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Major A-level exam security breach

The examinations system was hit by a fresh blow after it emerged that an A-level test paper had been scrapped following a major security breach.

A level exam

The examinations system was hit by a fresh blow after it emerged that an A-level test paper had been scrapped following a major security breach.

The mathematics exam – due to be sat next week – was axed after being accidentally delivered to a series of British schools in Egypt, it was revealed.

The exam board, Edexcel, announced it was withdrawing the paper due to concerns that it was no longer "secure". A replacement is now being sent to all schools. Two other exams in biology and chemistry were also involved in the breach although examiners insisted the security risk had been “contained” after the rogue papers were tracked down.

The error was blamed on the British Council which delivers a series of papers to schools in Egypt on behalf of Edexcel. Edexcel insisted that no students would be inconvenienced by the mistake, saying a replacement paper would be sent out to affected schools.

Edexcel said that a similar mistake occurred with biology and chemistry exams but added: “We have reviewed the situation and are confident that the security risk has been contained.”

Mark Stephens, the British Council's director in Egypt, said: "We take the security of our exams operation extremely seriously, and deeply regret this error. We acted as soon as we became aware and, as a result, we can be certain that no exam candidates will either benefit or be disadvantaged.”

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