The end of a biology A-level examination on Friday was ruined for Castle Rushen High School students as music from Disney films being played at a party in the nearby swimming pool flooded the examination hall.
The disruption to students’ concentration levels has prompted a flurry of complaints to the school from parents.
One parent said: ‘The exam was hijacked by a Disney princess party going on outside.
‘There was only one invigilator in the exam, who I think was unable to contact the examinations officer or any other member of staff so out of an hour and a half exam there was half an hour of full volume Disney.
‘As you can imagine, the exam is completely stuffed for the kids and a lot of uni places out of the window.’
She added: ‘Hardly anybody finished, they were stuffing things in their ears to muffle the sound. The invigilator was desperately trying to get hold of somebody. What would happen if somebody had collapsed?
‘It just seems dangerous [to have one invigilator] if someone collapsed, would all the results be null and void? What do they do? It just shows what can happen when you try and save a few pounds (by having one invigilator). It is no exaggeration to say their whole future could be affected by this. Everyone is hopping mad.’
Another parent said her daughter had not finished her paper.
She said: ‘It is worrying. She completely lost concentration.
‘She thinks it (the music) cost her a significant chunk of marks. She has to get very high grades in order to get to university, if this knocks her from an A to a B, she will not get in. Potentially this has life changing consequences.’
A spokesman from the Department of Education and Children said: ‘There was an unforeseeable disturbance to an A-level biology examination on Friday afternoon.
‘This came in the form of loud music emanating from the Southern Swimming Pool.
‘The invigilator in the examination hurriedly closed the exam hall windows and contacted the school’s examinations officer, who immediately visited the swimming pool premises to ensure the music was turned down. The time lapse was 12 minutes.
‘The examination board was immediately contacted on the basis that candidates were disturbed by this.
‘Twenty-five students were sitting an exam that represents 20 per cent of their A2 mark in the subject. The school is assured by the examination board that this will be taken into account when the papers are marked.
‘The pool was hosting a primary school “fun swimming” session and was unaware an exam was in progress in the school gymnasium, the closest Castle Rushen building to the pool. As soon as it was alerted, it ensured the music was turned down to a level where it would not continue to disrupt the exam. The pool very much regrets the disruption to students.
The school and pool management will liaise in future over exam dates to ensure there is no repeat of this incident.’