British school does away with teacher's red ink on student papers

March 21, 2014 at 1:58 PM

PENZANCE, England, March 21 (UPI) -- Officials at a British school said they are doing away with teacher use of red pens, seen as a "negative color," in favor of a green and purple ink system.

Sara Davey, principal of Mounts Bay Academy in Penzance, England, said teachers are being told to ditch their red pens and will instead be marking and leaving comments on student work with green pens and students will be asked to respond to the teachers' feedback using purple ink, The Cornishman reported Friday.

Jennie Hick, the school's vice principal, said the new system is designed to encourage communication between teachers and students.

"Switching to the new marking system is certainly not about us going all soft and fuzzy. Students make more progress if it is a dialogue and the new system is designed to help that. A teacher will make two or three positive comments about a student's homework and point out perhaps one thing that will take them to the next stage," Hick said. "A lot of us in the past have skimmed over the teacher's comments and just looked for the final overall mark, but asking students to respond with purple pen forces them to read the teacher's comments and helps them to create a real conversation."

"A lot of primary schools are already using a similar system amazingly well and I think it was felt that red ink was a very negative color," she said.

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