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2008 SATS Marking

Discussion in 'English' started by sophie_123, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. NB: Payroll does seem to be very slowly answering emails/snailmail at the moment (see below), though if you want a two-way phone conversation with them, you'll have to get the details by PM-ing Mazjan, Tina123 or me - as they want us to pass certain information on to desperate unpaid markers only, but they don't want it posted.


    The following appears to be convincing information. I've just rung ETS Europe, who have now moved out of the original HQ to different premises, still in Watford. Their spokesperson declines to give the address, but says that the previous landline phone numbers (apart from the markers' helpline 0870 161 4529) no longer apply.

    She declines to say whether the above helpline is still in another country (Ireland), but says that they have a "larger group of people" trained to deal with payroll enquiries, and that the telephonists have immediate and direct two-way communication with individuals working in Payroll. She says that she and a team of people are continually monitoring the payrollenquiry@ address inbox and are working to answer all emails to payrollenquiry@, and to answer all snailmail addressed to Payroll and received at the old Watford HQ. She did not say, and I forgot to ask, whether there is a mail-forwarding system in operation, and how long it's booked for.

    She said that in due course the markers' helpline callcentre would be decommissioned and from that point the same phone number would have an automatic redirection system to ETS staff who would be able to answer your payroll queries.

    Re the scheduled paydates. She confirmed that the final claims-date of 21st Oct (tomorrow) still pertains, and that after that date only claims emailed or received on or before that date would be dealt with. She confirmed that 21st October is a paydate which will go ahead, and that another paydate is scheduled for 7th November 08.

    This paragraph contains information which causes me puzzlement. She appeared confused when I asked her how many people were working in payroll and stressed that there was a large number of people working there. However this may include the people answering emails and snailmail, and may not be a description of the number of people actually handling payments [which for all I know may not be unadjacent to two]. When I asked after a member of staff whom I'd spoken to a couple of weeks ago, she said that that person had left.

    As far as I know, all the contact information which I have given unpaid markers by PM still pertains, except the landline number and the snailmail address. I have done my best to give accurate information here, as I understand it, but if you have any queries or corrections, please post here or PM me. Redbiro.

    Re the landline reception number for ETS Europe's old HQ published by the hoaxer - it is only temporarily in use and only gives a recorded message of the new company number. Re the hoaxer's nonsense about the company doing a moonlight: I spoke to a trusted staff member today, and they're still in existence at the new address, and will be so, at least until 7th Nov. After that I don't know. The hoaxer has no contact at ETS Europe, and it is clear to those in the know that nothing that the hoaxer has said can possibly be true. If you still have worries about this subject, please PM me and I'll be happy to answer your questions.

    The 21st Oct paydate details were input wrongly onto the Making a Mark website. The true paydate has apparently always been this Friday 24th Oct. On 24th, Payroll expects to pay 90% of markers who claimed by 21st October. The remaining unpaid markers will be those whose claims still have issues to be checked, or which are still in dispute, and those which can be resolved will be paid on 7th November. If you remain unpaid on 24th October, please PM (private message) me or tina123 for the phone number of the current office.

    If you have not PM'd before, click on my username to the left of this post, and you will see a message box on the right of my profile page. The system may require you to login again during this process.

    All IMO

    Payroll rang back again and gave the following info.

    After they've paid an estimated 90% of remaining claims on Fri 24th, Payroll reckons to have only two categories of claims to deal with:

    1. Difficult-to-check claims (where schoolname and/or DFES no. are missing or wrong);

    2. Individual pay-disputes.

    Re 1. above: Please check your record of your claim, to see that you have listed the school name(s) and DFES numbers correctly, and if you find an error, please email Payroll at the payrollenquiry@ address asap. If you don't correct any mistakes of that kind, Payroll will have difficulty in paying you, which could result in delay or no pay. Please be nice to Payroll staff: ETS Europe is guilty IMO of keeping inadequate, useless or non-existent employee work records, and Payroll is left to clear up the mess.

    The claim-by date for the 24th Oct paydate was last Fri 17th Oct, so if you send in a corrected claim, my guess is that you will be paid on 7fh Nov (If ETS has got that date right . . .) IMO
  4. I have heard from a marker who has received a payslip today, for tomorrow's paydate. Whoopee! So the 24th Oct paydate is going ahead.

    If you are an unpaid marker and you have still not received a payslip or funds by the end of tomorrow 24th Oct, the chances are that it's because yours is a difficult-to-check claim. Payroll says that the most common reason for that is that you have forgotten to tell them the school-name or its DFES number; or you wrote them incorrectly. So please check your copy of your claim to see that it's all present and correct. NB only claims received by 21st Oct (with and without mistakes in them) are being dealt with now.

    The old helpline is still functioning, and ETS insists that it has trained callcentre staff who can discuss your problem directly with Payroll. If this turns out to be inadequate for you, please PM me for further information.
  5. For years the pond was cool and clear and pop-

    Ulated by a happy crowd of frogs and

    Carp and herons. There were water-lilies,

    King-cups, dragonflies and more . . . then -

    One day there came a great fat toad that belched such

    Foetid breath, that flowers wilted, insects

    Flew away; and all the frogs and carp

    Hid at the edge. The toad just **** its poison

    Over all the pond and killed it dead.

    Really fat, it grew, and then so very

    Round that it exploded: nothing left.

    You can come back, frogs! - the pond is yours!
  6. DM

    DM New commenter

    Less frogspawn more spawn of Satan IMO.

    Anyway, I'm still deciding on how that poem should be marked redbiro?

    A cross? tick? I can't decide.
  7. Hahahaha.
  8. NAA staff get bonuses - three cheers everyone! [​IMG] ?

    Here is Warwick Mansell's TES article on the subject.

    <font color="#4f4d45">https://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6004175</font>

    <font color="#4f4d45"></font>

    I agree it does confirm that the bonuses relate to 2007-2008; the year in which NAA staff were involved in the pilot - a pilot, following which, markers gave strong, clear indications of the various weaknesses and shortfalls of the 'new' system that was to be employed. Needless to say, their observations were ignored (and why not, after all, they were only the foot soldiers, many of whom have marked for years, who surely wouldn't have known what they were talking about - would they?), and the rest, as we all now know, is history.

    I am sure that those markers who remain unpaid for the additional work they did, having been invited/begged to do so by NAA staff in the first place, will be delighted to hear how the NAA employees have been rewarded, whilst they are still fighting to get what is owed to them. Also, those who initially didn't get any papers, despite their training being completed successfully, and who were then offered £250 compensation - which many have not received because at the 11th hour they received a handful of papers to mark, thus doing them out of the £250 comp - will no doubt be thrilled to hear the news regarding this 'bonus' payments. [​IMG]

    But all the above my personal opinion of course - and thus I could be wrong.
  9. Thanks for posting that, Tina. I have heard at second hand that there are 1300 markers in the position described above, and that they are not to be compensated.
  10. I finally got my SATs marks for English KS3 today. Didn't have time to sort them out in order to tell the kids before they went off for October half-term.

    They seem a little bit optimistic to me, but I guess this is old news for most people. I feel in a bit of a time warp really! Is there some problem with banks?

  11. AM: I haven't heard about any problem with banks in relation to the NCT/Sats debacle, but nothing would surprise me now. Early on in the marking season, in May I think, we markers all received an email saying that ETS Europe could not pay 800 of its markers, as those markers had not given them the correct bank details. Now that does seem to be a very large proportion, doesn't it. It sounded like a data-loss problem to me - and one of many, by the look of it. IMO
  12. Update: I've heard from three markers who were paid in full today. I have not heard from any still-unpaid markers today. So at least that confirms that today's paydate did go ahead.
  13. DM

    DM New commenter


    Don't be too hard on the staff at the NAA/QCA - their bonuses are simply softening the blow - I can assure you they are having an uncomfortable time too.

    From the QCA website:

    "The QCA are moving from London to Coventry during 2009. All new recruits will be issued with Coventry-based contracts and be expected to relocate with QCA, relocation support will be provided as appropriate. An individual's decision not to relocate will be considered as resignation."

    From the Guardian website:

    Of the 500-plus QCA staff, its management expects to lose 400, mostly through resignation or redeployment into other public sector bodies rather than through redundancy. How will this shrunken, dislocated rump cope with its huge workload and unyielding deadlines managing the nation's exams and qualifications?

    "To say the process of change carries no risk is clearly nonsense. It's how you manage it," admits Andrew Hall, the QCA's director of strategic resource management, recruited from industry to supervise the organisation's move.

    A QCA insider is far less bullish. "No one on the staff believes the business will be unaffected by this," he says. "What has sapped staff morale is the protracted timeline announcing when, where and what parts of the organisation would move. The majority of staff who don't want to move to Coventry feel they're being treated by management as of no importance whatsoever. And those who are moving worry about this management attitude. People are stressed just keeping up QCA business against this background of uncertainty and shifting timelines."

    "You have to look at the opportunities going forward," Hall urges, maintaining that the key to mitigating the risk of QCA meltdown is "capturing specialist knowledge", by which he means offering lavish relocation inducements and accelerated promotion to hard-to-replace staff, while looking to the Midlands labour pool to replace a huge but expendable majority ("though obviously we don't want to lose anybody").

    Perhaps they would have been better advised to send ETS to Coventry instead?

  14. Has a reason been given for this move? The usual reason is the cheaper rent; London is expensive - and maybe the Govt has decided to sell the building that they were in? However, that kind of move is not always an economic benefit, and straitened circumstances usually have an effect on output.

    Take the example of L---- B---- School - an old and prestigious private school which was for many years in Victorian buildings next to the city's Uni. It had an excellent academic record, on a level with a top grammar school of the old type. But it was on a valuable site with prime development and business potential, times were lean, and the grass was greener at the north edge of the city.

    So they bought a giant plot in the green belt, built a huge new building, moved in, and the expenses hit them. The fees went up several times a year, and they found themselves accepting just any kids, to get the fees. Instead of top scholars, they now had kids who were semi-literate and didn't want to learn. I know that, as I got lumbered with tutoring some of them. The top scholars gradually moved elsewhere.
  15. DM

    DM New commenter

    I can only presume it is to save money.

    A quote from Ken Boston:

    "The choice of Coventry represents the considerations of its excellent accessibility, the effective transport links, standard of living, facilities and potential workforce. Whilst we expect that some of our current London staff will move with us to Coventry, there will be significant opportunities to recruit for staff locally.

    "When considering the benefits of moving our offices from central London, QCA undertook a full evaluation on a number of cities of England. All the cities under consideration made presentations and held information meetings for QCA's staff. We were pleased that the Secretary of State approved our Board's recommendation that we move to Coventry.

    "As a forward-looking organisation, QCA feels that its choice of Coventry represents a real opportunity for a secure relocation that will contribute to the regeneration of this historic city."
  16. Thx for that, DM. They're on a hiding to nothing.
  17. Latest update: Respecting the 24th Oct paydate, I've now heard from 4 fully-paid markers, and 2 still-unpaid markers. If you are still an unpaid marker, please PM me for further information.
  18. Update: In respect of the 24th Oct paydate, I've now heard from 5 fully-paid markers, and 3 still-unpaid markers. Of course this is not a representative sample; it just tells us that the paydate went ahead, and that some are still unpaid.

    A little bird told us that the remaining unpaids would be the hard-to-check claims, and that they were more likely to be those who had not given the correct school-names, or the correct school-numbers. However all the unpaids who contacted us had claims in respect of the £250 no-scripts compensation. This makes me wonder whether these markers received no scripts in the first place because ETS Europe was maintaining inadequate data on contracted markers, and that therefore it follows that ETS will have difficulty in paying them, as they don't know who they are. And the poor Payroll staff are left to try to clear up the mess.

    We understand that there are possibly 1300 no-scripters, and possibly 60+ no-scripters who were done out of their compo by being sent a tiny handful of scripts at the last minute.



    I've been told that ETS Europe is leaving their new offices tomorrow, Friday 31st October 08, and making most staff redundant. I understand that it is confirmed that the last paydate is 7th November. However, at time of writing, there is no update to this effect on the Making a Mark website. I understand that after 7th November, only payclaims which are in legal dispute will be dealt with.


    I had heard that Payroll was intending to see that all outstanding payclaims were dealt with by the end of this week. This fits with the news of closure of the new office. However I'm concerned that, if there is no longer an official ETS Europe presence in the UK between 31st October and 7th November, that if the paydate hits any administrative snags, there will be no staff to deal with it.


    For contact details with the current ETS Europe office, please PM me before midday, Friday 31st October. After that, the contact details will no longer be relevant. (I should be around to reply asap.)


    We now bow out of our self-appointed task of monitoring the communications and paydates of ETS Europe. Thank you especially to Tina123 for her tireless efforts to pass on information to confused markers, and then to unpaid markers, and all the work she put in to see that the debacle was picked up by the Media and the Government in the first place. And thank you to Warwick Mansell (currently on honeymoon) for listening to Tina123 and publishing that message. And thank you most of all to everyone who has posted here and PM'd to share information in order to assist and to morally-support others. And thank you, everyone, for the laughs and the banter which kept us going during the worst of it.

    BUT . . .

    The loose ends are still not tied. We still expect to receive dubious marker-grades based on the unreliable benchmarking system, and there is still the large number of lost and unmarked scripts swept unceremoniously under the carpet. In my opinion, the marker-grades should be cancelled, and schools should at least have an official explanation of what exactly caused their scripts to disappear. So watch this space.
  20. The above has just been posted on the KS3 Marking thread on the Maths forum. ..

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