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Postgrad pilot is a marked success

THE critical letter from Bethan Edwards and Frances Allen about Edexcel's use of "undergraduates" marking A-levels is based on a misunderstanding (TES, June 13).

It is important to note that Edexcel is again piloting a study using postgraduates. Our 2002 study used 17 postgraduate certificate in education students - the majority with PhD or Masters degrees and in their last term of the teaching course.

Their work was carefully monitored at every stage. Many have remained examiners, as teachers with experience, for the 2003 exams. The 2002 pilot group performed very well, some better than experienced examiners. This year's will see 50 postgraduates out of more than 16,500 examiners working with us.

Indeed, the scheme was cited in the Tomlinson inquiry as a valid way forward and has the backing of both the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and the Department for Education and Skills.

As well as helping to ensure sufficient markers, the scheme is to encourage "new blood" into the dwindling examiner pool.

Frank Wingate

Head of external relations


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