Computing GCSE students will have to re-take key assessments after one of the country's leading exam boards withdrew existing tasks amid fears of cheating.
OCR, part of Cambridge Assessment, posted a letter on its website last night telling schools that it had been forced to withdraw parts of the computing controlled assessment due to concerns that answers were appearing on websites.
The coursework is for June 2015, meaning many of the Year 10 candidates will have completed the work and in some cases submitted it as part of their GCSE.
In its letter, OCR says: “It has come to our attention that there are a number of websites promoting worked answers for all of OCR’s GCSE Computing live controlled assessment tasks.
“As a result of this all tasks for both GCSE units A452 and A453 have been withdrawn with immediate effect. We appreciate that some candidates may well have completed these tasks; however, in order to maintain the integrity of the assessment and to be fair to all candidates the existing tasks will no longer be valid for submission in June 2015.”
Unlike coursework in other subjects, such as English, which can take three hours to complete, certain tasks on the computing GCSE controlled assessment can take 20 hours and equates to 10 weeks’ worth of work.
OCR has advised candidates affected to take one of the alternative tasks, but the exam board has yet to set those tasks and is unlikely to do so until September. 
Teachers took to Twitter to express their outrage at the decision, which will leave affected students having to undertake more assessment in an already busy GCSE year.
Writing under the hashtag #withdrawnCA, @LessonHacker wrote: “a controlled assessment should have been overseen by the teacher, surely. My y10 students are going to be devastated by this!”
Teachers were equally worried about the impact it will have on students’ workload in Year 11. Teacher, @steside23 tweeted: “Meeting deputy head today to discuss withdrawing students from @ocrexams. [Two controlled assessments and an] exam in a year? Are you kidding me?”
Another, @SeumasG said: "Stunned by OCR decision tonight. Will put people off the idea of doing GCSE computing with them."
In it’s letter OCR said it apologised for “any inconvenience”. “If your candidates have already completed an existing task, they will have to complete the alternative tasks,” it states.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused as a result of this issue and would like to remind centres that OCR cannot tolerate malpractice of this nature. It results in severe standards, comparability and malpractice issues that ultimately impact on the candidates.”