All teachers should learn how to mark exams, says head of OCR board

The TES is reporting that the head of one of England’s biggest school exam boards has suggested all suitable teachers should mark exam papers as a form of professional development. 

Speaking at a debate at the Royal Society of Arts in London today, Mark Dawe, the chief executive of OCR, said that schools needed to consider assessment as a system of “give and take”, in which they provided and supported examiners.

“If every school worked that way, we’d have enough examiners,” he said. He added that understanding assessment should be part of all teachers’ CPD.

“I think all teachers should have a good understanding of assessment and examining,” he told TES after the debate. “One of the ways of developing that is by becoming an examiner.”

The panel discussion considered whether it would be possible to establish examining as a professional route for teachers…

Mr Dawe acknowledged that it would not be possible to force all teachers to become examiners. “Some people just aren’t capable of marking, and we aren’t willing to use them,” he said. “It’s important for the students that we get good markers…”

More at: All teachers should learn how to mark exams, says head of OCR board


See also: ‘Offer schools a discount on exam fees for producing markers for GCSEs and A-levels’


What do you think of the idea that all (or at least more) teachers should mark exams, either as a form of professional development or to give something back to the system?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Secondary and Teaching.


  1. johneffay

    SchoolsImprove If exam boards didn’t pay such derisory rates, they wouldn’t have a problem with examiner shortages.

  2. LucindaHolmesEd

    SchoolsImprove ocrexams teacher examiners. More importantly teachers should input/learn how to write exams assessments.

  3. Andyphilipday

    MaryMyatt “Some people just aren’t capable of being markers, & we wouldn’t want to use them” …implications if they teach KS4/5 is challng

  4. Andyphilipday

    MaryMyatt The incr. reports of marker shortage makes me wonder if it’ll influence nature of new exam Qs & Mark criteria to more formulaic.

  5. adamcreen

    tstarkey1212 bellaale Edexcel are pretty much in order. Except for their repeated attempts to enrol me in a workplace pension. #wereallin

  6. Mike Bell I spent hours and hours  marking GCSE coursework.  Every year this became increasingly onerous as exam boards set mandatory marking schemes and expected markers to indicate where pupils earned marks by annotating in the margin using a set code.  As I prepared pupils for GCSE English, Eng Lit and Business Studies, this marking took over much out of school time (Morgan, please note).  This contributed to the burn-out which resulted  in my early retirement.

  7. CarolAcheson

    SchoolsImprove RECofELincoln Agree tho concerned about “All teachers” Part of CPD or ITT or (note cynicism) to solve the marking crisis?

  8. al_ackof

    SchoolsImprove Mr Dade, examiners should have a good understanding of examining. Teachers continue to be shocked by the incompetence.

  9. bentleykarl

    A) most teachers are quite capable of marking exams already.
    B) most teachers are busy enough without the extra work.

  10. peterweal

    SchoolsImprove Not just teachers learning to mark exam papers – all children should learn how to mark them too.

  11. Youc12Chris

    SchoolsImprove teachers have enough of their own marking to do. Exam boards don’t offer sufficient incentive to encourage markers

  12. aishersmcg

    SchoolsImprove Agree 100% with Mark Dawe. Best CPD, helps you be better at teaching, why doesn’t everyone have to do it once every 3 years.

  13. MrBlachford

    SchoolsImprove so will they get time off to do this? I can see absolutely no slack time in my timetable.

  14. AnandaCatterall

    aishersmcg SchoolsImprove unless you have a heavy yr11 or A level teaching timetable lack of time may be a factor?!?!

  15. brighton118

    SchoolsImprove – it is good up to a point. I found that I disagreed with with how marks where awarded. I felt compromised & stopped it.

Let us know what you think...