Send children’s homework abroad to be marked, says academic

The Independent is reporting suggestions from an academic that schools should consider sending their pupils’ work abroad to be marked to cut down on teachers’ workload…

Dr Rebecca Allen, director of Education Datalab and a reader in economics at University College London Institute of Education, said outsourcing marking could cost as little as £2 an hour and was “incredibly reliable”.

Countries offering school marking services include India, she added.

Dr Allen, speaking at an Education Media Centre briefing, said radical solutions needed to be considered to reduce teachers’ workload – which has been blamed for the fact that four out of 10 newly qualified are not in the profession a year after qualifying.

She said the “endless policy changes (in education) just need to stop” but that schools needed to look beyond just cutting down on paperwork to reduce teachers’ workload…


Well, that’s certainly thinking out of the box, but what do you say? Could this be a viable solution to the workload crisis? 

Please let us know why/why not in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Teaching.


  1. natedtrust_marc

    SchoolsImprove it might be incredibly reliable but it would be incredibly damaging for disadvantaged and vulnerable learners.

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove At secondary this will make little/no difference also misses the point of marking itself: to find out what needs more time

  3. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Not sure I’m entirely comfortable with suggesting that marking be outsourced to countries that have very low wages either

  4. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove To be fair to Dr Allen she’s trying to suggest stuff that’s helpful, but this is not really a solution in reality

  5. OwenFields1

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove It’s a ridiculous solution to the problem. Schools shouldn’t abuse the low wages of the world’s poor.

  6. acet2001

    SchoolsImprove so will my Y11s get the results of their latest practice paper tomorrow as they will if I mark them?

  7. TW

    Academics in Britain are incredibly expensive.  It would be better to outsource academic research to other countries such as India where high quality work may be obtained on an extremely cost-effective basis.

    The resulting savings could be used to employ more teachers doing a useful job in schools.

  8. TrishHicken

    SchoolsImprove would also be somewhat anonymous. As teachers we know our students, and how to encourage, motivate and get best from them..

  9. cathy_farr

    SchoolsImprove Our well, that’ll certainly Help build the relationship between teacher and their pupils – NOT!! #madness

  10. JeremyHodgen

    SchoolsImprove drbeckyallen But marking should be about feedback for the teacher doing it as much as feedback for the students.

  11. Another example of the academics being out of touch with the classroom.
    In most professions, research is carried out by experienced practitioners.  No-one would expect an engineer with no experience of bridge-building to give advice to the bridge-building engineers.
    In teaching, the people with the real insight, who should be involved with the research, are stuck in the classroom and get advice from ‘experts’ who often have little, or no recent/relevant experience.

  12. Nor_edu

    SchoolsImprove tbf, Becky is responding to workload more innovatively than the DfE, BUT imo teachers need to see and learn from pupil work

  13. DrDD

    Tried this in 2004 sending scripts to Singapore. Eight week delay to feedback, many mistakes with the marking and surprisingly made no difference to workload.
    The whole purpose of homework is quick feedback and informing next step planning!
    I appreciate people are trying but again I have to agree with the academic versus practitioner argument.

  14. Marking isn’t just checking for SPAG – it’s important part of feedback.  If the teacher isn’t going to read pupils’ work then pupil might think it has no value.

  15. saltburnlass

    SchoolsImprove surely teachers must see own pupils’ work to know what worked and what didn’t in their lessons.

  16. JaneCo94

    SchoolsImprove Marking allows interaction on a personal level that is ongoing between student & teacher. Forms basis of discussion etc

Let us know what you think...