Angry and tired schoolgirl studying with a pile of books on her desk

Should schools give out homework?

At the beginning of every school year the debate over homework reignites with some arguing it’s an important part of a child’s education while those opposed state it puts too much pressure on children at a young age. But should schools give out homework?

After the Philip Morant School and College in Essex announced it was ditching all homework they added to the debate. The school’s head teacher said the decision was linked to teachers struggling to find the time to mark and prepare lessons. With the extra time it’s hoped that teacher will now be able plan better lessons that engage and benefit pupils. Other schools have previously scrapped homework in a bid to reduce health problems and stress among pupils and some have opted to extend school hours over homework.

Under a Labour government guidelines suggested that children aged between 5 and 7 were given an hour of homework a week, with the amount gradually rising to 2.5 hours a week for those in year 11. However, these guidelines were scrapped in 2012 to give head teachers greater discretion.

The argument for homework

Giving homework to both primary and secondary school pupils does have some benefits, including:

  • Encouraging responsibility – Being responsible for their own homework encourages children to be more independent and take charge of their own education.
  • Improve parent involvement – Homework can act as a bridge between a child’s home education and school education, it allows parent to support their child, see what they are being taught and see their progress.
  • Preparation for tests – Homework can help children that are preparing to take tests or exams as it’s something they’ll often work independently on, building their problem solving skills.
  • Reinforce classes – Going over what’s been taught in the classroom with homework can help reinforce what a child has learnt and make sure they are better able to recall the information.

The argument against homework

However, there’s many arguments against giving out homework to children too, including:

  • Adding pressure – A lot of homework can add pressure to children, particularly if they struggle with it or can’t access help at home, resulting in some children feeling stressed.
  • Overworking children – Adults can feel overworked if they work all day and bring tasks home with them and it’s not different for children the bring home their school work.
  • Cuts into social activities – Having a lot of homework means children can miss out on other social activities, whether that’s spending quality time with family or taking part in a sport, that are important for their development too.
  • Takes up teachers’ time – Planning and marking homework takes away a teacher’s valuable time and this can have an impact on the quality of lessons.

Do you think children at primary and secondary school should get homework or should it be banned across the country? Let us know your thoughts.


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