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Don’t let students sit exams at home, SRA tells law schools

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Regulator says supervised assessments must be maintained

The strict rules regarding exam supervision cannot be relaxed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the solicitors’ watchdog has said.

With many law schools exploring options that could see students sit assessments online from the comfort of their homes, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has today stressed that standards must be maintained — even if this creates delays.

“We have been in touch with training providers to confirm that supervised assessments should be maintained, where they are required,” a spokesperson for the regulator said. “It’s important that supervision is in place to ensure integrity and security and we recognise this might mean some assessments could be delayed.”

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They added: “We don’t specify the form that assessments for the QLD and GDL should take, so it’s a matter for the providers to consider what arrangements are best in the current circumstances.”

The regulator also said there is “no indication” that the outbreak will impact the Solicitors Qualifying Exam, which is set to replace both the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) when it comes into force next September.

The SRA’s comments come just hours after the Bar Standards Board confirmed it had postponed all centralised assessments on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). The exams — civil litigation, criminal litigation and professional ethics — were due to take place next month.

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