Headteachers' associations have voiced fears that the furore over incomplete results and inaccurate grades might be repeated in England and Wales this summer. The new A-level is expected to swell exam entries by a third and an extra 8,000 examiners will be needed.
Meanwhile, schools are becoming increasingly reluctant to release teachers to act as examiners because of the dificulty in finding supply staff to cover for them. Exam boards have been told to draw up emergency plans to cope with shortfalls.
David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: "There is no doubt that unless we do increase the markers' fee we are going to face some-thing of a crisis."
Paul Sokoloff, convener of the Joint Council for General Qualifications, said examiners in England and Wales were paid more than in Scotland. With the increase Scottish markers get pound;7.50 an hour. In England and Wales fees are pound;9 or pound;10 an hour.