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Leading non-grammar at centre of exam cheating allegations

St Patrick's High School in Keady is at the centre of allegations of GCSE cheating
Staff Reporter

ONE of the north's best-performing non-grammar schools is at the centre of allegations of exam cheating.

The allegations are thought to be linked to English and Maths GCSEs held at St Patrick's High School in Keady, Co Armagh, in the summer.

The school's principal, Pat McGuckian, and board of governors told the BBC staff were co-operating fully with the independent investigation.

In a statement, it claimed that the allegations only refer to "a small number of pupils entitled to additional access arrangements".

Additional access arrangements help pupils who may need extra time or assistance to sit exams.

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

The school statement added: "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."

It is understood that some GCSE exams due to be sat this month will be overseen by additional external invigilators.

A spokesman for CCEA said it did not comment on allegations of malpractice but said it was "providing invigilation support to St Patrick's High School".

The investigation is expected to be completed this month.

CCEA will then examine the findings and decide if they need to take further action.

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