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Recent exam reforms 'will require more teachers to become markers'

26/01/2017 Joanna

More and more teachers are likely to be called upon to become exam markers following recent reforms to the UK's examinations system, according to a new report.

Compiled by headteachers' associations, the Joint Council for Qualifications and exam boards, the report - which has been made public by TES - has estimated that approximately 41,000 teachers will need to serve as examiners by 2019 to meet the increased demand for marking during the summer period, due to an increase in the number of exams being taken.

This would represent an increase of 7,000 teachers compared to the current level, with the analysis noting that securing the participation of teaching staff should be considered a "prerequisite to that system delivering the right results".

It was also emphasised that schools should be doing more to recognise examining as a valuable component of teachers' continuing professional development, and that exam boards should also be making efforts to improve training as they revamp their approach to GCSE and A-level testing.

In order to help address some of these issues, the working group has launched an online hub for examiners, as well as two new award schemes to offer recognition of the exceptional work done by individual examiners and schools. 

This comes as part of a wider series of commitments aimed at attracting and retaining teachers to get involved in the examinations system, which will help to prevent any future shortage of markers.

Dale Bassett from exam board AQA, who chairs the working group on building examiner capacity and culture, said: "Exam boards can always do more to improve and to preemptively address the challenges presented by qualification reform."

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