A question that has been debated for a long time now is: do our children get too much homework?
Parents often wonder about the ever-increasing workload their children are coming home with, and often poor communication channels with schools mean it’s hard to know exactly how much to expect on a nightly basis.
Homework often starts in primary school, with children being sent home with simple assignments or a small spelling assignment that parents and private household staff can assist with. But, when children get older and go off to secondary school, the workload can become overwhelming Often studying a large range of different subjects, with material that is increasingly challenging, the homework assignments given to children can be demanding to say the least.
A report by the Department of Education in 2014 found that students who spend 2-3 hours a week on homework were almost 10 times more likely to achieve five good GCSE grades (A*-C) than students who avoided homework. This goes to show there is an advantage to homework, although the 2-3 hours seems minimal compared to what some children are coming home with.
BBC School Report, an initiative that sees reporters talk to students, recently explored this issue. As well as just asking if there is too much homework, they asked about whether students think the work is important.
“If you get too much and you have to get it done really quickly but you’ve still got to do stuff around the house, it can be really stressful,” says Porsche. “It can be difficult, but it’s also helping you.”
“We get told a lot that we need to know our maths and we need to know our English because it could help us get jobs,” says Samara. “Sometimes it is quite easy, but then if it’s new homework, sometimes we do struggle.”
It seems that students do want to do homework, they just don’t want it to take over their free time and interfere with the rest of their lives. Every pupil is different, and so is every subject, but this conversation is one we likely won’t hear the end of for a long time.