Several years ago I coached my first School (Chief) Examinations Officer. She, and yes, they are predominantly female, opened my ears and eyes to the demanding and rigorous role of being a School Examinations Officer. I wonder if that role has become even more complex since then? Ensuring the whole School’s Code of Practice on Assessment is in line with expectations from JCQ, AQA, Edexcel and all the rest really is a tricky and complicated role. How does one ensure all staff are aware of and comply with all deadlines for the setting of assessments and the return of marks; when they are often on the payscale and contract of typical ‘support staff’? How to recruit and monitor the work of the staff supporting the School’s assessment processes; the annual employment of casual ‘zero hours’ staff to invigilate on minimal pay scales?
Teachers are finding the plethora of differing examination board requests, and demands, and deadlines, and guidance, limited and confusing at the best of times. I imagine most Examinations Officers at this time of the year are pulling their hair out with a horrible sense of ill-ease that despite surpassing the organisational skills of many and having perhaps one of the highest competencies in Excel in the building with all the special considerations and the preparation and the sleepless nights, there will also be the emotional baggage and covert pressure for this year’s results to be even better than last.