CCTV cameras could be used in exam halls

LONDON Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:05pm BST

Undated file photo shows student desks in a school. CCTV cameras could be used in school exam halls in an attempt to prevent cheats using increasingly high-tech devices, examiners said on Friday. REUTERS/file

Undated file photo shows student desks in a school. CCTV cameras could be used in school exam halls in an attempt to prevent cheats using increasingly high-tech devices, examiners said on Friday.

Credit: Reuters/file

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LONDON (Reuters) - CCTV cameras could be used in school exam halls in an attempt to prevent cheats using increasingly high-tech devices, examiners said on Friday.

The Examination Officers' Association (EOA) is asking its members whether they want to pilot the CCTV cameras.

Rising numbers of invigilators have complained about the stress of trying to tackle cheating in schools and colleges.

No overall figures on cheating exists, but individual boards are complaining about rising numbers of candidates taking mobile phones into the exam room.

The CCTV cameras could also be used to prevent unfounded complaints against invigilators.

The EOA fears problems are likely to worsen in September when diplomas are introduced. Invigilators will have to watch over candidates they do not know from outside their school or college.

CCTV cameras are already used in some classrooms and playgrounds.

The EOA is currently waiting to hear back from its 2,500 members on whether they wish to take part.

Andrew Harland, EOA chief executive, said: "CCTV cameras are one of the approaches we have suggested in an attempt to address the problem of stress felt among our members as the complexity of monitoring exams increases.

"We have looked at the legality and what people would think was acceptable.

"I do not know what students will think about it. At the moment they could accuse invigilators of staring at them during exams. CCTV cameras would stop candidates thinking they can go unobserved."

He added: "Personally, I am not a Big Brother fan, but the idea is in response to members saying there are problems."

(Editing by Peter Griffiths)

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