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Verbal Feedback Project

The UCL Verbal Feedback Project aims to explore the impact of verbal feedback approaches on outcomes for disadvantaged students in years 7 and 8, particularly in terms of student engagement (including written, non-verbal and verbal responses). The project will contribute to the research base around verbal feedback and also explore the implications for teacher workload.  

The Verbal Feedback Project has been developed in collaboration with the UCL London Centre for Leadership in Learning and Ross McGill (@TeacherToolkit Ltd). The project offers participants advice and guidance to develop their expertise in verbal feedback techniques, and also implement a practitioner research model that will measure project impact.


Outputs from the project will include a toolkit for teachers, featuring practical ideas for approaching verbal feedback in the classroom, and a report that will explore the impact of the project in terms of outcomes for disadvantaged students.  

The Verbal Feedback Project runs from January–July 2019, during this time participating teachers will attend CPD sessions led by Mark Quinn from the UCL London Centre for Leadership in Learning who leads the research and development aspects of the programme, and Ross McGill who leads the professional development elements.

In a climate of high-stakes accountability, this research is timely for teachers across the UK to help strip back the marking burden and challenge the notion that written feedback is the best form of assessment. It could be ground-breaking!

Ross McGill, Founder and Director of Teacher Toolkit Ltd

UCL is delighted to be working with the following schools to trial verbal feedback approaches across a number of subject areas at Key Stage 3:

  • Batley Girls’ High School, West Yorkshire
  • London Nautical School, Lambeth
  • Oakgrove School, Milton Keynes
  • Ranelagh School, Berkshire
  • Reigate School, Surrey
  • Trinity Catholic School, Warwickshire
  •  Westminster City School, London

Teachers participating in the research outline their reasons for joining the project and what they hope to achieve:

School-based research is an incredibly valuable opportunity to collaborate with others who you do not necessarily always work alongside… It is also an opportunity to investigate strategies and share new techniques which have proved successful. It could also drive wider change within a school and shape new ways of teaching.

Natasha Bermejo, Head of Modern Foreign Languages, Ranelagh School

Quite often CPD in the past has not been linked to research… I think that handing CPD over to teachers and asking them what they want to find out about gives them ownership of their profession, and allows them to have greater autonomy; greater autonomy means happier teachers. It’s only a good thing if teachers are given the chance to improve their practice and decrease their workload. 

Sarah Larsen, Geography Teacher, Reigate School

I wanted to be part of cutting edge research. So many things are based around what people think and impact isn’t measured, so one of the main things that I’m passionate about is: why are we doing it; where is the research, and what impact is it having on the student? We are trying to make it better for the students...to increase their life chances.

Meg Rentia, Science Teacher, Batley Girls’ High School

If you would like to learn more about the Verbal Feedback Project, including an opportunity to hear from the teachers involved and the project facilitators, you can join us for a special project event in September 2019. This event will explore the impact of the projects in each school and subject context, and attending teachers will also receive a copy of the toolkit.

Please complete this online form to receive more information.