Homework in Primary Schools

In 1998, the Education Secretary, David Blunkett, produced guidelines for homework for children of primary and secondary age. It was recommended that children in years 1 and 2 should have about 10 minutes of homework a night, rising to about 30 minutes for children in year 6. Homework guidelines were abolished by Michael Gove in March 2012. It was not that he was against the idea of children doing homework but that he felt the responsibility for homework should be placed on schools and headteachers, rather than being a government directive.

However, with schools under pressure to achieve good Statutory Attainment Test (SATs) results for their pupils, the vast majority of primary schools will have some kind of policy regarding homework. Many involved in the education of young children believe that homework helps to reinforce learning which has taken place at school and it is seen as a way of raising standards.

For some primary schools, homework may include listening to children read their school reading book and practice weekly spellings and times tables. It may involve practising phonic sounds and handwriting. Sometimes, schools set a weekly, written exercise for homework which should be related to what has been taught in school during the week. The best teachers will set homework which can be accessed by all children at different levels. It is very important that children receive feedback for their homework.