"... In practice, this is not a common situation. Gordon Ironside, head of Sutton Grammar
told Families, “I could probably name one or two where I am anxious about how the boy got through the test. But that rarely happens.”He reads
every essay personally and said that some boys will have learned stock phrases to describe a sunset or a flower, for example. When these beautifully-crafted, highly descriptive phrases are used, they stand out from the rest of the writing and so the child does not get the credit that they might otherwise have done from their use of language...."
from http://www.familiesonline.co.uk/LOCATIO ... KQLX7roZBk
I suppose this answers one question of how consistent the marking is. I always wondered if different teachers would give different marks for the same essay.