Third Examiner Suspended After Boasting About 'Easier Exams'

A third examiner has been suspended as inquiries continued into allegations that teachers were given unfair advice and told that one exam board set easier tests.

The Daily Telegraph released video footage of a conversation between an undercover reporter and a chief examiner at Edexcel who claimed the company's GCSE geography tests were not as difficult as those from other exam boards.

Steph Warren also described her disbelief that the test had been cleared by the exam regulator.

Speaking at an Edexcel seminar in Birmingham last month, she said teachers should choose their exam because "you don't have to teach a lot". She added: "There's so little (in the exam) we don't know how we got it through."

It was "a lot smaller (than other exam boards) and that's why a lot of people came to us."

A spokesman for Edexcel, one of England's main exam boards, said: "Our examiners have a duty to uphold high academic standards at all times and like us, they should take this responsibility very seriously.

"In the video Steph Warren appears to imply that the standard of the specification is not as high as it should be. In light of the video the Telegraph has made available, there is strong evidence that Steph has not taken her responsibility to uphold standards seriously.

"We will investigate both this issue and the allegations regarding disclosure of future exam content, and during this, suspend her from her duties as an examiner. We will not pre-judge the outcome of any investigation. We take this action in the knowledge that Steph regrets the comments she made. Steph has a long and distinguished career in teaching."

Two examiners with the Cardiff-based WJEC exam board were suspended following claims which centred on teachers being given detailed advice on forthcoming exam questions and how students could score higher marks.

England's exams regulator Ofqual has warned that exam boards could be forced to rewrite next year's GCSE and A-level papers if it is found that teachers were given unfair advice on how to boost results.