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Over a third of parents do not think homework is helpful for primary school children

Ofsted’s annual report has revealed that more than a third of parents think homework is unhelpful for primary school children, stating that it can be ‘a huge cause of stress’ for many families.

The survey, which questioned more than 300 parents across the UK, also found that 12% agreed homework was not helpful in secondary school either.

Instead, almost three quarters of parents believe prep undertaken during school hours – allowing pupils time to plan and prepare for lessons through research and other activities – would be a preferred alternative to homework.

For children with special education needs or disabilities, the report suggests homework can also be detrimental to their health as it can be ‘overwhelming’ and damaging to their self-esteem.

In September 2016, a school in Essex hit the headlines after it announced it was going to ban all homework, allowing teachers more time to plan lessons.

So, what are the arguments for and against?

  • First things first, it can help support students’ learning. Practice makes perfect
  • It can help teach children how to work independently and encourage personal discipline
  • It allows parents and guardians to get involved with their child’s learning
  • However, it is important to strike a balance between homework and other extra-curricular activities


  • Some believe homework can put too much pressure on young children
  • Time spent doing homework could be used on other activities such as learning a musical instrument or how to cook
  • Sometimes if parents or guardians try to help, they could have been taught differently and end up confusing the student – or end up doing the majority of the work themselves! Research from Varkey Foundation found UK parents spend 3.6 hours helping their children with homework each week
  • Lastly, some students don’t have the same access to materials or quiet space so setting tasks would not always be fair

Where do you sit on the hot topic of homework? We’d love to hear your opinions in the comments below.

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