Why you can’t blame Ofsted for excessive marking

The TES is reporting that Alex Quigley, the director of learning and research at Huntingdon School in York, says teachers would be only partly right if they blame Ofsted for excessive marking demands…

…he explains that Ofsted has sought to better capture “progress over time” by flicking through books to check on feedback.

“As a result of this shift, feedback has suddenly taken on a newfound importance, particularly in schools where an Ofsted visit is viewed as the sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of teachers,” he writes.

However, he points out that Ofsted has issued a clarification, emphasising to schools that it does not expect “unnecessary or extensive written dialogue between teachers and pupils in exercise books and folders”…

“Fearful schools often misinterpret what Ofsted is looking for,” he writes. “Anxious school leaders seeking to ensure ‘consistency’ of written feedback – with all the complexity that such a euphemistic term implies – drive teachers into the mire of workload overload…

So what’s the answer? Quigley says Ofsted needs to work harder to communicate the true meaning of its policy, but he argues that school leaders have to take responsibility for being receptive to this message and ending the ludicrous marking demands on teachers…

More at: Why you can’t blame Ofsted for excessive marking


Your thoughts on these observations from Alex Quigley? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

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Categories: Teaching.


  1. TW

    Or, fearful schools understand exactly Ofsted behaviour, sometimes leading to anxious Ofsted leaders changing things when they realise they have been found out.

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Absolutely correct – excessive anything in teaching due to nervous SLT trying to cover backsides from Ofsted criticism

  3. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove The problem is that Ofsted’s threat breeds this in SLTs which is inherently unhealthy for all involved

  4. temcterrier1977

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove exactly Andy. Many slt are like docile robots seizing on every word the master ofsted wimpers.

  5. andylutwyche

    temcterrier1977 SchoolsImprove Afraid of forging their own path they attempt to forge a path that they assume will please Ofsted

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