Marking mythbuster

Separate fact from fiction around marking and reduce your staff's workload. Learn the truth in relation to Ofsted inspections and understand what effective marking looks like.

Last reviewed on 16 January 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 33951


Myth Fact Ofsted expects to see a certain frequency of marking in books. Ofsted does not expect to see any specific frequency, type or volume of marking and feedback. Ofsted expects teachers to record verbal feedback on pupils’ work. While inspectors will consider how written and oral feedback is used to promote learning, Ofsted doesn't expect to see written records of oral feedback provided to pupils by teachers. Inspectors will look at the quality of marking when carrying out work scrutinies. Paragraph 22 of the School Inspection Handbook states that inspectors won't use work scrutinies to evaluate teachers' marking. They are used to evaluate whether the work pupils do every time reflects the intended curriculum. If inspectors identify marking as an area for improvement, it means teachers’ workload will increase. Ofsted explains that if marking is seen as an area for improvement, it will pay “careful attention” to the way recommendations are made to make sure