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son had his mobile phone in GCSE biology

(212 Posts)
Applecheeks Fri 05-Jun-15 17:22:44

Three minutes before the end of my sons Biology paper today his mobile phone rang. It was in his pocket. He forgot he had it despite usual prompt at the beginning to hand any mobiles in. He didn't answer it, Invigilator took it off him. He was then interviewed after asked had he intended to cheat etc. My son is chaotic and disorganised. The school rang me to inform and explain that they would submit an incident report. My son is in pieces , angry at himself. I am hoping someone may have had experience. I have read the guidelines on the website of the exam board. This suggests he will receive a penalty of either a warning, lose of points on a unit or the paper, disqualification of this GCSE or ultimately of all he has taken under this board. That would be five GCSEs. I'm so angry with him but that's not helping so trying to stay calm. Clearly it's a breach of the rules but the website doesn't help me work out which penalty is likely as it is judged case by case

Bunbaker Fri 05-Jun-15 17:29:58

You have my sympathies. DD is disorganised as well and when she has exams I check before she leaves the house that her phone is off and in her school bag and not in her blazer pocket.

EvilTwins Fri 05-Jun-15 17:32:06

You've pretty much covered it - the board will deal with it on a case by case basis, there isn't really a set penalty. Not that it's much comfort. Where I teach, there are notices all aroud the exam hall, on the doors, on the doors of the building and students are reminded they are not allowed to have phones on them at all. There is no way a student could realistically claim that they did not know the rules.

You say your DS is chaotic and disorganised. Is this something the school is aware of? Does he have a SEN? If so, this will have a bearing on the way it is dealt with. If not, then he may not have so much luck.

Hope he's ok.

Bellebella Fri 05-Jun-15 17:35:54

Well he may get off lucky if it is his first offence but he would be extremely lucky. There really is no excuse for it, he was warned and when I was doing GCSEs there were posters everywhere about phones.

Hopefully he will lose some points but not have the whole GCSE stripped off him.

Applecheeks Fri 05-Jun-15 17:44:55

I agree he has no excuses and he knows that. Today he went in a few hours early to revise that's why he had his phone he doesn't normally take it. The school are well aware of his chaos they gave him a special award for it on leavers day!!! It's not a SEN though. I think disqualification from this test would be a fair punishment my fear is that it jepardises all the other results and therefore his future

Bellebella Fri 05-Jun-15 17:47:20

I very much doubt they would take all the papers from the same board. It is very extreme for a first offence. Yes it is serious what has happened and obviously he does deserve a punishment. I would have thought they would take some points or disqualify him from this one paper.

LIZS Fri 05-Jun-15 17:48:52

There was another poster whose dd did similar a month or so back . Another more serious option would be yo disqualify him from all this years' papers sad

Coconutty Fri 05-Jun-15 17:57:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumsneedwine Fri 05-Jun-15 17:58:03

It's not going to be good in afraid. The warning notices are everywhere and the invigilators will have read out a message that mentions handing phones in several times. It also mentions the penalties for not doing so. This is read at the start of every exam.
He will most definitely lose the marks for this exam,unless he is very lucky. Exam boards come down on this very hard.
I'm sorry to not be more positive. I've had to deal with students who have done this and they always feel a bit hard done by, but rules are there to make it fair for everyone.
Give him a hug and drink a large glass of red wine. He can retake in November if needed - I would doubt they would disqualify him completely
For a year (this does happen).keep fingers crossed and he may get a warning - you will be told very quickly usually.

Applecheeks Fri 05-Jun-15 18:05:48

Thank you mumsneedwine relieved to hear we should know quickly. He knows he's been a prat :0 (

LineRunner Fri 05-Jun-15 18:12:41

Apple What a nightmare- I really feel for you. I've submitted incident reports as an invigilator (university though not GCSE) and have always stressed chaos where it's clearly that. Really sorry you are going through this stress flowers

noblegiraffe Fri 05-Jun-15 18:18:03

He won't be able to retake in November, only maths and English resits are available in November.

Applecheeks Fri 05-Jun-15 18:32:59

Maths and English are both with another exam board luckily! He has been a lazy so and so for most of his secondary education and has only really started to pull his finger out this last few months. I was really hoping getting some reasonable results after putting some effort in would help motivate him to be more organised and together for the next phase in his life :-(

Littleham Fri 05-Jun-15 19:39:49

This sends shudders down the spines of all mothers in the land. So easily done. I really hope he doesn't get disqualified. wine for you.

EvilTwins Fri 05-Jun-15 19:58:26

Thing is, and sorry OP, because you obviously already know this, it's not easily done. As previous posters have said, the schools display notices everywhere and invigilators HAVE to read the notice out. There is very little chance of a child doing this by accident. Sorry, but it's not easy, it's not a harmless accident - if it was, then the exam boards would not need to have such harsh sanctions in place. I'm not saying the OP's DS had any intention whatsoever to cheat, but it's not a simple case of it being "easily done".

Littleham Fri 05-Jun-15 20:03:23

I can see how a disorganised boy just wouldn't compute the notices / instructions in the lead up to the exam. My ds does some really daft things on occasion.

EvilTwins Fri 05-Jun-15 20:06:06

This is not his first exam. It's about half way through GCSEs. Students are in the routine now- what to bring, what not to bring. I know I sound unsympathetic, but what about the other 100-odd students whose concentration was disrupted by this child's phone going off? What about the distraction to them? It's not just one child who is affected by this.

MossyLawn Fri 05-Jun-15 20:35:41

If the final biology grade is made up of B1+B2+B3+ISA, he may well still have 75% of his marks available. A grade C is still possible even if the B1 marks are cancelled.

Students who have used their phone in the exam have lost all their scores across all the subjects with that exam board.

Students who were caught with their phone (switched off) just lost the marks for that paper and still got a reasonable grade.

With a phone switched on, it could go either way.

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Fri 05-Jun-15 20:45:10

I've had this happen as an invigilator.

Usually the worst case scenario is that the subject is failed. I've never known all GCSEs with that board to be failed as a result of having a phone. The fact that he handed it over will go in his favour, too - so he may be lucky and have only the unit marks discounted (or very lucky and get off with a warning).

A poster up thread is right though - no resits til the summer now. Thanks Govey.

WinterBabyof89 Fri 05-Jun-15 21:03:32

Very easily done for some people despite warning after warning.

It's not something I would do as I was always over cautious when it came to sitting exams.. But my DH would be very capable of doing something like this - despite the warnings in place.

Accidents happen - surely we all understand this!??. Just as the OP/OPs DS understand there will be consequences..(which I hope aren't too harsh for her sons benefit).

Best of luck OP

Rachie1986 Fri 05-Jun-15 21:13:52

Oh what a situation :-(. Hope it gets sorted soon, do let us know x

LizzieVereker Fri 05-Jun-15 21:20:31

I've known this happen several times. Obviously I can't guarantee what will happen, and the rules are clear, but if the phone was in a pocket, not discovered the student's hand, about 50% of the time nothing happens as a result of the incident report. The other 50% of the time, the marks for the individual paper are cancelled. I've known one student have their marks for the entire subject cancelled, but the student had actively cheated and brought notes into the exam. Exam boards do threaten to cancel all marks in all subjects, but I've never known this actually happen in 15 years teaching.

Only my experience,and not what the rules say, but hope things turn out OK for you - sounds like a very unfortunate moment of scattiness to me, certainly not cheating, and the boards do recognise that.

mumsneedwine Fri 05-Jun-15 21:23:20

Apologies about resits - I'm old and forgot it's only maths and English now (I blame the large gulp of champagne I had with my year 13s today). Although he could sit an iGCSE ! Good news is you should hear very early next week. Word of caution though -the joint exam board will make decision and it is possible to be banned from all boards and fail exams across all boards. I very much doubt this will be the case here. But students should never forget phones or backs of calculators, remember to remove labels from water bottles and take clear pencil cases. We drum it in to them and invigilators have to read the same instructions before every exam.OP go relax over weekend. It's done now and I think he will just lose this module marks and he can still pass with other papers. I hate mobile phones

EvilTwins Fri 05-Jun-15 21:24:15

Am I the only one who realises the OP's DS isn't the only one affected here? All very well to say "there there, it's easily done" but this may well have affected other students who just happened to have the misfortune to be sitting near this child.

MN doesn't half annoy me sometimes. Imagine your own DC had been in an exam where a phone had gone off. Lots of year 11s have had a large number of exams this week. One of my yr 11s had three today. The last thing you need on a Friday afternoon in a biology GCSE is this kind of disturbance. And yet the vast majority of posters on this thread are wishing the OP's son luck and saying "ah well, these things happen" hmm

BeaufortBelle Fri 05-Jun-15 21:29:19

The school could actually be helpful and inform the examination board in writing that your son was not seen to remove the phone during the exam up to point when it rang, that the phone has been examined and there is nothing on it and that he is generally of good character and would never be expected to cheat in an exam or any other occasion and deserves to be given the benefit of the doubt.

That's what normal, humane people would do I believe. When I invigilated exams 11/12 years ago if this had happened I'd have taken your son's phone off him and given him a bollocking at the end of the exam.

The world has gone mad.

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