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External moderation of teacher education


As with all providers of Initial Teacher Training universities in the England, the University of St Mark & St John is responsible for the quality of the training it provides and for the quality assurance and outcomes of that training. The role of the external moderator is to an external perspective on the attainment of other providers’ trainees being assessed for the award of EYTS / QTS, which should help to verify the accuracy of the assessments made by the provider. External moderators also assist the University by advising on good practice in teaching, learning and assessment.

The external moderators handbook, which is updated annually, sets out the policies and procedures relating to the appointment, roles, duties, rights and responsibilities of external moderators. It also aligns throughout with Secondary ITT, Primary ITT and  EYITT compliance criteria.


External examiner and moderator appointments are made on the recommendation of the University's Teaching, Learning and Academic Quality Committee on the authority of Senate. External moderators are normally appointed for four academic sessions and a roster of appointments is made available to staff and students. However there may be changes to these based on annual allocations of ITT places through provider led and school direct provision.

Induction and mentoring

New external moderators are invited to an annual induction event, which takes place during their first session of appointment. A mentor is also assigned to external moderators who have no previous experience of externally moderating.

Home office checks

In line with Home Office regulations, the University is obliged to verify the identity of all newly-appointed external moderators, and their right to work in the UK, before arrangements can be put into place to pay them for their external moderator duties. This is normally done at the annual induction event.


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Rights and responsibilities

External moderators are responsible for a defined list of modules through which QTS / EYTS are awarded which may, or may not, correspond with specific programmes, they are no responsible for academic work linked to any  modules but may look at academic work if it relates to evidence against the teacher/EY standards. External moderators will normally visit the University Teacher Education Partnership (MARJON TEP) during the final term of training on their designated training route into teaching (this varies according the route into teaching). The responsibilities of external moderators will include:

  • detailed scrutiny of a sample of trainees across the provision.
  • observation of the teaching of a trainees in a designated sample.
  • discussion with mentors and/or quality assurance tutors of all the evidence available of the judgements made on the trainee outcomes and quality of training
  • scrutiny of quality assurance  arrangements, drawing on the some of the evidence gained from activities above, and
  • producing a report that includes an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the provision observed, clearly linked to the standards for QTS/EYTS and ITT criteria, and including an evaluation of the accuracy of the assessments of trainees’ attainment against the standards for QTS/EYTS.


External moderators normally report annually, by way of a standard report form which is sent to them ahead of their visit. They are expected to report within four weeks of their visit, so that their findings can be discussed at the end of the period of training. Responses to reports are prepared by the Programme Leader and returned to External Moderators prior to the following visit. The findings of External Moderators also contribute to the annual monitoring process.