"We have clear guidance for teachers on their legal entitlement to set homework. "A good, well-organised homework programme helps children and young people to develop the skills and attitudes they will need for successful, independent, lifelong learning.
Union leader Mary Bousted said the difficulty of completing homework could set up a cycle of resistance to school in children from poorer homes. The government says that homework is not compulsory but it is encouraged as a key part of the learning process. "Children should be able to explore, experiment and enjoy their learning without feeling pressurised it adds. "Homework has become an increasing pressure placed on children in primary and secondary schools.". The motion wants ministers to "scrap compulsory homework for primary-aged children and to limit the amount of time allocated to compulsory homework at secondary level". "I think it sets up a cycle of resistance to school because they don't have access to the cultural and emotional and learning support which middle-class children can get.". The motion also says many children appear "unhappy and anxious".
The teacher has got to set it, so what gets set is 'busy' homework she said. But children from disadvantaged homes, who did not have the resources and support middle class parents provided, could get into trouble for not completing it. Some independent schools have abolished the practice. 'Waste dr Bousted told journalists that in state schools everyone just accepted that homework had to be done. "I think a lot of homework is a waste of time. "Research shows that for most children, 2008 is a great time to be a child. Most children are happy, most are achieving to a higher level than ever before, enjoying better health, more opportunities to travel, to engage in sport or cultural activities than was the case for any previous generation.". They say 10 and 11-year-olds should be doing half an hour of homework every day. But research has cast doubt on its effectiveness, and has even suggested that too much is counter-productive.