Edexcel maths paper leaks referred to prosecutors

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

Pearson, the exam board’s parent company, has announced today that officers “have made progress in their investigation” from the first “limited” breach in 2017, and have referred their first case to prosecutors.

The 2017 case involved content from the Edexcel maths C4 A-level paper being posted on social media 20 minutes before the start of the exam. However, Pearson said at the time the content “contained no precise details about specific questions and we do not believe any student has been advantaged”.

The following year, the police and regulator Ofqual were informed after commentators on social media alleged a maths exam paper had been widely leaked, with “hundreds” of people potentially seeing questions a day in advance.

A second investigation into the 2018 leak is being finalised, and Pearson said it hopes they will send materials about that incident to the CPS “soon”.

The company said both incidents “were caused by individuals deliberately setting out to subvert our controls”.

In a letter to headteachers, Pearson said: “Whilst we are confident that the extent of the breach was limited to a very small number of candidates, we know these incidents impacted public confidence.

“We have continued to support the police in their investigations, but due to the complexity and unusual nature of these cases, it has taken time to investigate. The police informed us that in February, they referred the first case to the Crown Prosecution Service with the aim of bringing charges against those arrested.

“The individuals responsible for these incidents are therefore now being held to account for the disruption that they caused.”