Workload crisis? We still mark every book, every lesson

Feedback on pupils’ work is one part of school life that is often blamed for overburdening the job of the teacher, but Stevie Devlin says he has hit on a way to simplify it and also make it more effective

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Amid the ongoing effort to reduce workload, few areas of the teacher’s role have become more maligned than the marking of books: no image screams “overworked teacher” as much as the sight of an exhausted educator carrying home piles of books.

But at our school, we still mark every book, every lesson.

I have some sympathy with the zero-marking trend and I’ve seen the successes some schools have had with this approach. In my setting, up until this year, marking a set of books used to take longer than the actual lesson; it became routine for me. Eventually, I noticed that I was always fighting ...

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