On 15 October, OCR launched a report in Parliament on why teachers examine and how to grow the pool of examiners. At the event, representatives from the DfE, Ofqual, teacher unions such as NASUWT, NUT and ASCL, as well as the JCQ and other exam boards, debated some of the key findings on this topical issue.
OCR’s report, entitled 'The future for examining', explores what motivates teachers to get involved in examining and offers solutions to ensure the supply of examiners at a time when teacher workload is increasing and more examiners are required at one point of the year. It is based on independent research by the think tank LKMco who surveyed nearly 1000 teachers. It also incorporates feedback from OCR examiners and from head teachers, as well as discussions at a panel debate held at the RSA in July 2015.
Recommendations include more differentiated training, working with the College of Teaching to include examining as part of a ‘subject expert’ pathway, and promoting progression routes within examining.
In the Foreword to ‘The future for examining’, Brian Lightman, General Secretary of ASCL, welcomed the report’s ‘innovative and practical’ suggestions for overcoming some of the pressures in the system. ‘It points the way ahead to ensuring that everybody can have confidence in the capacity of the system to produce the timely and accurate assessments which are essential to the futures of millions of young people.’
Sylke Scheiner (pictured), OCR Director of Assessment Standards, said: “Examiners do a great job. As the report states, they are the unsung heroes of the education system. However we need to build examiner capacity and culture. I believe this report is a vital first step and will contribute to the work of a cross-industry working group which includes the major exam boards, as well as interested parties such as NAHT, ASCL and HMC.”