School bans marking in red ink – but encourages purple and green

The school say that red is a 'negative colour'.

A UK school has banned teachers from marking work in red pen because the colour is seen as ‘very negative’.


Teachers at Mounts Bay Academy near Penzance, Cornwall, have reportedly been told to use green pens to mark work instead.

Meanwhile, students are being asked to comment on marking using purple pens.

According to The Cornishman, the new system is designed to promote dialogue between teachers and students.

Vice Principal Jennie Hick said: “Switching to the new marking system is certainly not about us going all soft and fuzzy.”

She said that the system will see teachers make ‘two or three positive comments’ about homework. 

It is hoped this will encourage pupils to not just look for their overall marks, but get them to respond with comments of their own.

Ms Hick said: “I think it was felt that red ink was a very negative colour.”

Campaign for Real Education chairman Chris McGovern disagrees though, and says that, in fact, students prefer red ink because it makes comments easier to read.

He said: “A lot of schools seem to have a culture where they don’t like criticising children but actually this helps them.” 

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