Trainee teachers wanted to mark Edexcel exams
ne of the country's largest exam boards is advertising for student teachers to help mark GCSEs and A-levels next summer.
The move, by the Edexcel exam boards, is being criticised by teachers' leaders who say only trained teachers should do the job. Edexcel's advert specifically targets PGCE students, saying: "You could be well placed to join our growing number of examiners."
The recruitment of trainees came under fire from both heads and teachers' leaders last night. It also emerges just a week after a former senior adviser at the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Authority – the curriculum watchdog – said the exam system was "diseased, almost corrupt".
Edexcel insisted that the students would only do low-level marking tasks such as checking right or wrong answers. However, Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said exam papers should be marked by qualified teachers. "A qualified teacher should mark the whole paper," she said. Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, added: "It used to be the case anyone wanting to become an examiner had to have three years' teaching experience and a reference from the head teacher.
"The problem now," he added, "is that the exam system has grown so much they need coach loads of examiners. I think that's just a manifestation of our exam system growing out of control." However, he said: "It depends on what they're being asked to do. Marking things that are absolutely right or wrong and operating a mark scheme – I'm sure PGCE students could do that."
A senior examiner said of the advert: "That means your or my children could have their papers marked by somebody who has never taught." He added, "This will result in examination papers which are highly predictable and, therefore, increase the proportion of students gaining top grades."
Last week, Mick Waters, former head of curriculum at the QCDA, wrote that he believed the current exam system was "diseased, almost corrupt". In a book co-authored by John Bangs, of London University's Institute of Education, he said senior exam board officials had tried to persuade head teachers their exams were easier than their rivals.
A spokeswoman for Edexcel said: "Edexcel's expert markers are qualified teachers or former teachers.
"We do recruit graduates while they are completing their PGCE, ready to mark once they are qualified. Non-teachers are only used for tasks where no teaching experience is necessary."
The Oxford, Cambridge and Royal Society of Arts (OCR) exam board said it was not advertising for PGCE students. However, it would be open to them to apply. They would normally be restricted to marking "right or wrong" answers. The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance said it was not advertising to recruit PGCE students "and had no plans to do so".
Harry Potter actor suffered 'severe flu-like symptoms' on a flight from London to Orlando
First full-length look is finally here
World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'
"Oink! Oink! Hee hee hee!" First interview with the big-screen star
Biohacking group hopes technology will lead people to think about even more dystopian uses
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Sex abuse inquiry: 'Victims receive death threats' after MPs release names online
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Teenager brandishing fake gun taken down by police after demanding airtime on Netherlands' NOS TV station
The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is a two form entry primary schoo...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£130 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Humanities Teacher Jan 2015 - July...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Our exclusive client in St Albans Hertfords...