SEVEN teachers, including two co-headteachers, have been suspended from a failing academy while an investigation is carried out into alleged irregularities in a GCSE exam.
The teachers at Goole Academy were suspended earlier this week after allegations that around 30 pupils sitting an online exam received assistance, in breach of the rules.
The academy, which was placed in special measures earlier this year, was taken over recently by Wakefield City Academies Trust.
The allegation was made by a member of staff who has since moved abroad.
Chief executive officer of the Wakefield Trust Alan Yellup said they had launched a full investigation, which will begin on Monday, after a internal inquiry, which was inconclusive but raised “sufficient doubts.”
He said he was keeping an open mind, including whether “mischief-making” was behind the allegation.
He said: “There was a suggestion that children may not have put in data, that it was put in for them. It may be a technicality, it may be that staff input data that they should not have done.
“We have commissioned a full inquiry.
“I don’t want there to be doubt - either there is a breach or there isn’t.
“We want to be 100 per cent certain that the exam was conducted as it should be.”
Mr Yellup said the suspensions had to include those in charge of ICT and those in authority, to be equitable.
He said: “I don’t want to be in a situation where I am pointing the finger of blame at people who may well have been operating in a complex set of rules and regulations and got it absolutely right - but by the same token I don’t want to be supporting children who may have achieved a higher mark than they would have done under other circumstances.”