COLUMNIST
May 16, 2018

Watch ban imposed at GCSE and A-level exams

JCQ video screengrab Image copyright JCQ
Image caption The JCQ exam body is publicising the new rules via an online video

Pupils are being told to remove watches from their wrists before taking GCSE and A-level exams, to combat cheating.

In most cases, students are being told to place the timepieces on their desks, but invigilators can demand they are left outside of the exam hall.

The new rule was introduced to prevent pupils trying to pass off smartwatches – which have long been banned – as normal ones.

Some universities have already imposed similar requirements.

The regulation was announced by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) in an online guide published last July but was first reported this week by the Gloucestershire Live news site.

The rule is also intended to prevent examinees trying to smuggle in notes folded up and placed under normal watch faces.

Hidden earpieces

Various watches explicitly marketed as cheating devices can be found advertised online, including on Amazon’s UK store.

Some work by pressing a button to replace a graphical representation of a watch face with uploaded text, but others have no digital display and work by playing audio to a small earpiece via a Bluetooth connection.

Image copyright Kupi
Image copyright GSM Earpiece

Several exam centres had already introduced their own ad hoc watch bans.

But the JCQ’s move means that most school students sitting exams in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are now affected.

Although some of the JCQ’s members award Scottish Highers, those exams are not covered by the change.

Image copyright Amazon

A spokesman for the organisation told the BBC that it had published a video earlier this week to provide pupils with more information.

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Teachers will debate a motion saying Ofsted overstepped its remit by...
 
In the ruins of the siege of Eastern Ghouta in Syria...
 
Linda Brown was nine when she was denied entry to a...
 
Michael Fuller is autistic and could play Mozart by ear aged...
 
A new report says there are huge education gaps between poorest...
 
Jo Garner was determined to go to university but she couldn’t...
 
Academics found calculators can also help students become better at problem...
 
The parents in Oldham who struggle to buy food and basic...
 
Students will be graded numerically on a scale from 9 to...
 
But the proportion of parents being fined for taking children out...
 
A panel hears a teacher sent inappropriate messages to a pupil...
 
A 19-year-old has been arrested after the hoax closed hundreds of...
 
UK Essays did not make it clear that work should not...
 
A project in Kenya is teaching boys how to intervene to...
 
An Equalities Select Committee report finds only 2% to 8% of...
 
The University of Exeter investigate allegations of “vile” comments made by...
 
Wales’ largest supply teaching provider paid two directors almost £1m over...
 
A US study shows that more children draw women scientists than...
 
New courses are in under-doctored areas as ministers set out plans...
 
Many fathers want to share childcare but fear asking for flexible...
 
The University of Exeter investigates allegations of “deplorable” comments made by...
 
The Tories were the biggest spenders – but the teaching union...
 
Hundreds of schools in England were sent an email saying a...
 
Some teenage boys avoid PE at all costs – even if...
 
Andria Zafirakou is the first British winner of a competition to...
 
A north London arts teacher has been announced as winner of...
 
Former opponents warn of ‘enormous gap’ in centre ground of politics...
 
The musicians hope to show that disabled people can and should...
 
Students from the school where 17 died in a gun attack...
 
Figures from 450 academies suggest looming insolvency, says a report. …...
 
Senior religious and humanist figures publish an open letter encouraging the...
 
Nursing students at a number of universities struggle with student loan...
 
Two of England’s top schools are Muslim schools in Blackburn. What’s...
 
There has been a “trebling” of the number of secondaries in...
 
As the lecturer strike continues, we asked students in Liverpool what...
 
Female graduates earn less from the very start of their careers,...
 
A PlayStation game which “promotes the sexualisation of children” is banned...
 
Reports say children who do regular homework get better exam results...
 
Leora is a student who takes a ‘smart drug’ to help...
 
It’s the phrase of the moment but have you ever been...
 
Reality Check teams up with BBC School Report to look at...
 
Some parents say they budget for the cost of term-time fines...
 
A quarter of adults across 31 countries struggle to work out...
 
Demand for university places in England is set to grow by...
 
Part of BBC School Report, we put them to a fake...
 
An elderly Pakistani couple talk about life under siege in Syria,...
 
Young people can play the role of a newsroom journalist, making...
 
Schools inspectors will gain powers to seize evidence and question witnesses....
 
BBC Ouch goes back to school in a School Report takeover....
 
Teachers may not be told whether exam questions they set will...
 
Schoolchildren explain what Stephen Hawking meant to them. …...
 
If you want to be sure a story is right, you...
 
A book of condolence has been opened at Gonville and Caius,...
 
The boy was allegedly tied to a lampost and whipped in...
 
Two in three councils that provide nursery services do not employ...
 
How can more men be encouraged to teach nursery-age children? …...
 
Only 38% of students in England say the fees for their...
 
A university group says the “steep decline” in older student numbers...
 
The money sent home by migrant workers is relied up on...
 
How Mexican entrepreneur Ixchel Anaya launched a reusable nappies business that...
 
As a pension strike deal is rejected, university staff say they...
 
A deal to end the university pensions dispute has been turned...
 
What is it like being a mum and son at construction...
 
Agreement is reached in the university pensions dispute – but it...
 
When Noah’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, he came up with...
 
The Church of England says pupils should be taught the “positive...
 
Pensioners and disabled people fear losing homes ahead of housing costs...
 
Universities are to be given “no place to hide” under a...
 
Education secretary to promise no more changes to exams in bid...
 
Philip Pedley, used ‘negative racial’ language at a private school, a...
 
It’s not often a mother follows in her daughter’s footsteps, but...
 
An international survey says UK parents value teachers, but put in...
 
The pressure to be successful can increase a sense of loneliness...
 
Talks between employers and the union in the pensions dispute broke...
 
Scottish universities retain more students than the UK average for the...
 
Two men are arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order...
 
Parents’ whose adult children move back home suffer a decline in...
 
A quarter of women escaping traffickers in the UK are pregnant...
 
Two-thirds of secondary schools in England have increased the size of...
 
Oxford joins universities, including Cambridge, in calling for a rethink over...
 
Pamela Chapman was a single mother with poor qualifications, now she’s...
 
How do you get jobs without a single qualification with experience...
 
‘If children can’t come to school, then the school should come...
 
A school takes out references to boys and girls in its...
 
Ministers says they value British Sign Language, but disappoint MPs who...
 
The University of London is putting a degree course online to...
 
Teachers and staff are three times more likely to be physically...
 
After she was raped as a student Hannah Price began a...
 
Children suffered worse injuries at trampoline parks than when using home...
 
The two sides met at the mediation service Acas as strikes...
 
The academics facing job insecurity and poor pay at British universities...
 
It is hoped the move to train students at two Edinburgh...
 
More than 1,500 meals were shared between eight charities after school...
 
The government is criticised for giving taxpayers’ money to a training...
 
A Kenyan film school is a surprise challenge to Hollywood superstars...
 
Pupils in England are receiving offers of a secondary school place....
 
Students should get money back for strike-hit lectures, says university minister....
 
The cost of a part-time nursery place for a child under...
 
More than half of children aged 11 to 16 say they...
 
Marie Farmer came up with the idea during her maternity leave,...
 
The two sides in the dispute over pensions have agreed to...
 
Inspectors say there are more than 350 unregistered schools but they...
 
A watchdog says his reputation as a “controversialist” should have prompted...
 
The mother of a child with Asperger’s syndrome is touched by...
 
A mum’s moving poem about her son who has Asperger syndrome....
 
BBC filming of a suspected unregistered school in Essex appears to...
 
Talks are due on Tuesday but bosses will not reconsider plans...
 
“No DSS” landlords who turn down housing benefit claimants risk breaching...
 
The charity Beat says lack of knowledge is linked to more...
 
Students are suffering from stress and anxiety owing to the pressures...
 
The “McDonalds” haircut was banned in a Norfolk school – but...
 
Employers’ group says it is open to new ideas as a...
 
Concerns about time spent online are widespread, but knowing how much...
 
The bosses of large academy chains of schools are going to...
 
As university staff start a 14-day strike across 64 universities, we...
 
The university pension scheme, with a £6bn deficit, has two staff...
 
Tears and anger on the picket lines as staff begin a...
 
A head teacher speaks out after a pupil’s father is sentenced...
 
Research suggests little support among students for different fees for different...
 
As university lecturers at 64 universities strike over pensions, we look...
 
Lecturers at 64 universities walk out over changes they say could...
 
Boys with six styles deemed “extreme” will be put into isolation...
 
Counting and remembering ever school shooting to stop US becoming ‘desensitised’....
 
MPs launch an inquiry into the impact of social media and...
 
The prime minister says university costs are too high, but students...
 
Jersey’s chief minister says he does not want students to “worry...
 
Students voice their views on subsidising each other’s courses through tuition...
 
Lord Adonis, the architect of tuition fees, says the government now...
 
The education secretary suggests degree prices should reflect their value to...
 
The inner-city parents who took a trip to Cambridge in a...
 
North Lanarkshire says it could be the first UK local authority...
 
Lecturers want fundamental changes to how universities are funded and not...
 
Quality RE lessons help stop religious stereotyping, says the Religious Education...
 
Girls spend £2.90 a week more than boys at the age...
 
Unconditional university offers are on the rise but MPs say they...
 
Audit Scotland says councils may not be able to resource a...
 
The UK should consider setting up its own exchange programme after...
 
BBC Radio 4 wants you to take part in an experiment...
 
A London teacher, nominated for a global teaching prize, warns of...
 
12 times 11 equals what? Up to 7,250 pupils in England...
 
Tara’s fundamentalist family in rural Idaho would not let her go...
 
Kiera Puddefoot, 13, who is transgender, was previously known as Lucas....
 
A cricket-loving schoolgirl says she lost her passion for the sport...
 
Do children spend too much time online and does social media...
 
Former teenage mothers says revised sex education must cover issues such...
 
Researchers investigate the creative and confusing moments between waking and sleeping....
 
Airlines are stopping hedgehogs and turkeys being brought on board, after...
 
Rarely seen documents reveal how a prominent suffragette was “trolled” over...
 
A campaign to tackle childhood obesity draws criticism from those living...
 
Find school and sixth forms in your area who are taking...
 
A campaign in several African countries wants to stop child brides...
 
The artist, Bob and Roberta Smith, says he’s concerned arts subjects...
 
The image appeared during a screening of the family favourite at...
 
Under new plans, councils will instead create a database to identify...
 
The chancellor is sent a letter asking for more cash, as...
 
A Preston man tells the Victoria Derbyshire programme his benefits were...
 
Former Chelsea and England midfielder Frank Lampard says he can ‘sense...
 
Pearl and Iris were with their stay-at-home dad when he died...
 
Beach schools are a growing trend – but what do children...
 
Around 220,000 people are expected to receive a higher award as...
 
Ghanaian schoolgirls have been banned from crossing a river to get...
 
Labour MP Rupa Huq claims her old school’s A level history...
 
The former education secretary calls for the return of maintenance grants,...
 
Existing technology can be used to flag grooming behaviour to children...
 
A think tank report says there is “institutional snobbery” towards vocational...
 
How a decluttering buddy scheme in Croydon helped one woman face...
 
Teaching assistants working with special-needs children say violence is too often...
 
Megan Malone says it stopped her doing things she loved. …...
 
How one man uncovered the family secret that had been hidden...
 
A grandmother who escaped Nazi Germany on a train as a...
 
Both the EIS and a second union, the SSTA, have signalled...
 
Could broadcasting school lessons solve Africa’s education crisis? The BBC spoke...
 
Rough sleeping is on the increase, moving beyond the big cities...
 
Parents and pupils in England will be able to see how...
 
A Department for Education board member helped to organise the men-only...
 
There is “much to be proud of” in education but Estyn...
 
The Education Authority says schools were unable to show they could...
 
One mother said it took five years and £6,000 to get...
 
They had a legal duty to provide an interpreter, says Sally...
 
The OECD’s new school test in respecting other cultures is being...
 
Young people share their worries, as a survey suggests youth confidence...
 
BBC Sport Wales meets Anna Hursey, the 11-year-old selected for the...
 
Staff at 61 universities say plans to change their pensions will...
 
The new education secretary says schools need to prepare for a...
 
Staff fear an average lecturer could lose up to £200,000 during...
 
Hundreds of centres have not faced full inspections in five years,...
 
Six contemporary artists have designed prints for children. But what do...
 
Alex suffered severe racial bullying when at school. Now he’s been...
 
How George Weah went from being the world’s best footballer to...
 
The independent Olive Tree Primary School in Luton faced a series...
 
Gender stereotyping for jobs starts at an early age, a survey...
 
A survey of thousands of young people across the world reveal...
 
Parents are subsidising a new flagship “free” nursery scheme for three-...
 
University of Kent vice-chancellor Dame Julia Goodfellow receives an extra £45,000...
 
The 11th Century artwork tells the story behind one of the...
 
The government’s 30-hour ‘free’ nursery scheme is being subsidised by parents,...
 
A new campaign aims to make lessons about intellectual property infringement...
 
Parents will soon be able to watch their children’s lessons in...
 
A partnership between Imperial College London and a major French agency...
 
Prof Dame Glynis Breakwell, who earns £468,000, is the highest paid...
 
The future of almost 1,500 apprentices at training centres in England...
 
NHS doctors and a defence contractor are among those buying bogus...
 
A French aristocrat, captured in 1357, was the earliest official “prisoner...
 
The school was criticised by inspectors over child safety and the...
 
A teacher and 11 children were slashed at a school in...
 
Children undergoing cancer treatment receive beads to document their journey and...
 
Young Muslims share their experiences to help schools in Wales teach...
 
A Nottingham school is worried about the amount of misogynistic language...
 
Parents are struggling to get subsidised childcare they are entitled to...
 
Last-minute tips from experts on seeing past official data to find...
 
New guidelines aim to cut UK teenage pregnancy rates which remain...
 
Schoolchildren from Kirton Primary in Boston run their own bank with...
 
The childless couple trying to overcome their grief by trying to...
 
The UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in...
 
Pete Thompson holds the record for the most crossovers with a...
 
The world famous magician performs tricks at a youth club and...
 
Government minister Jo Johnson rejects Nick Timothy’s criticism of the ex-education...
 
Official figures show a sharp rise since 2012 in the share...
 
The battery-powered devices are designed to be worn more discreetly than...
 
Like Minds: The little yellow car that’s tackling depression. …...
 
A think tank says cities such as Sheffield and Nottingham gain...
 
‘Misleading evidence’ creating moral panic on free speech, claim universities …...
 
University leaders have produced a fair-pay code, after claims of fat-cat...
 
A UK project inspiring disadvantaged youngsters to apply to university is...
 
Who is the new man in charge of higher education in...
 
The Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, voiced concern about the spread...
 
When Naimish Gohil created his homework sharing app, he says he...
 
Dropping out of university felt like the end of the world,...
 
Meet Logan Hannah, the 16-year-old girl who has made F4 motor...
 
Is Liberia’s controversial school experiment raising standards? …...
 
An outdoors expedition meant camping on a prison football pitch, but...
 
Worried about the impact of screens on your child’s eyesight? Get...
 
Could professionals swapping their career for the classroom answer the UK’s...
 
Almost one in 10 young people rely on goodwill for a...
 
Parents and young people are asked their views on new sex...
 
After 16 years experience of DJing at some of the best...
 
People would rather talk to their colleagues about sex and money...
 
With tuition fees under scrutiny, researchers say Labour is strengthening its...
 
How do families with autistic children make it through the festive...
 
There are no snow days at the Dandelion nursery in Marsham,...
 
They came from “a mixture of Islamic extremists and the hard...
 
Parents of disabled children raise safety fears over potential cuts to...
 
The Women and Equalities Committee said new guidance was a “belated...
 
James Parker, 16, was told he could not return to City...
 
As one of the last examples of a unique elevator closes...
 
Giving youngsters too many takeaways is also criticised as a health...
 
A researcher finds dozens of UK schools’ smart heating systems are...
 
Theresa May confirms UK participation in student exchange will continue for...
 
Primary school league tables show pupils with special needs are dropping...
 
University leaders have agreed to a new code on senior pay,...
 
The education secretary promises £23m to help clever children in poor...
 
Figures show the gap between poor and wealthy students going to...
 
High Storrs School wants to raise £100,000 to subsidise Latin and...
 
Amanda Spielman says disadvantaged pupils should not become an excuse for...
 
A PE teacher, who plays for Spurs, is shortlisted in a...
 
The next international Pisa tests are going to compare how well...
 
A slice of a monster fatberg, clogging up London’s sewers, is...
 
There are concerns the Pig family’s inappropriate doctor calls encourage people...
 
Max Olivares has a rare heart and lung condition, which requires...
 
Skin betting websites let players gamble with virtual items from online...
 
Thousands of schools closed on Monday – but how tough a...
 
Hundreds of schools have closed across England and Wales because of...
 
Opening up about male infertility. …...
 
Justin Welby calls on the government to have an inclusive approach...
 
Heads urged to offer more support to LGBT teachers to be...
 
University of Sussex paid the money to Prof Michael Farthing “in...
 
Young people are taking out loans to pay for fees without...
 
Universities minister says excessive university boss pay to be tackled by...
 
One in 10 pupils are persistently absent, and this school is...
 
What do you do if you’re so badly bullied you have...
 
Why is one in 10 school children classed as “persistently absent”?...
 
Why do pupils not attend school? BBC Stories has taken to...
 
The school says income from the deal will fund bursaries for...
 
The Bath Spa University pay packet for Prof Christina Slade included...
 
The prime minister is told that more than 1,000 nurseries are...
 
An intact mummy, excavated a century ago, is the first to...
 
As the number of homeless children hits a 10-year-high, a mother...
 
Schools need to take more responsibility for young carers, says charity...
 
Christmas comes early for researchers as a fragment of bone is...
 
Children now spend less time outdoors and their knowledge of nature...
 
These primary school children think they’re getting “smarter and smarter”. …...