Teachers’ careers could stall unless they become markers

The Telegraph is reporting that teachers could be barred from progressing up the career ladder unless they agree to mark GCSE papers to tackle a shortage of high-calibre examiners. 

Teachers’ unions, government officials and exam boards are considering making it mandatory to become an examiner if a teacher wants to become the head of a department. 

The plans also include pay rises to attract top-quality examiners, who are currently being paid around £2 per script at GCSE level…

Brian Lightman, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, which is part of the groups looking at incentives for markers, said the current system resembles a “cottage industry”. 

He said: “People are doing the marking at 10 o clock at night, the pay is very low and it adds to the workload of teachers. This is no way to ensure that we have a high-quality system. 

“Marking should be part of the teachers’ workload. It’s about creating time so that teachers’ contact hours are reduced and they can spend the rest of the time on assessment work.”

However, the plans have encountered some opposition. Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers: “Making marking a requirement or part of your professional practice is putting another expectation on teachers. I don’t think that’s going to work…”

More at: Teachers’ careers could stall unless they become markers


If the objective is to get more high quality markers, what do you think the solution ought to be?

Please share in the comments or via Twitter…


Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link

'Most graduates in non-graduate jobs', says CIPD
David Walliams to help launch plans to boost child literacy in UK
Categories: Secondary.


  1. secretunionrep

    SchoolsImprove it’s not that long ago that you quoted Morgan on excessive marking being a serious workload issue! We don’t need more!

  2. johneffay

    SchoolsImprove So forcing people to mark exams is a way to ensure high quality markers – What could possibly go wrong?

  3. Geoggerstar

    SchoolsImprove Sure – if it’s a timetabled commitment instead of another extra to erode planning and assessment time.

  4. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove When Royal Navy used a similar policy 100s of years ago to man warships it was called “press ganging”. This is no different

  5. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Once again teachers get blamed; if private companies who currently pay peanuts for marking paid decent wage, problem solved

  6. brighton118

    SchoolsImprove – What if you disagree in principle on some of the marking strategies ? Issue of standards/ Ethics. Quality of markers ?

  7. Naomi_maya

    SchoolsImprove Examining experience is fantastic cpd- but literally don’t know how teachers who still have lots of teaching manage it.

  8. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Pay markers a decent wage and stop tinkering with the curriculum every year and there will be no markers’ crisis

  9. secretunionrep

    Bedtonman SchoolsImprove I sincerely hope it’s not the NUT! This statement shows how much a political football teachers are

  10. PeterHutchinso5

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove I was an examiner and, yes, it did help my practice, but the remuneration never matched the time and effort.

  11. katiehall1979

    SchoolsImprove not sure abt this but marking should def have value in PM and PRP, difficult to get recognition for vital role at moment

  12. andylutwyche

    PeterHutchinso5 SchoolsImprove Quite – I know a few markers who say exactly the same thing are are planning on packing it in

  13. Teachers’ responsibility is to educate their pupils.  Making it mandatory for teachers to become examiners would just add to teachers’ workload – the offer of less contact time is laughable and would take teachers away from pupils.

  14. Bedtonman secretunionrep SchoolsImprove .’ Linking marking to career progression and promotion is unlikely to gain the support of the teaching profession.’ Christine Blower, NUT, in the full article.

  15. VictoriaJaquiss

    In the olden days you had do the markin/moderating. Starting teaching career as an English, single parent, I have this vivid memory of a wind-blown campsite on the East Coast, kids in sleeping bags, conscientiously reading the huge scripts from other schools by torch light, in order to moderate and have my own marking checked against the norm.

  16. I’ve posted this under the DT article:

    ‘Has the DT lost the ability to count?  One union chief is positive – two are not.  But the DT claims this means ‘unions’ (plural).  And is there a sub-editor to sort out the clumsy grammar?  I know journalists working to deadlines do make errors (I’ve done it myself when blogging) but surely the articles are proof read by someone competent.’

  17. wasateacher

    If you force people to become exam markers on very poor pay, you will get poor marking,  Pay peanuts, get monkeys.  Years ago I moderated Maths coursework.  For some schools it was straightforward, but for those schools where there was a problem it was sheer hell and exhausting.  Whoever had done the moderating before me, had made a very poor job of it.  If teachers are now forced into exam marking, however good for their career development, how likely are they to be careful about the way they do the job?

  18. TeaLadyJune

    Outrageous! Just pay examiners a reasonable rate and there’ll be no shortage.
    Another ‘bullying’ approach in education!

  19. cliff_margaret

    SchoolsImprove teach the teaching staff 1st, how to deal with brutal bullies,& if assaults,expulsions, then we’d have happy school children

  20. BarnsleyNASUWT

    SchoolsImprove There is a crisis in recruiting heads of departments in key subjects already; another hoop to wearily jump thru’ won’t help

  21. Andyphilipday

    SchoolsImprove Yes – cos there is such a profusion of people wanting to be HoDs that they could choose to be even more selective. #nostory

  22. Andyphilipday

    MsAPPee SchoolsImprove Deliberately provocative scare stories are too common & too unfounded. Not what teachers need to be confronted with

  23. MsAPPee

    Andyphilipday SchoolsImprove Totally agree. Enough crud is pedalled already, that story doesn’t ‘improve schools’.

Let us know what you think...