GCSEs 2021: Fears ‘dog-tired teachers’ won’t mark exams

WATCH: Ofqual chief warns that teachers 'yearning for a rest' may not want to mark GCSE and A-level exams in 2021
9th December 2020, 12:34pm
Catherine Lough

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GCSEs 2021: Fears ‘dog-tired teachers’ won’t mark exams

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/gcses-2021-fears-dog-tired-teachers-wont-mark-exams
Tags: 3 Lessons For Teaching & Learning Next Year

Ofqual has said it fears there will be a lack of exam markers in the summer as teachers will "yearn for a rest" over the summer break.

Speaking at a Commons Education Select Committee hearing, Ofqual chief regulator Dame Glenys Stacey was asked how she would ensure that marking next summer would be fair during a shorter time period - as exams have been pushed forward by three weeks next year.


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"We do know our marking in this country compares favourably to that internationally, so we don't have a particular sort of low base to start with, if you like. We're in a decent position to start with," Dame Glenys said.

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"The issue here really is that because the exam timetable has been put back, which is good, we've got a more condensed period for marking, and that does mean that exam boards are going to have to recruit extra markers to get the marking done in the time available.

"Now I appreciate that most markers are teachers, and, of course they're already feeling dog-tired and may well yearn for a rest and not be that willing to put themselves out over the summer.

"Yet teachers are the bulk of markers and I know it's going to be a really big ask, actually this year. And I think the government, Ofqual and the exam boards must take every step they can to make that possible."

Previously, headteachers have raised concerns over a lack of invigilators for 2021 exams

In November, Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, told Tes: "I suspect awarding organisations are already worried about whether we are going to have all the markers needed in the summer.

"School leaders have been saying to us, 'We don't think we're going to get the invigilators,' as, because a lot of invigilators are retirees, will they want to be in school?"

Yesterday, Dame Glenys also said that schools should not compile portfolios of student work to prepare for teacher assessment in 2021.

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