EEF Trial

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Two teachers per school (the English subject lead and one other English teacher) will be trained in the approach over three training sessions. In between training sessions, these teachers will be expected to cascade the learning to the other English teachers within their schools.

EEF Funded

The EEF review of marking (2016) suggests that specific, actionable, skills-based feedback is more useful for students and also that grading has a long-term negative impact on some pupils. For example, a study conducted by King’s College, London found that pupils were less likely to act on feedback if grades were awarded alongside comments. As a result of the marking review, EEF committed to spending £2 million to build the evidence base around teachers’ marking. This is the second grant awarded with that funding, with the other project being Digital Feedback in Primary Maths.  Meols Cop High School has already piloted the approach with subject leaders of English from local secondary schools; this showed that the approach was feasible and could be transferred to other schools.

Click here to read the full project summary and evaluation protocol.


The intervention will be evaluated by a team from Durham University as an efficacy trial. Efficacy trials aim to test whether an intervention can work under ideal conditions (e.g. when being delivered by the intervention’s original developer). The evaluation will be a two-armed RCT with 100 schools, 50 implementing FLASH Marking and 50 acting as a business-as-usual control group, who will conduct their marking as they would normally. All English teachers within a department will be trained in the approach, but the evaluation will focus on pupils who start to use the codes in Year 10 and continue to use them for the two years prior to the GCSE English and English Literature exams, which will be the primary outcomes for the evaluation. There will be an in-depth process evaluation alongside the impact evaluation to understand implementation and necessary conditions to success.

When will the evaluation report be due?

The evaluation report will be published in Summer 2021