Marking Policy

Education Alliance Feedback Policy

Educational research is unequivocal about the importance of high quality feedback.  It allows students to understand what is going well and what they need to do to improve their knowledge and understanding.

Schools within The Education Alliance use a wide variety of techniques to provide effective and timely feedback based on available research and through an ongoing program of continued professional development. Written feedback is an important element of this and allows students to respond and develop their work at appropriate times throughout the year.

Over time, unhelpful practices have evolved so that some of what a teacher does is not having the impact intended. The 2016 report of the Independent Teacher Workload Review Group noted that written marking had become unnecessarily burdensome for teachers and recommended that all marking should be driven by professional judgement and be “meaningful, manageable and motivating”. Recruitment and retention in schools is becoming increasingly challenging with recent national surveys citing burdensome marking policies as the main reason teachers leave the profession.

We have refined our approach based on the following three key principles:

  • Improving students’ performance
  • Based on evidence of what works
  • Manageable and reasonable in terms of workload so that we continue to recruit and retain the best teachers in our schools for our students

The following features have been agreed by subject specialists across the organisation:

  • We may mark less in terms of number of pieces of work but with greater impact
  • There will be no acknowledgement marking
  • Written feedback will nearly always be followed with student response time that encourages deeper responses but avoids practices such as triple marking
  • Key pieces of work will be identified for detailed feedback within the curriculum
  • Each subject will agree their approach developed by subject experts
  • Frequency of written feedback will depend on many factors, such as the subject and unit of work being studied, the year group receiving feedback and if formal assessments such as mocks and unit tests are taking place. On average, students should receive written feedback no less than approximately every 10 lessons.

Feedback takes many forms, some of which are outlined below:

  • Formal written feedback outlining what has been done well, how to improve or thought provoking comments
  • Marked assessments, tests and past papers
  • Feedback lessons where key topics are re-taught to rectify misconceptions
  • Self and peer assessment
  • Verbal feedback to work completed in lessons
  • Individual discussions between student and teacher
  • Electronic feedback to online tasks

In subjects where there is extended writing, the following codes are used when marking for literacy:


   Spelling error


   Capital letter error


   Missing full stop


   Incorrect or missing punctuation


   Missing word/phrase


   Sentence structure error (i.e. fragmented sentence)


   Error in tense


   New paragraph needed


   Sentence/word doesn’t make sense


   Slang used: needs to be changed into Standard English


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