No academic staff around on results days!
The EOA has reported a growing number of members complaining about the lack of available academic staff on results days. In addition there have been a increasing number of calls from students and parents who have not been able to access their centres after results days when following up on queries about results.
Have things changed one might ask? There is no doubt that the EOA as an organisation is attracting a lot of attention from both inside and outside the
With all the turmoil over the GCSE results debate there is bound to be increased activity. Traditionally, once exam centres have issued their results, to most they then remain inaccessible until centres reopen for the new term. However, the common practice is that senior academic staff and others, including exams office staff are busy trying to deal with post results issues and preparing for a new term behind closed doors and under the protection of the school or college answer phone service, often stating there will be no one there until term begins.
The question is, are we really serving our student population effectively at this very critical time? Sadly, many would argue that many exam offices remain shut because exams office staff are often not paid to cover this key period. The term time contract which numerous EOA surveys over the years have revealed, condemn many students and parents to a period of stress and concern until staff and their exam centre can be accessed. There are however, many centres which do operate a much more open door policy and do service their local student population very effectively.
On the issue of – are there being fewer academic staff around this year? We will have to wait for all centres to return and report back but one suggestion might be as more and more new exams office staff take on the role, the system in their centre may have become more exposed as more experienced exam office staff are able to deal with many of the complex needs of students on results days and new staff will find themselves more dependent on additional support from academic staff who know their students. This again demonstrates the valuable contribution good exam office staff make to their centre and should not be undervalued.
Last year most of the exam office community registered very few problems on results days but then, there were no major issues like the GCSE English grades re-grading controversy, to provoke reaction from parents, students and other stakeholders. The obvious conclusion to make is, academic staff could never have forcaste what the exam system was going to throw up this summer and therefore were unprepared to meet these additional needs.