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Freelance mock marking - advice needed, please!

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by LHenge, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. LHenge

    LHenge New commenter

    I'm seeking advice on working as a freelance mock marker for GCSE English.

    I've been teaching for twenty years and working as an examiner for various exam boards for much of that time. This summer, I marked for Edexcel and AQA (English Literature). Obviously examining is quite seasonal so this year I've decided to seek some work marking mock papers. I have contacted one of the mock companies (QA) but would love to know if there are any others that you would recommend.

    I'd also love to hear your advice on approaching schools directly and offering my services. I'm told that mock companies charge between £5 and £8 per paper so obviously I would be able to offer a more reasonable price than that.

    Are schools likely to hire the services of a freelance examiner with experience in the new GCSE English syllabus?
  2. dts

    dts Occasional commenter

    This is not intended to be flippant, but why on earth would a school with a limited budget pay you to mark their mock papers when they can make their teachers do it for free? I'd also have thought that most subject teachers would prefer to mark their own mocks so that they can give detailed feedback.

    You might find some takers for marking a sample for standardisation purposes, but I wouldn't even be certain of that. Sorry to be so pessimistic!
    wanet likes this.
  3. LHenge

    LHenge New commenter

    That's fair enough, thanks for taking the time to give your opinion. I was quite sceptical about it myself but I've seen a couple of discussions on Facebook lately about it and lots of teachers had commented that either their department pays freelancers or that they knew teachers who worked as freelance markers. I think it depends on department budget, number of students and classes, general workload and how keen the HoDs are to reduce pressure on staff.
  4. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    Not quite answering your question, but....
    We experimented with dividing the marking up (Mr Jones does Q1, Mrs Smith does Q2...) arguing that this might be a bit quicker (thorough knowledge of the mark scheme) and more reliable. However Mr Jones didn't therefore know exactly what his class had done in Q2, so found he had to look at their scripts before discussing Q2 with them. This meant more work not less, and we abandoned the idea.
    As a teacher I'd really want to mark my own class's exams, as Mr Jones found out. As a HoD I'd not want to spend my budget on an external marker.
    wanet likes this.
  5. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Some exam boards are moving towards marking sets of questions online too instead of 100's of Q1's so developed arguments and repetition can be identified allegedly, both take too much time in my view to mark properly according to mark scheme and marking criteria so still isn't worth the time for higher mark questions, in some of the essay questions in one of my subjects and I have witnessed vast differences in grading at moderation due to interpretation be apparent subject specialists as much of it can be subjective. :(
  6. LHenge

    LHenge New commenter

    Thanks Skeoch and needabreak for your input. I think as a teacher I'd also want to mark my own students' work but I know some people prefer to get a second opinion.

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