AQA to replace exam papers after batch stolen

The exam board AQA will replace four exam papers already sent to schools after a batch was stolen.

Police have arrested a 16-year-old boy in connection with the disappearance of a package containing AS sociology papers 1 and 2, GCSE French reading, foundation and higher tier and GCSE French writing, foundation and higher tier.

The papers must now be replaced so no pupils are unfairly advantaged.

A Thames Valley Police spokesperson confirmed the force is investigating a theft from a vehicle in Milton Keynes on April 26 “in which exam papers were stolen”.

“A 16-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of theft and handling stolen goods. He has been released under investigation.”

AQA first became aware of the incident over a week ago when a school got in touch to say a package of exam papers had not arrived. The courier was contacted and the exam board launched an investigation into the incident, informing Thames Valley Police.

The first exam affected, sociology paper 1, is due to be sat next Tuesday, as is the French reading paper. All schools are expected to receive replacement papers in time.

Claire Thomson, AQA’s director of operations, said: “These exam papers were sent to a school but never arrived. The police and the courier company are both investigating and an arrest has been made.

“We’ve known about this issue for over a week so the process of sending new papers to schools to make sure no-one has an unfair advantage is well underway. Our message to students is that there’s nothing for them to worry about – they can carry on with their revision as if nothing’s happened and we’ll take care of it.”

It comes after police investigating high-profile leaks of Edexcel A-level exam papers in 2017 and 2018 passed their first case to the Crown Prosecution Service.