Exam board apologises to travel firm over out-of-date AS-level question

Business studies paper included a case study about redundancies and store closures at Thomas Cook, but the information was from 2013

England’s biggest school exam board has had to apologise to the travel firm Thomas Cook over a question about the company on one of this year’s AS-level papers.

The AQA AS-level business studies paper, which students took on 19 May, included a case study about plans for store closures and redundancies at the company.

But the firm complained that the exam paper did not make it clear that the information was three years old. It stressed that the case study did not reflect its current situation.

The board has not released the exam paper in question because it avoids publishing recently taken papers so that they can be used as mock exams.

Context needed

An AQA spokeswoman told TES: “We often include real-life case studies in our exams, but we should have made it clear that this one came from three years ago. We’ll make sure we always give this kind of context in the future.”

In a statement, the board said: “Our AS-level business studies paper featured a case study about travel company Thomas Cook’s plans for store closures and redundancies.

“Thomas Cook has asked us to point out that the information used in this case study was from 2013 and doesn’t reflect their current circumstances or plans.

“We’re happy to do so and apologise for any misunderstanding.”

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