Coronavirus: Teachers hit by loss of marking income

Teachers say they will be 'massively' affected by the loss of income from marking exams over the summer

Catherine Lough

teacher with calculator

Teachers who mark GCSE and A-level exam scripts have spoken of their disappointment over the loss of income they rely on after the announcement that this year's summer exam series would be cancelled

Teachers can earn up to £1,000 for marking a full allocation of exam scripts. For some teachers, especially those starting new contracts or those working on supply, the cancellation of the exams and subsequent loss of income has come as "a shock".

Background: GCSEs and A levels cancelled, says PM

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More: Exams are cancelled – so what next?

One English teacher in the West Midlands said the news of exam cancellations had left her worried about how she would pay her bills.

"It is going to massively affect us," she said.

"Obviously, I was relying on that income for July and some of June. I have two children and a mortgage and all of the associated bills.

"I also probably will not get any supply work after Easter as I finish my current job then. Luckily my bank has contacted me to say we can have a mortgage holiday, but obviously we have gas and electric bills going out – it’s all a bit of a shock, really."

Another teacher, Keira Vassallo in Worthing, West Sussex, said she had also been relying on the income from marking.

"My first thought is for the kids especially not really knowing what the plan is in place of [exams], but I am currently doing a maternity post finishing in the summer term and I do not start my new job until September, so I was relying on that income," she said.

"I have a child to support as well and obviously, that’s out of the window now, as is supply work. It’s really the summer holidays basically [when this will affect her] – this is unprecedented, there’s no way I would have had a contingency plan for this, so it’s definitely going to affect my income over the summer holidays that I’d relied on examining and supply teaching for," she added.

"It’s just unheard of, isn’t it. I’ve heard they haven’t cancelled public exams for 100 years – even during the war they sat exams," she said. 

Other teachers said they would now lose the expertise of the reformed GCSEs they would have gained as examiners, which they hoped to pass on to their students. 

A spokesperson for the Joint Council for Qualifications said: “The awarding bodies value the commitment and expertise of their markers and will be in contact with them as soon as they’re in a position to give them some clarity.”

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Catherine Lough

Catherine Lough is a reporter at Tes.

Find me on Twitter @CathImogenLough

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