It happens every year, between Christmas and the New Year – those daft stories start to appear in the media. I don’t know whether it’s just a quiet media week and this stuff always goes on but just never gets covered, or whether Government press offices try to bury their nonsense in a quiet period.
Today’s little gem is the story that teachers at hundreds of schools have been told by not to mark in red, as it’s felt to be both ‘threatening’ and ‘confrontational’.
Apparently, whilst ticks and crosses in red ink (which has been used since the mid 1800s) and even the occasional “3/10 – See Me” has been perfectly good for decades, today’s students need pink, blue, green or yellow, or even pencil, to provide them with less stress when reading their marked work.
I understand that schools have advised teachers that their marking must not “dominate” a student’s work. How the hell else do you know whether you’ve got the answers right or wrong?
And I’d ask – as doubtless many others will before long – what about pupils with a sight impairment? I’m colour blind, and whilst I might see red as green or grey, I know I’d have difficulty seeing pink or yellow at all.
Why don’t these so-called ‘academics’ stop playing games and worry about teaching our kids something they didn’t know yesterday?