'Championing the rights of children'

Examiners 'paid little more than bar staff' to mark GCSEs

Garry Tue 14 Oct 2014 18:30

Brighton College becomes the first school in the country to pay its own teachers to act as exam markers amid concerns over grading standards in GCSEs and A-levels.

Rising numbers of children are receiving the wrong grades in GCSEs and A-levels because markers are paid little more than bar staff, according to a leading private school headmaster.

Richard Cairns, head of Brighton College, said good teachers were being put off volunteering for marking duties amid concerns over poor pay, with some receiving as little as £2 per exam script.

A failure to recruit the most talented staff as examiners was one of the main reasons why rising numbers of teenagers are being given incorrect grades in summer exams, he claimed.

The comments were made as the school became what is believed to be the first in the country to offer its own teachers £750 to volunteer as markers.

Mr Cairns said other schools should create the incentives to boost the “integrity of the exam system”.

It follows the publication of figures showing that marks were changed on 602 GCSE and 167 A-level exam papers at Brighton this year alone following complaints over results.

Overall, the total number of GCSEs graded A* in all subjects jumped from 44.5 to 48.5 per cent after re-marks. This included more than 200 pupils who had English and religious studies papers graded again. One pupil went from a U to an A in A-level history after being re-marked.

Read more... (Daily Telegraph - 14 October)