Effective marking: research and guidance

Effective marking can benefit your pupils and reduce staff workload. Read on for research from the DfE and EEF, and guidance from 1 of our experts on how to get it right.

Last reviewed on 28 March 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 4508
  1. Research
  2. Expert guidance


Reduce teacher workload

Base your approach to marking and feedback on professional judgement.

Make marking:

  • Meaningful: it should vary by age group, subject and what works best for the pupil and teacher
  • Manageable: marking practice should be proportionate. Bear in mind the impact on teacher workload, and think about how often and how deeply teachers mark
  • Motivating: marking should help to motivate pupils to progress. This doesn’t mean writing in-depth comments or being universally positive

There’s little 'robust evidence' to support the use of extensive written comments when marking.

Remember that feedback can take many forms, including spoken or written marking, peer marking and self-assessment.

Read more in The Independent Teacher Workload Review Group’s report on eliminating unnecessary workload around marking.

Be strategic with marking

Mark careless mistakes differently to errors caused by misunderstanding Avoid giving grades for every piece of work, as pupils can end up focusing on