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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 August 2006, 14:30 GMT 15:30 UK
'Noose' removed from exam results
By Justin Parkinson
BBC News education reporter

What A-level students would have seen before the complaint

An English exam board has removed a cartoon "hangman's noose" from an online A-level results page following a complaint from an anti-suicide charity.

Edexcel had featured the doodle - supposedly drawn by someone playing the word game hangman - on a trial version of a page, being used by 200 students.

But the charity Papyrus warned that this was an "unfortunate oversight" at a time of high stress.

Edexcel said the doodle had been removed straight after the complaint.

Noughts and crosses

The board is pioneering the online service, which will be seen by students from 0630BST on Thursday.

It is intended to make A-level results day - which normally involves students being sent grades or going into school to pick them up - less stressful.

The page layout is topped by depictions of two scruffy sheets of exam paper, covered in a student's writing and drawings.

The hangman appeared alongside a game of noughts and crosses and amid coffee-cup stains.


Papyrus chairman Anne Parry said: "When we contacted Edexcel to express our concern, Edexcel acted swiftly to remove the drawing.

"We support the move to enable students to pick up their exam results online as an option to those who may feel intimidated or overly anxious to do this in the company of others."

An Edexcel spokeswoman said: "It was taken from an original doodle on one person's exam paper.

"It is unfortunate what has happened, but it was taken off as soon as we had the complaint."

The results of more than 800,000 A-level entries are being published on Thursday.

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