THE final element in the Executive's package is a review of markers' fees in time for Christmas. Mr McConnell made clear in his statement, however, that the review will be based on his expectation that "an increase in marker fees is desirable".
The TESS reported last month that the SQA and Scottish Executive were drawing up plans to head off a potential shortage of markers next year, following this year's mishandling of marking at the same time as assessment demands grew from ew Higher Still courses. The SQA needs another 1,000 markers next year. But it says it has been "heartened" by the early response to the recruitment drive: by mid-week, 1,025 of this year's markers said they would sign up again and only 45 declined.
The 7,000 markers deployed this year had their fees increased by 10 per cent to an average of pound;1.50 per script. The SQA estimates that if the rate was doubled, the cost would be pound;2.4 million on top of this year's pound;3.2m.