Supporting the Department for Education’s Standards and Testing Agency

We work on behalf of the Department for Education’s Standards and Testing Agency (STA), managing the administration, processing and support for all primary school national curriculum assessment (NCA) tests in England.

These tests are:

Optional Key Stage 1 (KS1) Assessments:

  • English grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS) 
  • English reading
  • Mathematics
  • Statutory phonics screening check

Key Stage 2 (KS2) assessments in:

  • English GPS
  • English reading
  • Mathematics

We manage the end-to-end process for these tests which involves the printing, distribution, and collation of over nine million test papers annually for KS1 and KS2 tests and the Phonics Screening Check as well as administering the marking of four million KS2 test papers annually.

Our enhanced digital solution provides 16,000 schools and 4,000 test markers with a secure access portal, providing a more efficient service which allows them to review the status of the test process, obtain results, and update and download records in one place.

Also, in partnership with our colleagues at the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), we manage the recruitment, training and management of the nationwide network of KS2 markers.

Applying for a marker role

The recruitment window for Test Cycle 2024 has now closed. You will be able to apply for a marker role for the next Test Cycle from 1 December 2024.

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Expression of interest

If you’re making a new application, please complete an expression of interest form.


Review of your application

Your form will be reviewed against requirements for the regular marker or specialist marker role.


We’ll contact you re further steps

If you meet the criteria, you’ll be contacted with further steps required to be assigned to one of the marking roles for the 2024 test cycle.


Offer of employment

After accepting the offer of employment, you’ll need to submit employment details (bank details, proof of right to work in the UK)


Relevant checks take place

Right to work and valid ID checks are completed (a valid passport is required for ID checks) and employment details reviewed.


Welcome to Capita!

The recruitment process is now complete – welcome! You’ll be issued with login details to train for 2024 KS2 tests marking.

Data handling and privacy

Find out more about how we handle your data on this project.

Criteria for the marker roles

All markers will need to be able to work accurately at speed and demonstrate a positive approach to pupils’ work. The two types of entry level markers are regular markers and specialist markers:


Regular markers

Regular markers must be one of the following:

  • 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 

Specialist markers must have qualified teacher status with a minimum of one full academic year’s teaching, preferably at primary school.

Specialist markers are required to use professional judgement and subject-specific knowledge to interpret pupil responses and accurately apply the mark scheme.

Please note: If you are subject to a ban or prohibition order, you will not be offered a contract. All markers must be resident in mainland UK, as KS2 marking cannot be carried out outside the UK, or in the Channel Islands.

Your progression: marker team structure

Each KS2 test subject’s marking hierarchy is distinct, meaning all markers must start at the entry level and work up the hierarchy, progressing one marking role at a time. All markers enter the hierarchy for a given test subject as an entry level regular marker or specialist marker. Other roles are offered to applicable markers based on performance and grading.


Key dates: marker training

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.


May 2024: virtual mark scheme training meeting

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.

May 2024: practice scripts

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.

May to June: test scripts

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.

NB: markers need to be available for all training dates and during the live marking window.

Typical roles

Regular Marker (RM)

Open to current markers and those expressing an interest in marking.

Specialist Marker (SM)

Open to current markers, senior markers, and those expressing an interest in marking who meet the criteria.

Assistant Marking Programme Leader Material Development (AMPL_MD)

All positions filled for 2024.

Marking Programme Leader (MPL)

All positions filled for 2024.

Senior Marker (SSM, RSM)

Only open to current senior markers from the last test cycle.

Assistant Marking Programme Leader (AMPL)

Only open to current AMPLs.

Deputy Marking Programme Leader (DMPL)

All positions filled for 2024.

Get in touch

Interested in applying for a marker role?

If you meet the criteria above please complete an expression of interest form and we can review your application. If you have any questions, please contact the marker helpline on 0300 303 1114, Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.00pm or email

Provide feedback

If you’d like to provide feedback or make a complaint please email and we will aim to respond within 15 working days.


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