Marking is a complete shambles

4th July 2008 at 01:00
I would just like to say that as a KS2 English Sats marker team leader I have followed with interest all your recent letters and articles concerning the current Sats marking cycle

I would just like to say that as a KS2 English Sats marker team leader I have followed with interest all your recent letters and articles concerning the current Sats marking cycle.

Yes, it has been a complete shambles from the start. The training this year was a fiasco with many markers not knowing where their training was or who their team leaders were. There was no time to get to grips with the materials as there has been in previous years.

Scripts arrived late or not at all. Markers rely on receiving the scripts by the beginning of half-term so that they can use this time to get a good start with their marking. This has never been a problem in previous years. Some markers received no scripts or very few while others received too many and had to go through the process of returning them.

There have been problems with the ETS website, the firm running this year's marking, emails not answered and phone calls are a waste of time. According to Andy Latham of ETS, (TES, May 30, pictured right), online "benchmarking" is to ensure markers perform to the required standard and "these results are used to mentor markers or, if necessary, remove them from the marking cycle."

After my team of markers "benchmarked" I looked at their marks and some who had 30 errors on six writing scripts were still passed and allowed to continue marking. Then everyone was offered a pound;100 bonus if they completed their marking on time - and those who hadn't received scripts will be paid pound;250. The latest email I received on June 25 invited me to go to Leeds to panel mark as "we have a lot of marking to get through."

These are just some of the "disasters". I could go on!

I have marked for six years, the last three as a team leader, and this year has certainly been the worst experience I have had.

I believe that this mess should be reported in the general press so that everyone knows about it, not just those involved in education.

Name and address supplied.

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