In 2022, NFER will be coordinating the delivery of three separate coding exercises on behalf of the Standards and Testing Agency (STA):
- Key Stage 1 technical pre-test (KS1 TPT) in English reading, English grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS) and mathematics
- Key Stage 2 technical pre-test (KS2 TPT) anchor in English reading, GPS and mathematics
- Key Stage 2 technical pre-test (KS2 TPT) main in English reading and GPS.
What is coding?
Coding is essentially a ‘spectrum’ marking method rather than a ‘just right or wrong’ marking method. Using their subject experience, appointed trial coders apply a coding framework to pupil responses to test questions. Coders award each response a numerical code (typically 0 to 9), chosen from the framework provided. The Standards and Testing Agency (STA) provides NFER with this framework; we then train our coding teams on how to use it.
I haven’t coded before; can I still apply?
For the key stage 1 technical pre-test, previous experience of coding is not an essential requirement, although it is desirable. For the key stage 2 technical pre-test, previous experience of coding is essential.
Please see the selection criteria in the recruitment information document for more details.
What should I do if I am having problems accessing the online questionnaire?
If you have been locked out, or are being advised that you have already completed the questionnaire, please contact our coding team at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can look into re-setting, or re-sending your link for you.
If you are being asked for an access data code, this indicates that you may have mis-keyed or mis- copied the unique survey link provided in the email message. Please try again by right clicking on the link directly then selecting ‘Open Hyperlink’. If this doesn’t work it may be an issue with your internet browser, so we would recommend using the most current version of Google Chrome where possible.
If you have repeated issues, you can enter the short string of characters displayed after the equals sign in your link into the field box that asks for an access code. For example: ‘…=abcd12a1a12AB12xx’
Why do I have to apply again when I coded these trials in previous years?
It is part of the contractual requirement that we must assess the entire register of coders at this current point in time, to give a fair opportunity to all and ensure no changes in circumstance have taken place that might affect coder suitability.
Are there opportunities for a more senior role?
We tend to appoint Lead coders from an experienced pool of those who have worked with us before. However, we encourage applicants to notify us if they would like to be considered for a Deputy Lead role, even in a reserve capacity. In the recruitment survey, you will be asked to indicate if you would like to apply for a supervisory role, so do complete this section if you would like to be considered. Your suitability will then be assessed against the selection criteria specified in the recruitment documentation. Any applicant for supervisory role who is unsuccessful will automatically be considered for a coder role, unless they request not to be through the survey.
Can I apply for multiple coding exercises?
You may certainly apply for multiple subjects, and multiple key stage coding exercises. However, you may only be appointed to multiple trials if the coding dates do not overlap.
I was unsuccessful last year. Should I bother applying again?
Please refer to the selection criteria given in the recruitment information document. We intend to give a fair opportunity to all and understand that changes in circumstances might affect coder suitability. In light of this we would advise you to re-apply if taking part in these trial exercises is something that interests you.
When would I need to be available to work and what are the rates of pay?
All the details you should need regarding your commitment to be available for work and the rates of pay can be found in recruitment information document here.
Will I be required to work over the weekend during the coding periods?
For the key stage 2 technical pre-test (anchor and main) the coding is completed online at home using our onscreen coding system (OSC). You will be expected to complete 2 to 4 hours of coding per day throughout the coding period, which could necessitate working during the weekend. It is also a requirement that you log into the OSC each day, including weekends, to check for messages.
The key stage 1 technical pre-test coding is event-based and will not require coders to work over the weekend.
Which events are residential?
- Pre-coding events for KS1 TPT
- KS1 TPT coding event including training
- Pre-coding events for KS2 TPT main and anchor
- KS2 TPT anchor and main coder training days
Where will the events be held?
Details on the centre-based events can be found in the recruitment information document. The dates have been set and venues are being confirmed. Appropriate measures will be in place at all events to mitigate against any risks related to Covid-19.
Will I be reimbursed for any expenses that I incur?
NFER will make all accommodation arrangements for events. All reasonable travel and subsistence expenses will be reimbursed in line with NFER’s expenses policy. If appointed, further details will be provided at the point of contract.
What does the term ‘anchor’ mean?
Anchor tests enable STA to maintain standards year on year. Anchor tests follow an identical style to the main technical pre-test in terms of assessing and giving gradated responses to items. The anchor items have already been verified and standardised via a live test in the past, so the code responses captured are used as a benchmark for the later main technical pre-test. This establishes what we expect in terms of coder accuracy and is why the anchor event dates are earlier in the year.
Can I forward my invitation email to someone else?
No. All emails sent by NFER are for the recipient of the email personally and individually unique links to the application form are used for our data capturing purposes. Forwarding the information to another person may result in your application being delayed, corrupted, or needing to be repeated.
Can I recommend another coder?
Yes, all recommendations are welcomed. Initial invitations will only been sent to those on the STA’s list of approved markers. Recommendations for anyone not on this list will need to be discussed with the STA and the prospective applicant before the application process can begin. Should anyone wish to express an interest, enquiries should be sent to email@example.com
If I am appointed to code at an event during my term time, will supply teacher cover be paid?
Yes. NFER can arrange supply release cover upon request; this will be paid directly to the school or local authority up to an agreed amount and in lieu of your fee. Coders working with us in this way are then be paid their usual salary by their school or LA employer.
Do I need a DBS check?
All coders will be required to provide a copy of a basic (or higher) DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) certificate. If you don’t have a basic (or higher) DBS certificate please let us know through the application form. This will not affect your application, however should you be offered a position you will be contacted by our team who will arrange for a check to be carried out.
If you have any queries about the DBS requirement please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I find out what my Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) number / Teacher Reference Number (TRN) is?
TRN and QTS number are the same number and consists of 7 digits. TRN and QTS have also been known previously as GTC, DfE, DfES or DCSF. Older versions will also include ‘RP/’ as well as the 7 digit number.
To find out your TRN, please visit the link below and follow the instructions: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/individual-teacher-records-information-for-teachers.
Should you have any other queries, please contact the coding team at email@example.com and we will respond as swiftly as possible.