School bans teachers from marking in attempt to boost children’s confidence

The Telegraph reports that Gary Schlick, the head of Bedminster Down School in Bristol, said that issuing pupils with grades, scores and comments on their work may come across as negative, and does little to encourage children to improve. 

Under the new regime, teachers are encouraged to replace traditional marking with a series of techniques which Mr Schlick believes will boost attainment.

One is “live marking”, whereby a teacher sits a child as they do their work and explains how to improve as they go along. This way, the teacher can “celebrate” the positive aspects of the pupil’s work with them in person.

Another method is “impact marking”, where students are quizzed in the classroom about whether they have understood new concepts.

“Much of the marking that teachers do is unnecessary, burdensome and does not help students progress,” Mr Schlick said. “But sitting down with someone and talking through their work in detail – this way, children feel as though someone giving them more individual time, it boosts their confidence.”

Mr Schlick introduced the no marking policy after research by one of his teachers showed that marking homework makes little or no difference to students’ learning.

The feedback from students was the marking did not help them improve, while teachers felt the hours they spent marking was not having any impact.

Read the full article School bans teachers from marking in attempt to boost children’s confidence

Would you like to see a ban on marking in your school? Would you have time during a lesson for ‘live marking’? Do you think marking has any impact on your pupils learning? Should the class mark each others homework with discussion the following day? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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Categories: Learning, Primary, Secondary and Teaching.


  1. Been thinking for a long time whether the increase in teenage depression could be linked to the ‘always give a target to improve’ culture. I’m not sure that I would have been an,e to cope with always being told that I needed to do better. Sometimes people just need a pat on the back and we have a whole generation of students who have been lead to believe that they are never good enough

  2. wasateacher

    Whereas I agree that much marking is pointless, “live marking” can presumably only be carried out when the class sizes are small. I note that this school is 3/4 full.

    It also does not seem to differentiate according to subject. Marking must always be individual – tailored to the class, the subject and the pupil. However, much marking these days is done simply to show senior managers and Ofsted that marking is done – it is this element which puts the unbearable and useless burden on teachers.

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