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Teacher trainees make their mark on exams

MORE trainee teachers and postgraduates are to mark students' exams this year after last year's recruits were found to be at least as good as seasoned markers.

Exam board Edexcel is taking on up to 100 postgraduate certificate in education students as examiners this year, a five-fold increase on 2002.

For the first time trainee teachers will mark an A-level module in history.

They will continue to mark history and religious education GCSEs.

Meanwhile, the OCR board is expanding from one to three the number of subjects being marked by PGCE students and hopes to recruit 35 this year.

They will mark foundation geography GCSE, an AS module in PE, and foundation information and communications technology GCSEs.

The changes follow a strong endorsement of both boards' schemes by former chief inspector Mike Tomlinson, who conducted an inquiry into last year's A-level regrading furore. His report said: "Contrary to received wisdom that examiners should have lengthy classroom experience, PGCE and graduate examiners were found to mark consistently and effectively."

Markers are awarded a grade after senior examiners check a sample of their scripts every year. Edexcel found that 83 per cent of its PGCE markers gained A or B grades, the same as for all examiners in 2002, and better than the rate for other new examiners.

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