Should Schools Ditch Homework?

Should Schools Ditch Homework?
28 September 2016

I hate homework. There; I said it.

Few things cause quite as much disruption and upset in my house as homework. And I'm not convinced it has any real value beyond tormenting parents, anyway.

Now don't get me wrong. I *used* to be the kind of parent who clutched her pearls in dismay when other mums moaned about the horrors of homework and declared that all schools should ditch it. But a few years of spending h-o-u-r-s cajoling my kids into finishing their homework, and I'm totally over it.

Just this evening one of my precious offspring has been 'doing his homework' for the best part of three hours. How much learning can really have taken place during that time? He's been at school all day, he's had little to no chance to do anything physical or fun between the end of school and the start of homework, and now it's not far off bedtime.

Dinner was a brief pause in between homework topics instead of the family together time it ought to be. Factor in the stress caused to the whole household as I repeatedly bark reminders to knuckle down and keep at it until homework is finished, and you'll see why I wouldn't mind if my child's school decided to ditch homework altogether. In fact, I'd throw a party.

And now a school in Essex has decided to do just that.

The Daily Mail reports that the principal of a school in Essex has "claimed that scrapping after-school work" will enable teaching staff to "use the time to plan better lessons".

She said: 'The job of a teacher is impossible. There are not enough hours in the day for a teacher to teach, set homework, mark homework, and plan their lessons. It is a move away from a more traditional approach but we would not do anything which would hinder the progress of our children."

Hoo-flipping-ray. I only wish more schools would follow suit.

That said, I'm a little worried that saving time for teachers is the basis of this latest ban on homework. I think I'd feel happier about it if I could be sure my child's school was motivated by what's in the best interests of its kids rather than what makes life easier for its teachers. Yes, I get that kids benefit in the long run from having less stressed teachers, but this still strikes me as an odd way of going about things.

But what's your view? Is homework a bugbear in your house? And how would you feel if your child's school decided to ditch homework altogether? Leave us a comment below or join the debate over on our Facebook page.

And don't forget place your vote in our homework poll...

TOPICS:   Parents


  • Sadie L.

    Works in Finland!

  • Louise B.

    Yes, kids do enough work at school, my kids are there for 7hours a day, we also have to read, so spellings and times tables, i have 5 kids, we sometimes dont get time to do homework as well, home time should be family time, not worrying if you have to help with homework as well

  • Lindsay G.

    I personally don't agree with kids having to do homework so I'm all for it being scrapped!

  • Emma G.

    Schools should ditch homework so kids can be kids at home. They're at school for 6 hours a day to learn.

  • Rosemary S.

    Should happen in all schools :thumbsup_tone1:

  • Sarah A.

    As long as they get through the work at school ive never seen a reason for it. Unfortunatly the schools are under pressure to teach a large amount (not always really relevant) in a short space of time to fit government guidelines

    • Jackie T.

      There is no evidence that proves homework helps children improve marks or learning. Practising mental strategies, reading and listening to or having conversations has more impact on a child's ability to learn.

  • Laura S.

    Should be for revision only. If your child is in a big class they won't have a lot of one to one time and may struggle with certain parts of the curriculum and revision of such areas could be given home but doing work they've already done and are good at is just a waste of everyone's time

  • Nadene C.

    Children spend enough time learning at school, when they are home they should be learning through play not sat at a table

  • Lisa K.

    My daughter has now done two lots of homework neither of which have been marked I dont think they have even been handed in. Total waist of time seen as they dont even give instructions with the homework, being in a welsh school it isnt always as simple as it looks.

  • Samantha W.

    6 hours a day is plenty of time for children to learn in, I say let them be kids the rest of the time.

  • Georgina Y.

    I was told by a teacher " the reason we set homework is because the parents like doing it..."

    I don't know what parent likes sitting down with a already tired child after a day at work when there are millions of things that need doing. Saying that I'm thankful to Google for not making me feel so thick when I can't remember what a verb, adjective, noun is :joy::joy:

    • Jodi A.

      I like helping :see_no_evil:

    • Georgina Y.

      I like helping except when I've been at work all day, cooked tea, done 100 household tasks and then they tell me that they want to do homework - probably so they don't have to do a chore :joy: Although this new school year new routines on doing homework is being enforced :blush:

    • Rachel W.

      Me too!

  • Edwina A.


  • Debbie S.

    Absolutely yes it's ridiculous arnt the poor sods there long enough! Technically doing as long a week as ur allowed to legally work!! For free!! Lol

  • Sara H.

    The only thing my kid gets is spellings sheet and tested following week, and a few work sheets (just to do at home not as homework). Oh and two reading books.

  • Debbie S.

    Parents love homework! Said no parent ever! That I know of!... Lol

  • Toni B.

    I don't think children should get homework they spend all day at school as much as education is important so is being a child. Education isn't all about paper work. It's also about life experience.

  • Anna W.

    Yes, especially in primary school because 6 hours a day is enough and what does it achieve anyway?

  • Carol H.

    Why should kids do more work after they've done a full day at school? Most adults don't take work home with them.

  • Emily W.

    To save time for teachers shouldn't have been the reason! What about the constant psychological problems most teenagers go through with the amount of work/homework they have to deal with as well as the anxiety and depression that comes with exams. Too much pressure for children nowadays.

  • Robin B.

    I totaly agree cuz kids hav still got to b kids

  • Katherine D.

    My son's school has amazing homework. This week they were asked to make a model of a famous landmark as they are learning about different countries. My son could tell me all about the landmark he made and he loved doing it.

  • Sarah C.


  • Maureen H.

    Yes they have enough of time at school

  • Natalie P.

    No. I like being part of his learning.

  • Helga M.

    Yes 100% yes

  • Jenny M.

    just what we were saying

    • Claire W.

      yes, I think they should. but so many parents think it's great!:/

  • Helga M.

    Teacher's get paid to teach our kids

  • Jordan L.

    dont do it anyway :joy: only jokiare

  • Samantha M.

    Bin it!

  • Jodi A.

    I think it's nice for the parents to be involved with school work! And I think reading is important! I don't think kids should have loads though...a couple of ages of reading every other day and one small project or activity a week. I think I'm in a minority here though :confused:

    • Joanna H.

      No i agree. Get them used to it now they will get loads at high school. Also I like to know what they are doing. I also do trips. Volunteer and am on the PFA

    • Jodi A.

      I'm very involved as my son is autistic...I like a daily report! I'd love to be involved in my pta but I can do evening meetings :confused: I used to do the trips as well but now they won't take my son so I don't go either

  • Val F.

    Hs rap homework and increase time in school, longer days or terms

    • Kerry D.

      Then the country would have no teachers left at all! We can't do the job on the time we get already! And also I am entitled to spend time with my own child as well as those I teach!

  • Holley J.

    Yes kids are there all day let them enjoy peace with their family at night

  • Jenny W.

    bet u agree with this xx

  • Lucy G.

    Reading - Yes! Homework - No!

  • Linzi S.

    I'm almost tempted to move! Kids hate homework, teachers hate homework and parents hate homework. Let kids relax. They are over scheduled and miserable about it x

  • Arlene P.

    Yes all it is is a fight every evening and I know majority of the time to save rows I'm giving the answers anyway do it defeats the purpose

  • Kelly J.

    My son is in yr 6 and has not had honework yet i think he should to get him ready for his sats i think doing a little extra in free time will not harm them i dont want my son to struggle because hes not had enough practice

  • Julia D.

    always thought enough hours are spent in school to learn what kids need to know no home work means more time for teachers an pupils to share quality time with there familys where they learn real life skills to cope in the world there growing up in . Ditch the home work ...

  • Chloe V.

    Yes! We do enough work at high school. Homework from every subject we just want to go home and spend time with family...

  • Erin M.

    you should move the boys to this school :joy:

    • Elaine H.

      You aren't kidding! :joy: x

  • Trudy Y.

    I agree they should do some reading with parents, but I think homework should be stopped. They have enough pressure to learn at school, let them relax and have some fun at home.

  • Faith T.

    Scrap it please!!!!

  • Nadine M.

    We have weekly homework, set on a friday, needs to be in by wednesday, if its not complete the children have to stay in at break time to finish it, on top of that we are supposed to read with them nightly, and a project which usually includes making something half termly, my daughter has just turned 6, I want her to remain a child and have fun for as long as she can!

    • Laura S.

      I'm a primary teacher and fundamentally disagree with the ethos of your daughter's school regarding homework. We have an optional homework policy and set nothing over the holidays. Our head believes, as do I, that holidays are for family time.

    • Nadine M.

      I couldnt believe it when they said they were punishing 6 year olds and taking away their play time to do the homework, some of the homework set they havent even covered in class yet which is bizarre, i am writing a letter to the head to let then know under no circumstances will my child miss playing with her friends! We already had a very stressed little girl leading up to the new phonics testing, she had headaches, stomach aches and it all ended the day after she had the test. I want a happy child, not a miserable one!

    • Laura S.

      Oh my goodness she should not feel like that. That's really bad that a teacher is putting the pressure of the phonics screening (which isn't until June) on to her pupils. :frowning2: You go for it!!! Xx

    • Nadine M.

      She did the phonics test in year one, she is in year 2 now (she is a july baby) so ive heard the kids are being retested phonics and SATs in the summer term?

  • Katie D.

    There are 168 hours in a week...children spend around 33 hrs in school..around 70 - 80 hrs sleeping..which leaves 55 - 65 hrs with parents. (And that's not to mention the 13-14 weeks off a year) Parents are by far the most important educator to a child in so many ways!! Education has to continue at home...what form that takes is a whole other issue. :kissing_heart::joy:xxx

  • Stacey C.

    Ditch it !!

  • Katie D.

    In fact it starts at just continues at school..xx

  • Gillian M.


  • Samantha K.

    My son has to read at least 10 pages of his book every night or he loses his break time to do it then, he also has spellings to learn and is set homework on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I think once a week, maybe but not 3 times a week on top of reading and spelling. If they have any late marks or have had a day off tben they also get homework on a Friday.

  • Laura D.

    I don't think it should be ditched altogether. I just think a small piece to show they understand what they have learned that week is plenty.

  • Nicola M.

    Totally agree! Like the learning log and reading X

  • Kim C.


  • Kimberley S.

    School should be for learning and home is family time - I read with my children every night surely at primary school age this should be enough - after a long day at school and other after school clubs that my kids do (football, piano, brownies) they need down time and time to just be kids!! And play! :flushed:

  • Tracy M.

    Home time should be family time, making the most of the evenings as the weekends go far too quick as it is. Ditch the homeworks!!! :thumbsdown_tone1:

  • Nicola N.

    In my opinion I don't understand what value doing homework truly adds. Especially for those kids who may not have the "ideal" home life. Kids are in school to be taught by qualified professionals. Not all parents are qualified to help "teach" their kids when they get home. School time is for learning. And whilst at home of course there will be some elements of learning it is more time to spend with family and nuturing than doing homework. Unless an issue is flagged and extra support/practice is needed or its a revision period then I think it's really unnecessary. Think back to your own childhood. Can you remember what you thought about it? Can you honestly say it haas it influenced your future? I very much doubt it. Kids are no longer kids anymore. The pressures they face in every aspect of their lives in this day and age is just wrong. But all IMO

  • Laura S.

    Yes reading I understand at home but nothing else school is for school- it's actually makes parents feel silly if we can't do it what does that show - I don't ask the flipping teachers to come and do my job!! I love my children teach them manners etc but keep school at school!!

  • Leah F.

    My daughter is so stressed with homework she is 6 and is crying every time because she is trying so hard she is most likely dyslexic and is struggling so much. I think homework can be good but maybe they could cut down a bit :confused:

  • Jacqueline L.

    I think it's good for parents to get involved and help with homework and take interest in progress as long as it isn't hard slog

  • Karen C.

    Yes yes yes!!

  • Beth F.

    I think too many parents have the attitude "leave the learning at school" like it isn't their job to help their children to read and write :persevere: I don't think schools should be setting huge amounts of homework at a young age but it's important for parents to be involving with children's learning! I never had a problem getting on and doing my homework as a child

  • Karen G.

    No it isn't tho a mum told me that in another class the teacher didn't believe in homework so that class didn't get any for a year bobbies always had to do homework tho we don't do it all we don't have time , so why can't all teachers do it !!! Xxx

  • Vicky F.

    I dint think kids mind doing homework, I think it's parents who are too busy due to work etc...

  • Michele P.

    Totally agree and I think it's a very brave (and good) move for the school. My LO is only 6 (year 3) but he's been having homework since reception (same as all children over the country of course), but it makes me sad that more and more of their childhood is taken away from them to 'work'. In year 2 the homework leading up to the phonics test was horrendous. I actually boycotted the homework after the first couple of weeks because my son was getting too tired, too bored, too grumpy, too angry and frustrated with it. We didn't get out quality time together at the end of each day and it made for a very snappy household.......and this was when my son was only 5 years old!! My son is quite switched on, and he loves school, but the more pressure that is put on them, the more chance of them starting to rebel. There is no need for it at this age, it is much more important for them to be happy and relaxed and having fun. Did it really do us any harm not having any homework until Senior School? No!! So why on earth should it be different for our children...

  • Vicki T.

    Keep school work at school. Home time is family time. But continue to educate with reading books

  • Scott I.

    Hate homework and think it is a waste of time at primary level. We should be teaching our children about a work life balance, and not that u need to bring work home.

  • Tracy B.

    My p1 daughter gets homework every night has to be in every morning a bit of writing and reading but we fight over it every night it's a shame

  • Rachel W.

    My daughter is in year 2 and we have always had reading every night and spellings weekly but she has now got her first sheets of homework on a Friday which has to be in on Monday that's 2 full days to do it in -math and English. I love sitting with her while she does her homework. It really isn't a great deal and only takes 20 minutes which is nothing really! And I have a 2 year old running around but I still make sure we sit and have 20 minutes to do it which again relatively speaking in the grand scheme of things is absolutely nothing! It's 20 minutes less of TV which is not a bad thing. Plus means I am giving her my 100% attention and have an idea of what she is working on at school which is actually very valuable. I want my children to see learning as something wonderful not as a chore that has to be done. Knowledge is power and something we should strive for throughout our lives not just in the school building!

  • Francesca T.

    Already have :joy::joy::joy::joy::joy::joy:

  • Michelle G.

    Forget the teachers what about the parents. I would much rather be reading a book we have chosen, teaching them to cook or build furniture. Kids learn at home all the time its just a different kind of learning which makes for well rounded individuals.

  • Judy L.

    I dont agree with it! As others have said they do enough work st school. I know children who sit down immediately they come home crom school and apart from their evening meal , they are still sitting doing homework Round 7 - 7.30 in the evening!! I hope this doesnt apply to my little grandson who is 5 coming up 6!!

  • Giedre C.

    Guys, homework is essential part of learning. Practice makes it perfect.

  • Sharlene G.

    Yes kids do enough work in school I agree kids should read at home but as of home work no this should be family time

  • Lesley J.

    My grandson who is 4 yrs and 5 months has been told when he starts full time next week he will start getting homework. This is far too young. In this day and age when both parents work when is there time for "family time".

  • Rebekah P.

    Our school actually gave up for the younger ones , giving a reception child writing to do of course the parents were gonna write it ! My lg brought hers home and first time I let her do it and she just scribbled all over it :joy: after that we just sat and talked about what it was about and then I wrote it -it was pointless she was learning nothing! Why can't they send home letter tracing that would be more use !

  • Nikki U.

    Our son is 6, I agree with him having homework. I enjoy knowing what he's learning about at school and watching my child grow. However, my opinion may change when he gets to secondary school and I get stuck on his homework. My parents used to do the same!!

  • Emma G.

    Yes absolutely for those in primary school, children are tired from school and it's puts even more pressure on them which usually leads to stress and upset on both sides trying to achieve it. We never had this amount of homework at 5/6 in fact some of the stuff they are sent at this age we didn't do until secondary school and funnily enough I've managed to be employed since I left school and my husband has 2 degrees various other qualification and a good job!!

  • Emma M.

    Yes most definitely I mean school work is for school but weekends still school work homework we don't work on our days off why should our kids not fair on them at all, they should be outside playing adventures etc ...

  • Claire A.

    I absolutely 100 % agree! Scrap it all!

  • Louisa C.

    personally I think schools should only set a book and some words for spellings each week. Its nice to have some 1 to 1 time with them reading a book and spellings you can practise anywhere. it never did me any harm and I still love reading books and I'm good at spelling. Our 7 year old sometimes gets a holiday project to make something. This is fun and she loves crafts :)

  • HMH

    As a teacher I find this issue frustrating. It isn't up to individual teachers to decide whether homework is set or not, it is school policy. And schools have to set it to appease OFSTED. My school has tried various strategies regarding homework; unfortunately you will never keep all parents happy as there will always be those that don't want homework set, those that do and moan there isn't enough/too much and those that are apathetic and show no interest either way. Teachers and schools can't do right for doing wrong!

  • Hollie P.


  • Carol H.

    Yes nothing but trouble in my house over homework

  • Lindsey M.

    School should be for schoolwork. People are moaning about obesity levels and behaviour problems in kids all the time so would after school not better be spent with family/ clubs/ sport hobbies etc. Children need time to have fun and experience lots of things. To me reading at home is a natural thing. Lessons are for classrooms I think there is much more to learn in life.

  • Jan G.

    If you were as old as me, you would remember when it was policy that young children didn't have formal homework. We as teachers in Chelmsford were not allowed to give primary children homework! They did other things at home though, like reading, looking for things for the interest table, showing other children things they had made at home etc. On the whole, they were activities that developed the children's interests and encouraged young, inquiring minds.

  • Jemma R.

    I'm split on this. Some homework my son brings home can put a lot of stress on me and our family being a single mum it's hard to find the time to sit with him and some of it is ridiculous in my opinion. But then I've actually seen the results of doing extra work at home we read every night and he's above average for his reading age. We practice handwriting and it's improved dramatically. So Might just be a idea to practice the things they need to at home but actually scrap the homework tradition xx

  • Sarah P.

    Yes they should kids do enough at school, reading and revision only!

  • Bon L.


  • Kat W.


  • Jill B.

    I think school should go back to longer days and no homework. Getting off at 3:10 in years 10 and 11 is ridiculous. How are they supposed to prepare for working 9 _5? I can't help my youngest with homework. I left school in 1971 and things have changed so much I have no idea. Home time is family time not for us to pick up where teachers lack.

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