Examiners ‘paid little more than bar staff’ to mark GCSEs

The Telegraph is reporting claims from a head that rising numbers of children are receiving the wrong grades in GCSEs and A-levels because markers are paid little more than bar staff…

Richard Cairns, head of Brighton College, said good teachers were being put off volunteering for marking duties amid concerns over poor pay, with some receiving as little as £2 per exam script.

A failure to recruit the most talented staff as examiners was one of the main reasons why rising numbers of teenagers are being given incorrect grades in summer exams, he claimed.

The comments were made as the school became what is believed to be the first in the country to offer its own teachers £750 to volunteer as markers.

Mr Cairns said other schools should create the incentives to boost the “integrity of the exam system”.

It follows the publication of figures showing that marks were changed on 602 GCSE and 167 A-level exam papers at Brighton this year alone following complaints over results…

Mr Cairns said the best way of addressing the shortcomings was to “ensure that those marking scripts are of the highest possible quality”…

“Currently, teachers are put off marking by the poor pay. I was told yesterday by one teacher that he could earn more in a bar. In the meantime, schools that care about the integrity of the exam system need to step up and help.”

Under Brighton’s plan, the school will give each teacher £750 for volunteering over the traditional marking season after exams are sat in May and June each year. It would be in addition to fees paid by exam boards…

More at: Examiners ‘paid little more than bar staff’ to mark GCSEs

 

There are obviously serious concerns over the standard of exam marking but what exactly is the suggestion here: that those choosing to mark aren’t good enough, or that they can’t be bothered to do it right because of the pay levels? Both are issues but they are quite different ones. And what do you make of the Brighton College initiative to reward its own teachers for getting involved above and beyond the exam board fees? Please give us your reactions in the comments or via Twitter…

 

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Comments

  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Pay is irrelevant as if you do the job you should do it to the best of your ability, but it doesn’t encourage much take up

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Pay is purely a consequence exams being led by market forces/run by “for profit” companies. Would you expect any different?

  3. monty back

    When pay is too low it means too little time is available to do the job well. Restrict the number of scripts each Exm can have might Improve quality of marking

  4. angelsoft_ICT

    SchoolsImprove ‘Twas ever thus. And of course the work is done AFTER one’s normal schoolwork… Up till 2 am usually, in my case!!

  5. angelsoft_ICT

    SchoolsImprove ‘Twas ever thus. And of course the work is done AFTER one’s normal schoolwork… Up till 2 am usually, in my case!!

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