Markers spurn 'discredited

11th February 2005 at 00:00
A leading figure in the drive to recruit thousands of examiners for this year's national tests has admitted that there is a shortage of key stage 3 English markers, writes Stephen Lucas.

Mick Walker,director of exams management at the National Assessment Agency, told the TES:"We are right on the edge in terms of recruitment and I would like to have spare markers."He said many teachers felt too busy to join the marking effort.

The NAA needs to recruit 12,500 markers for national tests this year and KS3 English is the biggest challenge.Teachers at the National Association for the Teaching of English's annual conference in Manchester blamed the the shortage on the collapse in the tests' credibility after last year's marking fiasco.

Simon Wrigley,NATE chair,said:"The recruitment drive is unlikely to be successful because there is a limited pool of English teachers who are willing and able to mark the KS3 Sats.Some people who are experienced are saying they do not want to support a discredited system."

Helen Clyde, an advanced skills teacher and former head of English at Washington school, Sunderland,said:"Any English teacher with any integrity will choose not to mark those Sats.They do not test the curriculum taught in Years 7 to 9."

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