the investigation is complete.

We would once again like to thank all the children and their parents for their patience and understanding as we recognise this is a very difficult and frustrating situation.

– Plymouth City Council

We have made swift progress in our investigation and can now confirm that we have evidence of an isolated security breach. Schools and authorised personnel have a legal duty to abide by our strict security protocols and we would like to reiterate that any breach of that duty will be dealt with. The investigation will continue, led by GL Assessment’s legal advisors and Plymouth City Council’s fraud unit, and the matter has been referred to the police.

We are acutely aware of the upset this has caused children and parents, and we would like to thank the children for coming forward and parents for raising their concerns so promptly. The information they have provided has been invaluable to our enquiries.

Our focus must now be on ensuring a fair process for all children applying to the schools and regrettably, the only option is to arrange fresh tests. Plymouth City Council has confirmed these arrangements with parents today.

– GL Assessment