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Examinations Invigilator

(7 Posts)
SoWhyNotMe Mon 10-Mar-14 22:39:17

I have NC.

I have been a SAHM for 7 years. Prior to that I worked in the City, something that I wouldn't want to do now (not that I could anyway). A job for an Examinations Invigilator has come up at the local secondary school. I really really want to get it although I am well aware that they will receive hundreds of applications. What could I say in my covering letter that might at least secure me an interview?

I would appreciate any tips whatsoever as this is an unknown sector for me. Thank you.

SoWhyNotMe Tue 11-Mar-14 06:43:16

Hi morning everyone. I hope somebody has some advice for me! smile

LindaMcCartneySausage Tue 11-Mar-14 15:44:56

Not much advice, but didn't want your post to go unanswered.

My mum does a lot of exam invigilating - she's an ex teacher and goes back to her old school for six weeks a year to invigilate during exam season. This will be her 4th year. It's pretty poorly paid (and quite dull) but it tops up her pension and she enjoys the staff room gossip and catching up with former colleagues during breaks. Loads of her retired colleagues do it and in her area (Scotland) it's actually over subscribed.

An interest in or experience of education helps as well as excellent admin skills (counting papers out and in) must help. A lot of what DM does involves invigilating side rooms with one student with extra help for disabilities or babysitting candidates with clashes of papers.

Prob not much help, but hope you get the job. I've just got back to the City after 3 years out (full time - eek)

mice Tue 11-Mar-14 15:58:12

I am an invigilator and do it in a couple of different schools. The work is fairly infrequent, the main summer exam period and then some schools use external invigilators for mocks and internal exams and others don't. You will also often find that you may just be asked to cover one exam in a day (exams vary from 30mins to 3hrs with most being 1.5-2hrs) The work is pretty dull. You can't do anything whilst invigilating, other than stand and watch what is going on (so no reading, doing crosswords etc). The schools I work in are very easy as the students are very well behaved but I am aware that it is more challenging in some schools where discipline can be an issue.
The skills you need are patience, good organisation, being able to follow and understand rules and stick to them, integrity, not gossiping outside the school about anything you see, knowing that exam papers are private between the student and examiner etc, the ability to stay awake on a warm sunny afternoon when you have to stay silent for a few hours, you need quiet shoes too!
On a personal level, to make time go quicker, you need the ability to do surveys in your head (how many girls have long hair, how many students are left handed, are more politics students than physics students left handed, etc etc)
The pay isn't great - around £7.50 an hour and it isn't usual that you would work whole days at a time. Most schools have a large pool of invigilators to choose from. As you get more experienced it can be more interesting, I do quite a lot of one to one exams, scribing, home/hospital invigilating etc but these require timeflexibilty as a lot of these students will get between 15-100% extra time.
Good luck with the application, being friendly and enthusiastic is one of the main things you need!

TomJoad Wed 12-Mar-14 09:31:37

Posted on Employmetn Issues then saw this thread, ooops!
Is there a qualification that you need/ would help? I guess it would help to be a teacher but I'm not - I applied for one job and they said I wasn't qualified but didnt' say what qualification you need.
I saw Hays Recruitment seem to have a lot of invigilating jobs and wondered if it's worth taking my cv there - any advice on that?

IDugUpADiamond Wed 12-Mar-14 11:56:26

Hi I am also interested in this and have been doing some research. You do not need any qualifications at all, in fact, I believe that schools need more invigilators now than ever because teachers are no longer allowed to be invigilators.

Best thing to do is to contact secondary schools in your area, perhaps also universities; they pay more!!

trolleycoin Wed 12-Mar-14 14:16:06

Hi. Having worked in a school, I know how schools like to have a good number of invigilators on their books.

Both my DS and DM did exam invigilation at a high school when made redundant. DM's background was receptionist, admin and finance office - so lots of transferrable skills in dealing with people, paperwork, attention to detail, etc. Plus she had 2 grown up kids and three grandchildren, so lots of experience in working with young people and an understanding of the exam systems. She had also recently completed a first aid certificate. She used to get a lot of work on the one-to-one invigilation or as a scribe because the students (most with SN or special circumstances) said they liked her because she was professional but didn't scare the sh1t out of them when they were nervous about the exam (she was actually told this!).

DS was an IT Consultant, but had previously worked in schools and had good skills in establishing discipline. He even came in useful when the projector in the hall wouldn't work!

They both enjoyed it and only left when they had secured other work.

In terms of covering letter, bring out skills and experience in being both a professional from your job in the city - responsibility, accuracy, attention to detail, dealing with numbers etc with that of being a parent - patience, time management, managing resources, establishing routine and respect. Even mention how you remember sitting exams and that you understand that an efficient and well run exam invigilation system can help the students to get settled more quickly and help to remove some of the exam anxiety and give each child the best opportunity for success.

Good luck.

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