How LEO Academy Trust uses Mote to achieve its ambitious Feedback policy objectives


LEO Academy Trust is a multi-academy trust* operating 9 primary (elementary) schools in the South East of England. LEO is marked by its ambitious use of technology, having rolled out 1:1 Chromebooks in 2019, and is widely recognized as a digital leader in the United Kingdom. LEO Academy Trust’s academic results have been very strong in recent years, especially against the backdrop of learning loss seen elsewhere in the United Kingdom. 

The Academy Trust’s leadership believes that its distinctive approach to Education Technology is key to its recent success, and recently commissioned an independent report to identify particular practices that can and should be more widely adopted. 


At LEO, the aim of providing feedback is set out in its Feedback and Response policy as:

“ further children’s learning. It is an integral part of the learning process and time must be given to it. It provides key assessment information to inform planning. The impact of feedback diminishes over time – therefore feedback within a lesson is more effective than comments provided at a later date. Any written marking must be meaningful, manageable and motivating. Feedback should empower pupils to correct/improve their own work. Staff should be free to select the most suitable form of feedback that takes into account: the subject content; age and experience of learners; context of the learning.”

Of the many high quality digital tools and resources that LEO offers to support its Feedback and Response policy, what is the ideal solution for providing feedback on English and writing assignments? 


Independently, and with the support and encouragement of LEO’s Leaders of English, Mote has become the tool of choice for teachers providing students with feedback during their writing process. The following is largely based on the findings of the independent research project** conducted to assess LEO’s use of technology.

Personalised feedback

The report summarized Mote's use within the writing process as follows:

“In observations, teachers were able to use Mote to give personalised feedback to children during the editing stage of their writing process. This is useful as the children do not have to read the feedback they can listen to their teacher’s voice and refer back to this over and over again. This is useful to teachers as they can record quickly as opposed to writing a paragraph of detailed feedback. Technology can save the workload for teachers and still ensure high quality writing.”

Saving time

There is also a practical element to staff providing audio-recorded verbal feedback. As one teacher explained, it took them 1 ½ minutes to record verbal feedback for each child’s work that day -totalling approximately 45 minutes to complete their class set. However, historically it would have taken them at least 2 hours to mark the same volume of work using written feedback. They reflected that,

“So not only is it good for saving time, but actually, it is more worthwhile, because children seem to listen to the feedback and take it on board more when it’s through Mote. They seem to understand it better and incorporate into their work.”

Purposeful and effective

According to one teacher interviewed for the study:

“The feedback I provide through Mote is better actually, because I can explain more and easily give examples. Children say it sounds more friendly than when it’s written down, so I think that helps too”.

Another LEO Academy Trust teacher commented:

“Verbal feedback rather than written feedback is more purposeful. Children appreciate it more and so engage with it better whereas they would previously have been unlikely to read it. 1.5 mins of spoken feedback can convey a lot more information than written feedback as children would lose interest in reading after a while. Also for verbal feedback it can be chunked up - e.g. point 1, point 2 etc. In written feedback children often only respond to one part of it because they forget what they are being asked to work on.”


Mote has proven to be an essential tool for enabling primary school (Elementary and Middle school) teachers at LEO Academy Trust to deliver purposeful, effective and personalised feedback to students, while the efficiency of verbal feedback supports the Trust’s policy framework goals of making feedback timely and manageable for educators.

* Multi-academy trusts are independently-run, public school networks, with some similarities to the not-for-profit Charter school networks in the United States.

** See Press coverage here and the full report here.

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