Education Consultant – Item Writing

  • Key stage 1 National Curriculum (English reading; English grammar, punctuation and spelling; Mathematics and Science)
  • Key stage 2 National Curriculum (English reading; English grammar, punctuation and spelling; Mathematics and Science)
  • Professional Skills Tests for Prospective Teachers (Literacy and Numeracy)

We are looking for innovative individuals with experience as an Education Consultant. The Education Consultant will guide and co-ordinate a team of Item Writers/Reviewers in one of the above subject areas.

The Education Consultant role is multi-faceted and they will be required to:

  • Ensure their designated team of Item Writer/Reviewers are all clear on their objectives. 
  • Supervise work, monitor standards, and report on the work and performance of the Item Writers/Reviewers to the SQA team.
  • Take appropriate steps to ensure standards, accuracy and consistency within their Subject Area are maintained and comply with Standards Testing Agency (STA) requirements.
  • Be available to advise, mentor and assist Item Writer/Reviewers
  • Recommend scaling of marking where necessary, and other associated expert advice.
  • Assist, if required, to provide training for Item Writers/Reviewers
  • Ensure all duties and tasks, for their designated team of Item Writer/Reviewers, are delivered in accordance with our conditions, timeframes and arrangements. 

Their primary role is to support and work with the Item Writer/Reviewers to develop: 

  • questions, items or tasks
  • marking instructions
  • commentaries, texts and rationales, where appropriate

which conforms to the Standards Testing Agency’s (STA) requirements.

They will develop Item Writer specifications and contexts as required. They also may be required to work with SQA teams to ensure consistent application of the contract requirements and to ensure the subject specific integrity of their teams’ decision-making in relation to content.
These activities will be under the direction of staff from SQA’s Contract Operations Team. There may be a requirement to undertake duties during weekends and holiday periods.

 Outline of duties

  • Direct and undertake the development of Item Specifications for their subject area in accordance with agreed guidelines.
  • Manage and co-ordinate the production of contexts for the specified subject, in accordance with agreed guidelines.
  • Direct, support and undertake the production and quality assurance of Items for their subject area in accordance with agreed policy and specification.
  • Attend Item Review meetings and support Writers / Reviewers during this process.
  • Quality assure the development of items by monitoring the work of Item Writers/ Reviewers against STA standards
  • Monitor the performance of their team against Key Performance Measures.
  • Prepare reports in accordance with SQA specifications.
  • Lead all activities to ensure they are concluded within agreed time frames and that resources are used effectively and efficiently to achieve best value.
  • Make recommendations, where appropriate, to SQA for improvements to systems, processes and procedures etc. 

Selection criteria

Successful candidates must:

  • have expertise in one  or more of the following areas:
    • Key stage 1 National Curriculum (English reading; English grammar, punctuation and spelling; Mathematics and Science).
    • Key stage 2 National Curriculum (English reading; English grammar, punctuation and spelling; Mathematics and Science).
  • Be able to demonstrate excellence in the development and review of items that meet the national standard.
  • Be able to communicate and engage professionally, confidently and effectively with other appointees and SQA staff both orally and in writing.
  • Be able to work professionally and co-operatively with appointees and SQA staff.
  • Be able to provide comprehensive feedback on item suitability to team members in a professional manner.
  • Be able to demonstrate good forward planning and time management skills and adhere to deadlines.
  • Have a home computer or laptop with broadband internet connection and a private e-mail address.
  • It would be advantageous if you are working in, or have access to, a school for informal trialling of the materials produced.

Key Performance Measures for Education Consultants

On completion of the duties outlined in the Education Consultant contract specification, the Education Consultant will be measured against the Key Performance Measures and informed of the outcome in relation to their performance. Key Performance Measures will fall into three areas: Item Development, Quality Assurance procedures, and generic measures.

Item Development

  • Develop item specifications and contexts that meet STA / SQA requirement
  • Support SQA to ensure items are reviewed by specified dates
  • Ensure marking schemes, narratives and rationales etc are appropriate for each Item

Quality Assurance procedures

  • Quality assure all materials produced as required – through sampling, review meetings and final sign off
  • Complete all reports providing feedback on the trialling & review of items

View Terms and Conditions