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Exam marking and moderation - why I joined the boycott

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Twinklefoottoe, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    An interesting article that trots out the same conclusions as one I remember reading some 20 years ago, and every other year since!!


    Exam board marking is a cottage industry, worth half a billion in fees to exam boards each year, who pay markers an absolute pittance, less than the minimum wage to do a demanding job that requires time, skill and dedication. Exam boards employ people on zero hours contracts. They have made no effort to create a proper, professional workforce who could not only mark, but also moderate, do school visits to advise, do drop-in checks to check security in schools and check up on coursework cheating, write materials for schools, design and quality control syllabuses and exams, support teachers etc etc etc.

    It could easily be a full-time job for all subjects for many education professionals. Exam boards, however, have constantly avoiding doing so because they have every interest in keeping the highly lucrative status quo. Teachers working for pin money on zero hours contracts is good for business. Trying to get teachers to work like this by persuading them it's great professional development is also very good for business, even if it is bad for the teacher. So much for their charitable status!

    For this reason, I believe all teachers should boycott exam board marking and moderating, as I did many years ago. It is the only way to force exam boards to share some of the half billion with its workforce and to create a professional body to do the work.
    lizziescat and cissy3 like this.
  2. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    If all marker were employed fulltime then the bill for schools would rise. How much you earn depends upon your speed as a marker. Tends to be above minimum wage for me.
  3. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    Many moons ago, I used to moderate for Art & Design.

    Most of the prep was done by the poor department, with time consuming displays etc.

    But to do the job with fairness, integrity, and thoroughness took a long time.

    I'm sure some moderaters used to swan in, have a cuppa, and swan out again. Not really moderating, but just agreeing with the marks.

    Not ideal, but very cheap.
  4. gregometer

    gregometer Occasional commenter

    Totally agree. As a relatively new teacher I will NEVER mark papers or moderate in ICT or Computer Science because OCR are forever trying to persuade me to do it so I can get insights into my job, but want me to work for them at what amounts to little more than piece rates and a minimum wage. Why should examination companies earn millions and millions, and yet pay tiny amounts to the professionals who do all the work? That's how SPORTS DIRECT work and it is unethical.

    I already have a crippling workload in my full time job, and will not work for OCR or anyone else for a pittance on piece rates.

    KRS0NE and primenumbers like this.

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