Ofsted’s Amanda Spielman recently announced some controversial proposals to bring the book scrutiny process online. Talking at the annual ResearchED Conference, she detailed plans for offsite inspectors to access scanned copies of student books outside of school grounds to ensure greater consistency in the judgements of their inspectors.

Concerned this might pressurise already time-pressed teachers into making lengthy comments in their students’ books, some school staff have expressed their reservations on the grounds of workload. This has promoted interesting discussions around issues of marking, workload, teacher time, school marking policies, the value of written feedback and the age-old question: Is all this excessive marking worth our time?

There are many different approaches teachers can consider to support students’ progress in different ways while saving teachers’ time. Feedback can take many forms and a variation in methods increases the chance that students will thoroughly engage with what is being said.

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