Mom ‘outraged’ when daughter is kicked out of GCSE exam for wearing a watch

Zena Paterson was furious when her 15-year-old daughter was removed from a GCSE exam for wearing a watch – bought to her as a ‘protective measure’.

School children taking an exam
The teenager was kicked out of her biology GCSE exam (stock image)

A mother has expressed her frustration at her daughter’s school after claiming the teenager was kicked out of a GCSE exam for wearing an Apple Watch.

Zena Paterson said her 15-year-old daughter Francesca was halfway through her GCSE biology exam paper when invigilators at Henry Beaufort School in Winchester, Hampshire, removed her from the exam room because of the smartwatch.

The mother-of-two and her husband bought the watch for Francesca – who has been diagnosed with social communication difficulties, speech disorders and a 10% hearing loss in her left ear – as a ‘safety measure’.

Zena said she “never dreamed” that this would happen during an exam, calling the situation an “injustice” to her “dear little girl.”

She wore an Apple Watch for her exam (stock image)


Photo only via Getty Images)

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The Henry Beaufort School has said it does not comment on individual cases, according to the Hampshire Chroniclebut passed examination regulations are strictly adhered to and communicated well to the students in the run-up to the examinations.

And speaking to the newspaper, Zena said: “The reason I’m so outraged by this is the way they handled the situation. She’s never had detention in the five years she’s been to school, just a darling. It’s this injustice that makes me angry.

The mother claimed her daughter was allowed into the exam hall and was not stopped by an invigilator for her watch until she noticed halfway through the test.

Zena said the exam “rules” state that invigilators should make two announcements prior to the start of the exam that any phones, MP3 players or smartwatches will be removed and handed over.

But the mother is adamant her daughter would not have ignored the warnings and stood her guard for fear of “being rejected or doing something wrong”.

She added: “You expect me to believe that she sat there defying all those warnings. I cannot and will not believe this. Something about it just doesn’t add up. Either they weren’t warned in time or it wasn’t made clear.”

A report of the incident was submitted to the examination board, and the family was eventually told that Francesca had failed the entire paper on June 7.

Zena has since tried to contact the school to appeal the decision but claims they would not call her back.

Sue Hearle, the principal of the Henry Beaufort School, said: “It would not be appropriate to comment on an individual student. However, it should be noted that the regulations of the examination boards in the school are strictly observed and well communicated to the students in the run-up to examinations.

“Where appeals are requested by the school, they will be administered on behalf of the student and paid for by the school.”

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