Tuesday, August 05, 2008

SATS marks: who is surprised?

So, finally, the SATS marks are out. I could have told people it was going to be a mess. Well, actually I told a couple of education correspondents but they didn't believe me in spite of the fact that Trixy's sister is a teacher who was doing lots of marking. Emphasis mine.

Date: Mon, 26 May 2008 16:51:01 +0100
To: sisteroftrixy@hotmail.com
From: markers@testoperations.org.uk
Subject: Update on test paper allocations for all markers in 2008

Dear Markers,
This update is intended to answer the three main questions that many of you have been asking about your allocations of test papers.

1. Why haven't I received my allocation of test papers yet?
We apologise to those of you in the frustrating position of having completed training and standardisation, only to have not yet received an initial allocation. Please be assured that we are continuing to clear our warehouse of incoming scripts on a daily basis so that we can get these out to you as quickly as possible. We continue to send out new allocations as we receive remaining materials from schools or from markers returning part of their original allocation.

Some of you have contacted us to ask if your name can be prioritised at the top of the list to receive an allocation. While we are unable to respond to these individual requests, we are using the following model to prioritise shipments to markers who are yet to receive an allocation:

1. Marking Programme Leads, including Assistant and Deputy Marking Programme Leads
2. Senior Markers
3. Team Leaders
4. Markers

We realise that receiving materials later than expected will compress your marking window and make it more challenging to finish your allocation in time.
In recognition of this, we will implement an appropriate compensation model for those markers who receive materials late. More information on this will be provided by 31 May.
If you receive materials late and do not think you will be able to mark all of your allocated scripts by the deadline, please return all of the materials from the schools you do not believe you will be able to complete as soon as possible. More information on how to return part of your allocation is provided in the answer to the second question below.
It is possible, albeit unlikely, that despite our best efforts we will not be able to provide all of you with an allocation of papers to mark during this cycle. The compensation model we are currently working on will include allowances for any such markers.
To check the most up-to-date status of your script delivery, log on to www.makingamark.org.uk and select the ?Delivery tracking' tab.

2. I received too large an allocation to mark in the time remaining?how can I return the papers that I don't want to mark?
If you are concerned you won't be able to finish your allocation in time because you have received a larger allocation than you were expecting, or for other reasons, you need to return these materials to us as quickly as possible to ensure we can get them re-allocated and marked by the deadline.
Please only mark or return complete allocations at the school level. That is, if you are returning materials you won't be able to mark, please return the entire school without marking any of the pupils from that school. Please do not start marking a particular school's papers unless you are confident that you will be able to mark all the papers from that school by the deadline.
To return materials, please contact the marker helpdesk on 0870 1614529 or email markers@testoperations.org.uk and they will arrange a pick-up with UPS.

3. I am interested in marking more papers than I have been allocated. How can I sign up for more?
You can request additional papers directly on our makingamark website: http://www.makingamark.org.uk/en/being-a-marker/pledges/. Please note that we cannot guarantee that all who request additional scripts will receive them. When available, these additional scripts will be sent to markers after they successfully complete their second set of benchmark papers.

The MPA team


So, the papers weren't sent out in time, and they knew this back in May. And they have been paid millions by you and I, via the tax payer, to monumentally fuck up this whole process. When the papers did arrive at Trixy Towers it was much later than anticipated, but what with my sister being keen to mark the papers properly, she just re-jigged her diary and enlisted the help of my mother who is of the teacher persuasion also. She didn't ask Trixy, though. No patience or tolerance, apparently.

You could really tell the difference between schools. My mother was commenting on a particularly awful batch when she found out it was the school she used to go to. Changed a bit since then: fewer English names and, with the quick survey we did on ethnic background vs results, it really does seem to make a difference. Inner city schools were in a completely different league to suburban and rural schools in our batch which we were able to compare.

No doubt that is terribly racist of me to say and the Ministry of Truth will be down on me like a tonne of paper clips, but that's what I saw.

I do hope that the government find someone else to mark these exams next year, until we can get back to the 11+, that is.

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