• France edition
 
Daughter sends in mum to take vital English exam
Photo: Rune Mathisen

Daughter sends in mum to take vital English exam

Published: 20 Jun 2013 11:17 GMT+02:00
Updated: 20 Jun 2013 11:17 GMT+02:00

With the arrival of this year’s ‘Bac’ – France’s crucial, pre-university Bacchalauréat exams – education authorities have vowed to combat test cheats harder than ever before.

Electronic smartphone detectors are among a raft of tools available in the fight against academic dishonesty, but common sense and a keen eye thwarted one outrageous cheating effort in a lycée in Paris on Wednesday.

A 52-year-old woman, named only as Caroline D., impersonated her 19-year-old daughter Laetitia and attempted to sit her English exam for her at the Lycée Bossuet-Notre Dame in the 10th arrondissement of Paris, according to French daily Le Parisien.

Dressed in Converse shoes, low-waisted jeans, and covered in elaborate make-up, the helpful mother managed to enter the exam hall and take her place among the ranks of young scholars, at around 2pm.

Caroline launched into the three-hour composition test, but her audacious deceit didn’t last long.

An exam supervisor who had been in charge when Laetitia herself – who is not an enrolled student at the school – sat a philosophy test on Monday, quickly figured out the chicanery.

Rather than interrupt Caroline’s efforts, however, the mother-in-disguise was allowed to keep writing for two hours, while school officials notified local police.

“An intervention during the exam could have disturbed the other candidates, and turned into a reason to cancel the test for everyone,” a representative from the lycée told Le Parisien.

According to another staff-member, four plainclothes police officers arrived at the school, and an exam supervisor discreetly escorted Caroline from the hall.

“The 20 or so other candidates definitely didn’t notice anything,” he added.

For her part, the mother admitted to having cheated, in a blatant effort to improve her daughter’s performance in the English exam.

She faces legal repercussions, while her daughter risks the hefty punishment of being banned from taking all official exams for a period of five years.

This week’s incident came amid controversial new initiatives by France’s education ministry, aimed at catching more exam cheats, and increasing punishments.

In May, Daniel Roben from the teaching union SNES, told The Local: “Over the last few years there have been many incidents of cheating, and for us it is unacceptable.”

“Exams are designed to give an equal chance to all pupils, so anything which acts against that equality should be punished severely,” he added.

Authorities want to strengthen the punishments handed out, the harshest of which is a five year ban before a pupil can retake the baccalaureate exam. This penalty was slapped on 140 pupils last year, compared to 67 in 2011.

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
PM slams farmers for torching tax office
An officer of technical and forensic police takes pictures of the partially burned tax center, on September 20, 2014 in Morlaix, western of France. AFP Photo/Fred Tanneau

PM slams farmers for torching tax office

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Saturday vowed to prosecute farmers in Brittany who torched tax and insurance buildings and dumped vegetables in the streets in protest at falling living standards. READ  

London to help France pay for Calais migrants
French police watching illigal immigrants while they wait in line on to receive meals from the "La Belle Etoile" (Pretty Star) association in Calais. AFP Photo/Philippe Huguen

London to help France pay for Calais migrants

Britain has bowed to French pressure to help foot the bill for migrants flooding into the northern port of Calais in a bid to reach Britain, Paris said on Saturday. READ  

Cause of Mali air crash still a mystery: probe
Debris found in the aftermath of the crash of the Air Algerie Flight AH5017. Photo: AFP

Cause of Mali air crash still a mystery: probe

Investigators probing the crash of an Air Algerie flight in Mali that killed 116 people in July said on Saturday there was no obvious lead yet and all possibilities, including terrorism, were being explored. READ  

France plan air lifts to help fight Ebola
Liberian Red Cross health workers, wearing protective suits, carry the body of a 18-old-month baby, victim of the Ebola virus in Monrovia. AFP Photo/Zoom Dosso

France plan air lifts to help fight Ebola

France and Germany will send military transport planes to West Africa to help efforts to contain the Ebola epidemic, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and military officials said on Friday. READ  

Moody's keeps France on negative outlook
Credit ratings agency Moody's said that France till has significant credit strengths. Photo: Joel Saget/AFP

Moody's keeps France on negative outlook

Moody's maintained its negative rating on France on Friday but -- despite earlier reports -- did not deal the struggling economy a downgrade. READ  

Air France strike to continue another week
Air France pilots have voted to continue their strike for another week. Photo: AFP

Air France strike to continue another week

Air France pilots voted on Friday to extend their strike for another week, while management has showed no signs of compromising, according to French media reports. Roughly half of the flagship carrier's flights have remained grounded due to the action. READ  

‘Red tape France’ tops UN e-efficiency list
France apparently isn't the world capital of red tape. Photo: Department for Communities and Local Government/Flickr

‘Red tape France’ tops UN e-efficiency list

France, notorious for its jungle of red-tape, has apparently been undersserving of some of that criticism. A new report ranks France as the best country in Europe when it comes to online government services. READ  

Sarkozy announces his return to French politics
Nicolas Sarkozy is back in French politics. Photo: AFP

Sarkozy announces his return to French politics

In a long-expected announcement, Nicolas Sarkozy said he will return to French politics with a bid for his party's presidency, which many believe is the first step toward a run at France's top elected office. READ  

Paris installs new device to stop 'love lock' craze
The days of the love locks craze in Paris may be numbered. Photo: AFP

Paris installs new device to stop 'love lock' craze

'Love locks' have become such a problem in Paris the city has just installed panels intended to block couples from latching their passion to the town's infrastracture, leaving it straining under a dangerous load. READ  

Paris cabby dies in vicious high-heel attack
Photo: Heel: Shutterstock

Paris cabby dies in vicious high-heel attack

A Paris taxi driver has died after angry passengers beat and stabbed him with stiletto high heel shoes during a drunken night out in the French capital. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
National
Ten great bars in Paris only locals know about
Society
France's top expat tribes: Which are you?
National
France to set flat-rate for Paris airport taxis
Politics
French separatists want Scots to say 'yes'
National
Anti-dog poo offensive launched in French town
National
Scammers attack Paris's top cop at tourist hotspot
National
French leader didn't pay his rent for three years
National
'WW2 bomb' kills camper on French island
Does France have a racism problem?
National
National
'Enough gloom, France is an amazing country'
Gallery
The top ten tourist traps to avoid in France
Politics
The juiciest bits from Trierweiler's tell-all book
Politics
Trierweiler tells all: 'Hollande wanted me back, at any price'
Education
'Sacre bleu!' Do the French really say that?
Politics
Manuel Valls has plenty in common with Tony Blair, but not background
International
Votes for expats: Plan to end UK's 15-year rule
Gallery
Ten dos and don'ts for keeping your French in-laws happy
National
Unemployment: How does France compare to Europe?
International
Are all the talented professionals really leaving France?
National
La France profonde: Is it a rural idyll or a backwater hell?
Travel
Check out the four new attractions coming to Paris this autumn
Gallery
The French words you can't translate literally
National
Ten things you need to know about France's economics whizzkid
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se