Angry markers left unpaid

12th September 2008 at 01:00
Many markers who were trained to assess Sats papers this year, yet never received any scripts, are still waiting to be paid

Many markers who were trained to assess Sats papers this year, yet never received any scripts, are still waiting to be paid by the disgraced firm ETS Europe.

The company had assured markers it would pay pound;250 compensation by August 1 to anyone who had not received papers.

ETS's contract ended last month after a stream of complaints from markers and schools over shambolic administration. Exam board Edexcel is now helping to process schools' results appeals.

Beverley Cox, a teacher from an independent school in Somerset, and an experienced key stage 3 reading marker, was sent the wrong contract, though this was resolved.

At a training event in Bristol, there was a shortage of senior markers, so it was hard for her to get clear advice about marking systems. Then her scripts failed to arrive. Yet UPS, the company employed by ETS, turned up twice to collect her completed papers.

ETS promised markers compensation in early June if they did not receive scripts. In July, it said the money would arrive by August 1. Last month, it was August 29.

Ms Cox said she had assumed she would receive the cash and had bought a new cello, which she was having to pay for in instalments.

"I feel angry," she said. "Most of all, I have been an A grade marker for three years and I feel frustrated that schools have lost my expertise."

A key stage 2 maths marker from Southampton, who chose to remain anonymous, has not received compensation despite waiting around for the whole summer half-term for papers to be delivered.

He contacted the National Assessment Agency, but was told to pursue his complaint with ETS.

"I am extremely annoyed with the attitude of the NAA and their `couldn't care less' attitude," he said, adding that he would "definitely never, ever mark again".

Kelly Southcott, head of communications for ETS Europe, said: "We have had a number of inquiries direct from markers." They are being dealt with on on a case-by-case basis and the next payment date is September 26, she said.

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