The National Agreement made it clear that invigilating examinations is not a productive use of teachers’ time since it does not require their professional expertise. In September 2005, it introduced the provision that teachers can no longer been routinely required to invigilate external examinations (e.g. National Curriculum tests, GCSE and AS/A2 examinations).
Schools were encouraged to maximise the use of support staff as external examination invigilators, prior to the contractual change.
The Teacher’s Pay and Conditions documents does not however, that teachers may be required to conduct practical and oral examinations in their own subject area and to undertake the preparation of pupils and those aspects of assessment, recording and reporting associated with external examinations which require the professional input of a qualified teacher. It also notes that teachers may also be required to invigilate internal examinations and tests where these take place during their normal timetabled teaching time, except when the school reorganises the timetable for ’mock’ examinations to replicate the external examination process when teachers should not be required to invigilate.
It is a reasonable expectation that, subject to the agreement of the Headteacher, a teacher should be present at the beginning of an external examination in their subject area to check the paper and to ensure that there are no problems with it. It is also advisable for those invigilating the examination to be made aware of the procedure for dealing with emergencies and for contacting a teacher in the subject area under examination should any candidate raise a concern or problem with the paper which requires their professional judgement. It may also be appropriate for a teacher to be present at the end of an external examination to ensure its efficient conclusion.