Homework

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Do you ever hear or read a news item, then glance at the calendar to see if it’s April Fool’s Day? That happened to me when Prince Philip’s Australian knighthood was announced.

It happened again recently when I heard about a school policy to continue setting homework but let the pupils decide whether or not to do it. After checking the calendar I decided to share the information with my readers, embellishing the news with words like ‘insane’, ‘lunacy’ and ‘mind-boggling stupidity’.  Then I thought I should do some Googling and look for arguments pro and con.  I found a site called debate.org where stakeholders – mainly schoolchildren I think – have recorded their views.  Click here to read them.

My view remains unchanged. The children who do their homework will do better in their studies and have better life outcomes.  In general they will also be the children who have well educated parents, disciplined home environments, and the advantage of living in communities where aspirations and expectations are high.  In other words, existing social differences will be reinforced and magnified.

Looking into my own heart, I know very well that I would not have got very far academically if Mr T J P Yorke, the Headmaster of my school in Crosby, had adopted this insane questionable policy.