Key stage 2 English and mathematics tests: how to become a marker
Guidance about how to become a marker for the key stage 2 (KS2) English and mathematics tests.
Criteria for becoming a marker
Markers for the 2023 national curriculum tests are recruited by Capita, the Standards and Testing Agency’s external supplier. Capita manages the relationship with markers. Capita is working with the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), which is leading on delivering KS2 marking.
Each KS2 test subject’s marking hierarchy is distinct, meaning that all markers must start at the entry level and work up through the hierarchy. All markers enter the marking hierarchy for a given test subject by one of two entry level marker roles. Other roles in the marking hierarchy are offered to applicable markers by Capita, based on marker performance and grading. Markers can only progress through the hierarchy one marking role at a time.
The two types of entry level markers are ‘regular markers’ and ‘specialist markers’
Regular markers must either be:
- an undergraduate, undertaking the final year of a recognised course in primary school teaching
- a graduate, undertaking a recognised postgraduate course in primary school teaching or a postgraduate teacher training programme in secondary school teaching, specialising in the subject or curricular area they are contracted to mark
- a primary school teacher
- a secondary school teacher, specialising in the subject or curricular area they are contracted to mark
- a marker who meets the criteria for a specialist marker but has not obtained a position as a specialist marker due to oversubscription
Regular markers are required to use professional judgement and subject specific knowledge to accurately apply the mark scheme.
Specialist markers must have qualified teacher status with a minimum of one full academic year’s teaching, preferably at primary school. They are required to use professional judgement and subject specific knowledge to interpret pupil responses and accurately apply the mark scheme.
All markers will need to be able to work accurately at speed and demonstrate a positive approach to pupils’ work.
Apply to be a marker
Recruitment for the 2023 KS2 tests has now closed. This page will be updated in October 2023 with the recruitment process for 2024.
Approved applicants will receive full training on the marking process and how to apply the mark scheme accurately. This will include mandatory online e-learning, virtual mark scheme training, and ongoing support from a marking supervisor.
The virtual mark scheme training meeting for regular and specialist markers will take place in May, shortly after pupils take the tests. This training meeting will ensure approved applicants understand the mark scheme and all marking procedures. It will also introduce them to the support network available throughout the process.
After the virtual training meeting, approved applicants will demonstrate their ability to mark accurately and consistently by marking a set of practice scripts, as an extension to training. They must also successfully mark qualification scripts to demonstrate that they can accurately apply the mark scheme before being approved to mark pupil responses.
Marking the tests
If successful at marking qualification scripts, approved applicants will start marking test scripts in May through to June. They will usually complete their marking within 3 weeks. Marking accuracy will be assessed throughout the marking period to ensure that all markers are marking to the agreed standard.
Last updated 3 May 2023 + show all updates
Edited 'Apply to be a marker' section to reflect the close of recruitment for the 2023 KS2 tests.
Updated the criteria and application information for becoming a marker. Removed science.
Edited 'Apply to be a marker' section to reflect the close of recruitment for the 2022 KS2 tests.
Updates to how to become a marker.
Updated for the 2021 marker recruitment activity.
Science sampling test section amended to reflect email to coders (markers) to apply to code the 2020 science sampling tests.
Updated for the 2019/2020 test cycle.
Updated for the 2018 to 2019 test cycle.
Changed to reflect the completion of marker recruitment for the 2018 tests.
Changed to reflect the completion or marker recruitment for the 2018 science sampling tests.
Updated for the 2017 to 2018 test cycle.
Dates amended to reflect current marker recruitment opportunities.
The reference to assessing the accuracy of marking (penultimate paragraph) has been amended from '...two more times during the marking period...' to '...throughout the marking period...'.