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BSB investigate after BPP ‘error’ left some BPTC students sitting ethics exam in ‘canteen’

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Exclusive: The law school has apologised for the mix-up

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has launched an investigation after a seating plan “error” resulted in a number of Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) students at BPP Law School sitting an exam in what some have likened to a “canteen”. BPP has since apologised for the mix-up.

Wannabe barristers across the country sat an ethics exam, one of several assessments centrally assessed by the regulator, on the afternoon of April 8. However, Legal Cheek can reveal a number of part-time BPP students turned up to London’s ExCeL Centre where the exam was scheduled to take place at 2pm, only to discover they weren’t listed on the exam seating plan.

Exam invigilators attempted to rectify the blunder by hastily preparing an additional room nearby to accommodate the students in question — which unfortunately only led to further problems, according to our insiders.

One anonymous source described the extra room as a “canteen” with “glass walls which meant we had the full distraction of passers-by”. Meanwhile, another insider claimed the exam started over 30 minutes later than scheduled and that the room was so cold students were forced to wear their winter coats. “By the time the exam started most of us were frazzled and upset by the experience”, they told us.

Responding to the complaints, a spokesperson for BPP told Legal Cheek:

“There was an error in the arrangements for the set-up of the examination and for this we unreservedly apologise. As soon as the error was realised, an additional room was set up but unfortunately the start of the examination was delayed. The error will be reported to the BSB as part of the exam board processes.”

The BSB confirmed it was investigating, with a spokesperson telling us:

“We have received the invigilators’ reports and we have also received two informal complaints. We will be investigating the issues raised. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage. Any individuals who have concerns about the conditions of their examination rooms or administrative arrangements should raise these with their provider in the first instance.”

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51 Comments

Anonymild

*laughs in Apollo Global Management LLC*

(23)(2)

A

“By the time the exam started most of us were frazzled and upset by the experience”

❄️

(12)(1)

Anonymous

I can imagine – left hanging around while WATCHING THE EXAM START WITHOUT YOUFOR 30 MINS and then led to a CAFETERIA to sit the exam. Wow.

How much is the course again?

(8)(0)

Anonymous

❄️

(0)(2)

Anonymous

Brothers! Sisters!

A windfall tax on City greed! 70% tax rates on all higher earners!

Jeremy Corbyn will open borders to express solidarity with Palestine! We need 3 million more people here now! Open the borders to our oppressed comrades!

FOR THE MANY, NOT THE FEW!

(5)(34)

Anonymous

Stop. I’m begging you

(9)(1)

Anonymous

Casually waiting for all the ‘snowflake’ shouts…

(3)(2)

Anonymous

Seems pretty unethical to me.

(12)(0)

Aleister Adamson

I sat the exam in these conditions. It wasn’t likened to a canteen. It was literally a canteen. Nothing is more distracting during an exam than public passers by staring in and gesturing to you.

(35)(1)

Anonymous

❄️

(2)(8)

Anonymous

I suppose that would depend on the gesture

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Also sound of planes in the backdrop

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Not the first time, nor will it be the last time. Not a single one of the exams I sat with BPP went without a major problem.

(16)(1)

Anonymous

You should have revised then.

(9)(2)

Anonymous

harsh but true

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Ethics shmethics

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Poor form. Don’t they normally have spare/overflow rooms put aside for things like students with special needs that could have been used to accommodate these affected students?

(8)(1)

Anonymous

❄️❄️❄️🌈

(2)(7)

Anonymous

DDD LLL

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Diaper Lover?

(0)(0)

Anon

It was an canteen! It had glass windows all along, which were certainly not soundproof and seeing as it is right next to London City Airport, the noise was unbelievable.
BPP have received far more than 2 informal complaints – I believe it is more likely to be around 30 (probably more).

(12)(3)

Anonymous

It was the BSB that said it received two informal complaints. Not BPP.

(3)(2)

A barrister

❄️

Oh the suffering!

Someone set up a GoFundMe page for the therapy and action for compensation!

(6)(7)

Anonymous

Ah, the memories of exams sat in the ExCeL Centre come flooding back.

Taking a train to the arse end of nowhere and having to grapple with law and facts you don’t give a shit about.

A perfect introduction to practice at the Bar.

(23)(0)

The chef

For lunch did they have SALISBURY STEAK and for desert did the they suck on some chocolate salted balls?

(2)(3)

Anonymous

I sat this exam and the conditions were completely unacceptable. I can assure you there were a lot more than just 2 informal complaints made..

(16)(3)

Anonymous

❄️

And of course in practice you will have an abundance of comfortable conference rooms at court and as much time as you need for conferences with your client, who will always be reasonable, understand the advice and give clear and cogent instructions.

(9)(10)

Anonymous

I’m paying through my nose for the BPTC. Give me the amount of money a decent commercial barrister will get paid for a single case and I’ll have a very different attitude to inconveniences like this.

(4)(3)

Anonymous

No scholarship then?

Hmm… slim chance of pupillage.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Cruel.

Don’t listen!

Hang on to the dream!

Richie

You’ve got to dream, Eddie!

You’ve got to hold on to the dream!

Anonymous

I got a scholarship and didn’t get a pupillage. Don’t know why the Inns are wasting their money on people like me!

BPP Ethics?

It wasn’t just that exam room that was in a mess. The freezing one I was in had 3 tiny clocks telling different times on the wall. Then the invigilator randomly picked one of them as “the” clock. One that the majority of us in the room could not see.
Then the exam was delayed cause they did not distribute the papers in time. It started at 2:06 leaving us to spend precious moments doing the math to figure out when 25 mins per question ends.
For those of you who sat this version of the Ethics exam, you’d know that time is crucial. Every second counts.

(13)(2)

Anonymous

❄️

And of course court buildings are always perfectly well heated, not too hot or too cold.

(5)(11)

Sceptic

Precious moments to work out when 25 minutes per question ends? Seriously?! Couldn’t you just add 6 to whatever you had previously calculated?

(3)(3)

Anonymous

The race of MAN has become so weak. Pathetic.

(5)(6)

Anonymous

I agree.

(1)(1)

Anon

Firstly, certain comments made acting like they wouldn’t of caused a fuss if it happened to them. A course costing 20K, f yeah I want a decent exam setting.
Secondly , assessmentcomplaints@barstandardsboard.org.uk

(22)(2)

Anonymous

First guy said wouldn’t of instead of wouldn’t have. Can’t take him seriously.

(6)(1)

anonyomous

The second guy forgot quotation marks in “wouldn’t of” and “wouldn’t have”. Can’t take him seriously.

(0)(2)

Anonymous

The third guy is a pedantic twat.

I can’t take him seriously.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

How does one make an “informal complaint” to the BSB?

(4)(0)

Anonymous

You go into their office in a bathing gown and show them where Alex touched you

(5)(2)

Anonymous

Agree – either its a complaint or its not.

Perhaps the provider or regulator should make their complaints process clear and point all “informal” complaints (presumably those received on email) to the formal process (presumably some kind of form).

They should do this before they run out of time to have the opportunity to complain using the formal process.

(1)(0)

Tommy

Just send an email to the SRA who regulate these morons ( and they do regulate the LPC providers ) so the money grabbing gits at BBP can make sure this song happen again as their job relies on it.

(50)(1)

Tommy 2

Complain to the BSB or the SRA

Shaft the BBP …money making business over rated rip offs

(5)(1)

Anonymous

if anyone is paying £20k for a course, they have every right to expect the most basic standard of things like taking an exam that is well prepared with an allocated seat. it’s not being entitled it’s getting what you pay for.

(19)(0)

Charlotte P

I also sat the exam at BPP that day, in a glass ‘silent study’ room at the back of the library without a sign notifying other students an exam was in progress. At least 4 LPC students wandered into the room disturbing us at different points to study only to be told an exam was taking place.

(6)(0)

Anonymous

If you’re frazzled and upset by having to wait 30 minutes for a room to be set up then the Bar is not for you.

(9)(3)

Anonymous

When you’ve paid twenty grand for a qualification that is pretty worthless without pupillage, I get it.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Bring back ICSL!

The rest are imposters!

(2)(0)

Comments are closed.

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