Just when you think things can't get any sillier, now we will have children killing their pets for grade points. What would wiping out a whole ant farm buy you? I wonder how PETA will react to this.
Every cloud is said to have a silver lining - and when it comes to passing exams it seems the death of a beloved family pet is no exception.
According to new British guidelines, an unfortunate end for the cat could be good news for pupils sweating over their school exams.
Britain's leading exam boards have drawn up advice that aims to quantify emotional distress and the impact it can have on pupils' exam performance.
So if their cat meets its maker on the day of an exam the candidate is awarded 2 per cent extra marks. If disaster strikes the day before, the grief-stricken student gets an extra 1 per cent.
It is the first time the Joint Council for Qualifications, the body representing exam boards, has set out how marks should be adjusted in light of "special circumstances".
Claire Ellis, of the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance, said: "Setting out guidelines like this just helps ensure candidates are treated the same whichever exam board they are with. Anyone who has lost a family pet knows it can be very difficult, and it's about looking to see what effect that has on candidates."
The move has thrown up some taxing questions. Are there more marks available for a dead dog than a dead parrot? Could desperate candidates arrange an unfortunate accident for their pet?
"The schools pass on the information to us so it's left to people who know the pupils to judge the veracity of what they are saying," Ms Ellis said.
From The Sydney Morning Herald.