Research School Network: Reviewing Our Approach to Feedback and Marking Jo Lane explores how the latest EEF Research led to a review of her whole-school marking and feedback policy


Reviewing Our Approach to Feedback and Marking

Jo Lane explores how the latest EEF Research led to a review of her whole-school marking and feedback policy

by Staffordshire Research School
on the

In June 2021, the EEF published their Teacher Feedback to improve pupil learning’ guidance report. As a school, we decided we would like to explore the report in detail and update our marking and feedback procedure accordingly. I began by reading the report and from this, taking key points to put together a four-part CPD training plan to be delivered in staff meetings to all teachers at Walton. The aim of these sessions was to create a collaborative process in which we examined and trialled the feedback strategies suggested in the guidance report and eventually review our Marking and Feedback policy in line with our findings.

The first session focused on what teacher feedback is and the first recommendation of the Teacher Feedback to improve pupil learning’ guidance report: laying the foundations for effective feedback. It was extremely useful to share the example case studies included in the report to give teachers an awareness and share example scenarios at the beginning of each recommendation. After each session, teachers discussed ways in which they could trial strategies mentioned in the guidance report in their teaching. Gaps between each session were planned in to allow teachers two week focuses in which they would trial targeted feedback strategies. These strategies and their effectiveness were then discussed at the following session.


A take away point from the guidance report was that, there was no evidence to suggest that same day feedback was no more effective than feedback at a later point in time.

The evidence regarding the timing and frequency of effective feedback is inconclusive. On the one hand, immediate feedback may be effective as it could prevent misconceptions from forming early on. However, delayed feedback could also be beneficial as it may force pupils to fully engage with the work before being given an answer. In turn, this may lead to them working hard to retrieve information they’ve already learned, which could help pupils to remember more of the learning’ (EEF’s Teacher Feedback to improve pupil learning’ guidance report, recommendation 2, p.19).

Instead, teachers should focus on the fact that the timing of feedback may need adjusting depending on the task itself.


As part of recommendation 3, Plan for how pupils will receive and use feedback’, verbal conferencing in writing lessons was a strategy of feedback we were particularly interested in. As a group, we decided what we would ideally like verbal conferencing to look like in our lessons. Initially while trialling verbal conferencing, we decided to focus on the following areas:

1. lasts for 5 minutes per child on a 1:1 basis
2. to take place in writing lessons while other children worked independently or were supported by a TA
3. children should use a red pen to indicate changes and improvements they have made during verbal conferencing
4. have a sticky note stuck into their book with what the focus of their conference was with their teacher to help them focus on this when they went back to working independently for the rest of the lesson or unit

We are only part way along our feedback journey and hope to continue to review and build upon the feedback strategies we have trialled on our journey so far. Once we have completed our four sessions, we will look to rewrite our marking and feedback procedure to reflect upon the EEF’s Teacher Feedback to improve pupil learning’ guidance report and what we have learnt from exploring it.

Joanna Lane is Deputy Head of Walton-on-Trent Primary and Nursery School in Derbyshire.

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