03 Oct Should schools set homework?
Do you agree with homework?
Firstly, as a Teacher and Governor I know how much time and effort staff put into setting and marking homework. Some parents believe they do not get enough whilst others think we should give our children less, especially in primary school.
This debate has been continuous. In 1998 the Government introduced guidelines of one hour per week for children 5-7 years old and half an hour a night for children 7-11. These were scrapped in 2012. The Education Endowment Foundation conducted research in July 2018; which looked at the impact of homework in both primary and secondary schools. Comparing it to the progress of children who were/were not receiving or completing homework in the same time frame. The research concluded that homework in primary schools only improved children’s abilities by two months. Whereas in secondary the improvement was a more impressive five months.
Where does this leave schools?
Schools are now left in a place where they often question how much to give while feeling the pressure from parents on both sides of the argument. Schools often ask teachers to set additional homework which adds to their already heavy workload. As a result, they are then sometimes faced with the wrath of parents who feel that the homework is not of sufficient quality or that it is taking away their child’s free time.
Personally, I think homework gives parents an overview of the work completed in school; allows older children a chance to be independent learning and supports school topics. However, I believe, especially with younger children, that homework does not always help. The opportunity to play games, read for pleasure and learn good communication skills through talking to others can be just as beneficial. Another advantage of no homework is the free time to take part in sports, outside play, cooking or arts; things which are not always given adequate time in school.
As parents where do you stand on this matter? Rob Delaney, a vocal parent, comedian and actor, has sparked a social media campaign with other celebrities voicing their mixed opinions.
Sadly, this is something that I sense we will debated long after I retire as a teacher; I just hope for our children’s sake it is resolved.