Scottish schoolgirl allowed to use iPod during exams

Updated: May 24, 2011, 16:03 PM IST

London: A year six schoolgirl in Scotland has won the right to use an iPod during her examination, saying she can`t concentrate unless she listens to her favorite music.

The decision came after her parents threatened legal action against the school and examination authorities.

A schoolteacher was compelled to buy a new iPod loaded with the girl``s choice of music to ensure that no answers are hidden among the music tracks.

Initially the school staff of Mary Erskine School for girls in Edinburgh refused the request, fearing a possibility of cheating. However, they agreed after the girl``s parents took her case to the court.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) examination board ruled out that such a request could be accepted.

But, it was forced to back down after reportedly being threatened with legal action under the Equalities Act because the girl often struggles to pay attention in class.

SQA bosses have finally allowed the girl to listen to the iPod as long as it can be ``proved not to contain any prompts``.

“Everyone is very angry that this has been allowed to happen. The implications are massive. Once this girl has been allowed to do this, there``s nothing stopping all pupils bringing in their iPods,” the Daily Mail quoted an insider as saying.

“It will also present quite a logistical challenge to ensure those who do not have them are not interrupted by the noise,” he added.

Nick Seaton, spokesman for the Campaign for Real Education further added, “I would have thought the whole idea of using an iPod, or any other portable music device, in an exam would be ridiculous.”