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Students may refuse to retake law exam

A group of photojournalism students whose end-of-year law exam papers were declared invalid are set to boycott the proposed resit.

As reported on HTFP yesterday, Sheffield College has sent letters to around 20 students asking them to retake the examination following a procedural blunder which led to their papers being invalidated by the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

But HTFP understands that more than half of the students are refusing to do the resit, despite the college offering to pay their travel expenses.

The students have now set up a private Facebook group called “Refusing to Retake NCTJ Law” which 13 of them are so far thought to have joined.

One student who asked not to be named said he would not be resitting the exam.

“I’m not that interested because it’s not going to make much difference to the direction I’ve decided to go in my career. I don’t think any of us are going to have the time to do this anyway,” he added.

Some of the students have also called into question the nature of the blunder which caused the NCTJ to invalidate the exam, which is thought to have centred around the fact that the computers they were using to type out their answers had web access enabled.

The students claim that other exams at the college took place under similar conditions where the results have been allowed to stand.

The college has accepted full responsibility for the error and said it has launched an investigation into how it occurred.

The NCTJ has previously issued a statement saying that the college had “not complied” with its procedures, but the training body has so far not responded to a request for further comment about the cirumstances surrounding its decision.


Cleland Thom (13/08/2009 10:06:53)
I challenge anyone to answer, correctly, an NCTJ photo law exam using the web. Very difficult – half-decent law material is very hard to find. The college says there is no evidence that anyone used the web. so why the fuss?

James Burrows (13/08/2009 11:41:10)
Speaking as somebody who has worked in journalism his whole life, I think good on these students.
A retake would make all previous tuition at the college and revision prior to the exam pointless. They should be refunded their course fees.

Ex-sub (13/08/2009 12:36:14)
Good for the students – I’d refuse to retake under these circumstances too. I also wholeheartedly agree with JJ’s sentiments on the NCTJ.

Hester (13/08/2009 13:19:41)
I sat my exams at Sheffield College on the standard computers, all with internet access. We had invigilators to make sure we weren’t up to anything we shouldn’t have been. Why has this group suddenly been targeted? It seems really unfair to punish them for a problem with the set-up which they had no control over.

PJ (13/08/2009 13:38:02)
That’s interesting Hester. Would like to know if you did the law 4 photographers exam on pc, and when?

James Burrows (13/08/2009 14:50:11)
Paul Delmar who runs this course is held in the highest regard. I am sure he must be livid that his students have been treated like this by the fools at Norton college.

Hester (13/08/2009 16:53:19)
PJ – no, I did the reporters’ course, not photographers.