Assessments: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 15th July 2020.

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Photo of Ben Lake Ben Lake Plaid Cymru, Ceredigion

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what financial support he plans to allocate to (a) exam invigilators and (b) moderators appointed by examination boards who have been unable to work during the covid-19 outbreak; and what discussions he has had with representatives from the Welsh Government on that support.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Invigilators are mostly employed directly by school and other exam centres, while moderators are employed by exam boards.

The Department’s guidance states that where schools or local authorities had expected to use their public funding to engage workers, and had budgeted for this, but work is no longer needed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we encourage them to follow the approach for casual workers set out in paragraph 20 of the Procurement Policy Note 02/20 and 4/20 on contingent workers. This will ensure that directly hired casual workers have access to the same levels of support as casual agency workers on live assignment during the COVID-19 outbreak. The guidance sets out that in certain circumstances, public bodies can make payments of up to 80% of previously agreed rates to contingent workers. Whilst we encourage schools to follow this guidance, including for invigilators where appropriate, it is advisory and does not mandate or prescribe what schools should do in individual circumstances.

The exam boards that employ moderators are independent organisations. As such, they are responsible for deciding on payment arrangements and discussing with HMRC as appropriate. The situation is complex given the status of different examiners, but we know that the boards are providing information and updates to those involved.

Given that invigilators and moderators are employed by either exam centers or exam boards and covered by general Government guidance as set out above, we have not discussed this specific issue with the Welsh Government.

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