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OCR exam marking, GCSE

(7 Posts)
MedSchoolRat Sat 13-Jan-18 15:49:09

I'm underworked so pondering if I should apply to be a marker could use the money. One of the subjects that was short of exam markers in 2017.

I gather it's usually only online training & marking, the actual marking period is intense: I won't do much else for 3 weeks. My questions are:

1. How do you declare the extra income for tax reasons; does it mean self-assessment?
2a. Do you do nothing else but mark for 3 weeks? I imagine taking leave from my regular job. Is that in July or...
2b. When (weeks of which month) could I expect the workload to peak?

Before anyone asks:
Am not qualified teacher, but do have a degree & prof. experience in the exam subject, also lots experience marking at university level. Thanks.

TractorTedTed Sun 14-Jan-18 21:08:33

If you're not a qualified teacher, then are you sure you'll be given the work? Most exam boards want three years' teaching experience as a minimum.

1) They tax your earnings, so no, you won't need to do self-assessment.

2)You do nothing else but mark if you are already working. It basically takes all your weekends, free time and half-term holiday. You can work as well though.
3) Depends on subject and level. May, June or July normally, but will depend on when the exam is.

MedSchoolRat Mon 15-Jan-18 19:21:18

Thanks for reply.
Several sources say that OCR will take markers who aren't qualified teachers if they have other suitable background (I suspect i do). Big shortage of markers. I guess I'll find out if that's true!

catslife Wed 17-Jan-18 14:45:03

You need to send in your application quickly, as they start sending out invitations to mark in January.
When I marked for OCR it was only approx 2 weeks marking (not including standardisation which took 2 or 3 days).
It takes approx 10 working days between the pupils sitting the actual exam and it being made available on the on-line system.
Dates for the specific exam are usually sent out in your contract.
Examiner income is taxed through PAYE so should be possible to just adjust your tax code accordingly. if you have another income they assume you are a basic rate tax payer and deduct tax at source.
Workload peaks in June i.e. after half term and for most GCSEs will be finished before school holidays.
Final recommendation will be to check what sort of computer you need to have and what type of software they use. Some systems don't run very well on macs for example. You also need a good, reliable (and fast) broadband connection.

Madwomanwanted Wed 17-Jan-18 16:22:19

DH marks for OCR and it's pretty full on from about 2 weeks after the exam is sat (1st week after May half term for DH) for about 3 weeks. He works f/t as a teacher and aims to do about 3-4 hours a night plus full days at the weekends for those 3 weeks. He can only manage it because his exam classes have finished so he has more time during the day to do planning/marking for school. Every year they ask him to do more scripts so there is more work if you have more time. He only marks one paper, again they have asked if he would do the other paper in his subject too but he wouldn't have time. His tax is worked out through PAYE. This year he's had a slight rise at school so his marking will be taxed at higher rate tax. This means the take home pay for marking will be under £5/hr. If it wasn't good for his CPD I think he'd pack it in as not worth it anymore.

The bad news is I am in the same position as you - relevant degree, lots of professional experience including teaching university students in the subject but I have been turned down for marking for last 3 years because I don't have a PGCE. It's annoying as I don't pay tax (SAHM/disabled) so the hourly rate would be about double if I could do it instead of DH and I have loads more time, but there it is.

I'd bung your application in asap and see what happens - good luck but don't count your chickens.

MedSchoolRat Thu 18-Jan-18 11:28:07

Cheers for replies. I will finish the applic. this weekend.
Sounds like a shame, Madwoman. Hopefully a temporary problem for you.

How do OCR ask for references? I have 2 people lined up to give me references. Does OCR want freestyle paragraphs to recommend me, or do they send out a standard set of questions that they want referees to fill in?

Many thanks.

catslife Thu 18-Jan-18 14:59:48

Depends what they mean by "qualified teachers". I have marked for OCR and work in education in teaching (and other roles) but do not have QTS.
I do however have a PGCE. They do accept alternative teaching qualifications e,g, for adult ed or FE/HE alternatives.
I think they now contact referees via email as a preferred option and its an on-line form they have to fill in.

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