Wednesday, June 3, 1998 Published at 18:53 GMT 19:53 UK
British students 'cheat less'
The most honest exam candidates are the British ... say the British.
British students are among the least likely worldwide to cheat in exams, claims the convenor of examination boards.
"From evidence from other parts of the world, I think we can safely say we are probably top of the league," said Dr Ron McLone, head of the joint forum for GCSE examining bodies.
"British pupils are far less inclined towards cheating. I think it's the culture, they all have a very responsible attitude towards exams."
Dr McLone said that out of 6.5 million exam entries in Britain last year there were only 40 cases of cheating, in conditions of strict invigilation that were likely to catch any would-be wrongdoers.
In comparison, he cited the United States and Australia as having a much less scrupulous record among exam takers. Dr McLone also noted evidence of more high-tech cheating in other countries, giving an example of a student in Poland who brought a lucky mascot into exams which turned out to be a disguised radio receiver.
"We heard about one case in Asia where exam papers were stolen from customs and were broadcast on a national radio station," said Dr McLone.
Students entering exams in Britain this summer will face continued vigilance, Dr McLone said, with invigilators looking out for any new means of cheating such as using small mobile phones.