A class of pupils at a Fareham school have been disqualified from getting a sports qualification this year after 'malpractice' was identified in their coursework.

On Friday, parents of the year 10 students on the NCFE Qualification in Health and Fitness course at The Henry Cort Community College were told the news via a letter seen by the Echo.

In the letter, Vice Principal Mrs Kent and Assistant Principal Mr Walker did not spell out what the 'malpractice' was - but described it as ' malpractice in delivery' and said that as soon as it was discovered internally, it was reported to the exam board and an investigation was carried out.

The exam board told the school on Thursday evening it would be removing the affected students from both the coursework and exam units of the course.

They have been automatically entered to sit the exam next year when they are in Year 11 - but should this prove too much, they could opt out of getting the qualification, the letter said.

Mrs Kent and Mr Walker said: "Matters of this nature are taken very seriously within college and appropriate steps have been taken to review the circumstances involved.

"Whilst we are unable to discuss full details regarding this, we can ensure that appropriate discussion is held surrounding how we will support our students moving forward.

"We are saddened that the exam board has made the decision to withdraw students from both units of the qualification and assure you that we will support our students moving forward."

The exam board instructed the school to 'ensure that our students are provided the highest levels of academic support over the next year' to 'get the grades they deserve' - so it will be adding NCFE theory lessons into the affected pupils' timetables during Year 11, the letter said.

But, it added: "We do recognise that this is an additional examination in their final year and should you and your child consider this to be too much, we would welcome discussions about withdrawal to support their wellbeing."

According to the letter, teachers have already broken the news to the affected pupils and encouraged them to talk to their parents about it during the half term break.

The school is also offering to meet with parents directly to answer their questions.

The Henry Cort Community College has been approached for comment.