All the makings of a farce

28th March 2003 at 00:00
THE Qualifications and Curriculum Authority's proposal that examiners should be released from teaching to carry out extra marking convinces me that an increasingly mad educational world has reached a level of absurdity that is frightening.

We teach children for only 190 days per year but are being asked to stop teaching them for 10 days so that we can bring in strange teachers at the end of the school year while the proper teachers mark scripts.

Why don't exam boards train the supply teachers to mark exams? Why can't teachers wish ing to earn extra money by marking be allowed to do so at the start of the summer holidays?

The reality is that schools, in addition to the teaching time lost while students sit exams, are already having to release teachers for a massive amount of time for such things as the key stage 3 strategy, government initiatives and other development work.

Those with the unenviable task of covering for absent teachers will testify to the near impossibility of finding supply teachers. It is about time we stood up for the rights of pupils to be taught by teachers they know.

The quotation from the government spokesman expressing confidence that heads will act responsibly in the best interests of their students is beautifully ambiguous. I am clear where my responsibilities lie.

The examining problem is entirely the creation of this Government and its obsession with assessment. Perhaps the solution is to train Department for Education and Skills officials to do the marking. Now that's the sort of logic that would make the whole affair really worthy of a Yes, Minister episode.

Kevin O'Regan Headteacher Wolverley high school Kidderminster Worcestershire

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now