This policy takes in to account the school/Trust’s accountability expectations and looks at ways in which feedback and marking can effectively contribute to pupil progress and achievement.

Feedback should empower children to take responsibility for improving their work; it should not take away from this responsibility by adults doing the hard thinking for the pupil.

Feedback is a part of the school’s wider assessment processes which aim to provide an appropriate level of challenge to pupils in lessons, allowing them to make good progress.

The school/Trust recognises that verbal feedback can be just as valid as written feedback and the school will not necessarily put greater emphasis on written feedback.

Principles and purpose

The purpose of the policy is to ensure the school/Trust takes meaningful steps in order that marking-related workload burdens are manageable.

Marking and feedback should:

  • Focus solely on furthering children’s learning.
  • Be manageable for teachers and accessible to pupils and relate to the learning intention.
  • Give recognition and praise for achievement.
  • Give clear strategies for improvement which result in better pupil achievement.
  • Allow specific time for pupils to read, reflect and respond to feedback and marking.
  • Any evidence of feedback will be incidental to the process, the school/Trust will not provide additional evidence for external verification.

Aims of the policy

3.1  To provide consistency in marking throughout the school so that pupils have a clear understanding of their teachers’ expectations of them, enabling them to identify strengths and information on how to improve their performance and to support teacher workload.

3.2  To use marking as a tool for formative ongoing assessment, ensure children are effectively challenged and visible progress is evident through a dialogue which supports progression.

3.3   To develop positive attitudes to learning and achievement.

3.4       To inform the teacher of children’s progress and needs for future planning.

4. Roles, responsibilities and procedures

Teachers:

4.1       Teachers should note the school/Trust’s core principle is that the sole focus of feedback should be to further children’s learning.

4.2       Provide written comments as a last resort for the very few children who otherwise are unable to locate their errors, even after guided modelling by the teacher.

4.3       Provide children with feedback either within the lesson itself or in the next appropriate lesson.

4.4       It is not necessary to get involved in detailed marking such as dialogic, deep, triple or quality marking, if this is considered unnecessary in the professional judgement of teachers.

4.5       Teachers should be wary of assuming that children have securely learnt material based on evidence drawn close to the point of teaching it. Therefore, teachers will need to get feedback at some distance from the original teaching input when assessing if learning is now secure.

4.6       Marking and feedback should be consistent with this policy which may cater for different subjects and different age groups of pupils in different ways, in order to be effective and efficient in promoting learning.

Senior Leaders:

4.7       Ensure that marking and feedback is consistent across the school.

4.8       Use the three principles: “all marking should be meaningful, manageable and motivating” as set out by the DfE’s Workload Review Group, when assessing and reviewing the marking policy.

4.9       Make sure all managers understand that a teacher’s marking will not be used to make judgements about their performance or capability.

4.10     In reviewing the policy, if any concerns have been raised about any practices which have led to an increase in workload, then this practice will be discontinued.

4.11     Make sure managers don’t require teachers to evidence oral feedback.

4.12     Senior leadership to review and implement this policy.

OFSTED’s view on marking and feedback

 5.1      Ofsted have made it clear that they do not expect to see any specific frequency, type or volume of marking and feedback. This is clearly stated in the document Ofsted Inspections – Clarification for Schools (September 2015). 

5.2       Ofsted does not expect to see any written record of oral feedback provided to pupils by teachers.

5.3       If it is necessary for inspectors to identify marking as an area for improvement for a school, they will pay careful attention to the way recommendations are written to ensure that these do not drive unnecessary workload for teachers.

DfE’s view on marking and feedback

6.1       The DfE set up a Marking Policy Review Group to consider effective practice on marking which raises standards for pupils without creating unnecessary workload.

6.2       The Review Group found that marking had evolved into an unhelpful burden for teachers when the time it takes is not repaid in positive impact on pupil’s progress.

6.3       The Review Group stressed that marking is best regarded as one element of a wider approach to feedback and assessment. Its report made clear that it is inappropriate to regard marking as more important or more effective than other forms of feedback or to consider it in isolation from other ways in which pupil’s work can be assessed.

Monitoring and review

7.1       This policy will be reviewed annually and in accordance with DfE and Ofsted guidance, good practice guidance and in assessing teacher workloads.

Marking policy checklist

This checklist is provided to help members evaluate their marking policies and any other feedback-related practices in their schools.