How one trust cut its marking workload in half: case study

Matrix Academy Trust banned detailed written marking, leading to a significant improvement in feedback. Read on to find out how the trust did this, and find a sample marking policy and other resources to learn how you can approach this in your school or trust.

Last reviewed on 22 May 2024
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  1. Understand why Matrix moved away from written marking
  2. Read this summary of the trust's approach to marking
  3. Find out more details about the approach
  4. Create an initial on-boarding process and trial period
  5. Build in time for monitoring
  6. Adapt this approach for different subjects
  7. See the positive impact on staff work-life balance
  8. Make this work in your school or trust

Understand why Matrix moved away from written marking

David Lowbridge-Ellis MBE is Director of School Improvement at Matrix Academy Trust, a trust with 7 academies across the West Midlands. When he was deputy headteacher of Barr Beacon School, one of the schools in the trust, he banned detailed written marking as part of a wider campaign to reduce teacher workload and improve pupil outcomes.

He made this decision because:

  • The school's 2014 Ofsted judgement found that marking was not 'consistent' across the school
  • Teachers were trying to make marking look the same in every subject, which was counterproductive
  • One of the teachers represented the school on the DfE marking policy review group and fed back to the school about what 'meaningful feedback' looked like in practice
  • David recognised that many teachers were working too hard to get all their marking done, and he knew that freeing up their time would result in better outcomes for pupils

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