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  1. #1
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    Dec 2009


    Default Exam aid: Student scores iPod victory

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    A SCHOOLGIRL has won the right to use an iPod while sitting exams - after claiming she can concentrate only while listening to her favourite music.

    The girl won the unprecedented concession after threatening legal action against her school and examination authorities.

    The Mary Erskine School for girls in Edinburgh, where boarders pay almost pound 18,000 a year, has been forced to buy a new iPod that is loaded with the girl's choice of music by a teacher to ensure no exam answers are hidden among the tracks.

    Staff had initially refused the request, fearing it would open the door to the possibility of cheating.

    The girl's parents then took her case to the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) examination board, which also ruled it out. However, it was forced to back down after reportedly being threatened with legal action under the Equalities Act because the girl often struggles to pay attention in class.

    Scottish education bosses have allowed the student, who is in the middle of exams, to listen to the iPod as long as it can be "proved not to contain any prompts".

    School staff members are understood to be unhappy with the decision but were forced to comply as the SQA is the governing body for Higher examinations.

    The student has to sit in a separate area to prevent the noise from her headphones distracting other students.

    The move has been allowed under what the SQA calls 'special arrangements'.

    Now, Scottish education chiefs are bracing themselves for a flood of similar claims.

    Exam invigilators are also furious because loading the iPod has added to their workload.
    ...being a human...



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