AN asbestos contamination scare caused a GSCE panic for more than 200 Stantonbury students on Monday.
The start of the maths GSCE exam was delayed by over an hour because the desks pupils were due to sit at could have contained asbestos particles.
Pupils were herded into the dining area while staff frantically sourced new desks.
The potential danger was only discovered at the weekend, when a survey of the exam desk store took place prior to planned building work this summer.
“A concern over possible asbestos in the store was raised,” confirmed Principal Mark Wasserberg.
“It was agreed to isolate the store until further inspections could be undertaken.
“The Campus sought immediately to source the 200 plus desks it needed for Monday afternoon.”
The school found a company in Surrey to supply the desks ready for the 1.30pm exam start.
“Unfortunately, because of poor weather and major hold-ups on the M25 and M1, the desks did not arrive until 1.45pm. The exam was therefore delayed until 2.15pm,” said Mr Wasserberg.
This meant pupils finished the exam after the rest of the school had gone home.
The exam board was informed of the delay and say all papers will be marked normally.
Half the 420 students taking the all-important exams were in a different building and not affected.
Said Mr Wasserberg: “I was immensely proud of how the students dealt with the unfortunate delay and grateful to all the staff who helped set out the desks and papers in record time.
“All the students were able to do themselves full justice in the examination.
“Some even used the delay for some last-minute extra revision.”