Show Senior Management the evidence
In the letter to inspectors he says that he remains concerned about the reporting of marking, and that the “marking myths” are proving difficult to “bust”.
He says, “As I have said before, marking has proved to be one of the harder myths to bust. In part, this has been because we have continued to report on it extensively at some inspections, especially with reference to areas for improvement in previous inspection reports from some time ago. I remain concerned that we continue to see some inspection reporting which gives the impression that more detailed or more elaborate marking is required, or indeed that it is effective in promoting pupils’ achievement.”.
He then goes on to say, “there is remarkably little high quality, relevant research evidence to suggest that detailed or extensive marking has any significant impact on pupils’ learning.”
Should the opportunity arise, please draw senior management attention to Mark Harford’s comments.
The North Bedfordshire Association of the NASUWT will support any members who encounter difficulties with the marking policies implemented in Bedford schools, particularly if they result in increased workload or challenge the professional judgement of our members.
The three principles are
- Meaningful: marking varies by age group, subject, and what works best for the pupil and teacher in relation to any particular piece of work. Teachers are encouraged to adjust their approach as necessary and trusted to incorporate the outcomes into subsequent planning and teaching.
- Manageable: marking practice is proportionate and considers the frequency and complexity of written feedback, as well as the cost and time-effectiveness of marking in relation to the overall workload of teachers. This is written into any assessment policy.
- Motivating: Marking should help to motivate pupils to progress. This does not mean always writing in-depth comments or being universally positive: sometimes short, challenging comments or oral feedback are more effective. If the teacher is doing more work than their pupils, this can become a disincentive for pupils to accept challenges and take responsibility for improving their work.
- Seek to develop a range of assessment techniques to support their pedagogy.
- Actively review current practice to ensure marking adheres to the three principles in this report.
You have the information to challenge your school Marking Policy, where workload is an issue and the policy rationale is not based on sound educational advice or evidence.
You have your own professional judgement.
You have your union, The NASUWT, ready to support you.
What more do you need?