@TeacherToolkit – Marking is broken

This is the third of five posts featuring Ross Morrison McGill’s mainstage presentation at the SSAT National Conference 2015. Ross is @TeacherToolkit.

So, our approach to marking across the country is broken – not just in my school – but I think it is nationally. I’ve blogged about this before (The Marking Frenzy).

Until policy changes where teachers have less than 90 per cent of their timetable in a classroom, so they get more time to mark and plan, nothing will change. Any suggestions to the contrary, such as from the government, is just more waffle.

To put it into perspective, there are five key stakeholders of marking:

  • parents
  • senior leadership team
  • inspectors
  • teachers
  • the child.

Parents love marking. Senior leadership team members love marking, and school inspectors love it even more. Teachers generally hate it because they don’t have the time or resources to do it properly. And the child is in the middle, not really knowing what’s going on – without feedback, they don’t know how to improve. So marking is broken.

This came out online through blogs by David Didau and Stephen Lockyer – plan, teach, mark was the original model. We all go to university, train to be a teacher, go through these laborious lesson plans… We’re told we have to plan to the lesson, stick to the plan. Then we teach it, and mark our books afterwards.

But, by flipping the model, you can totally change your approach to marking: what we need to do is mark to inform our planning and then plan to allow us to be able to teach. Read Mark-Plan-Teach.

Ross-McGillRoss Morrison McGill is @TeacherToolkit, the ‘most followed teacher on Twitter in the UK’, an award winning deputy headteacher who writes the ‘most influential blog on education in the UK’ and one of the most widely read across the world. Once nominated for ‘500 Most Influential People in the Britain’ by The Sunday Times in 2015 and ranked one of the ‘Top-100 Brands in Education’ worldwide by Onalytica; McGill was nominated for ‘Teaching Award for Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School in London.’ He writes for Schools Week newspaper and for Guardian Education and is also the founder of @SLTchat and co-author of the #5MinPlan.

Download Ross’ PowerPoint presentation.

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Watch more SSAT National Conference 2015 films.

Ross’ school, Quintin Kynaston, is part of the SSAT network. Find out more about membership here.

@TeacherToolkit – Do we need lesson plans?

16 February 2016

@TeacherToolkit – How we cut out the marking frenzy

18 February 2016