Letter: No to homework

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I was interested to read that I don't count. I refer to your editorial ("Some welcome revision from Mr Blunkett", 11 November) saying that everybody agrees that children should do homework. I do not. I hated it as a child and am proud that I did as little as possible. I had a miserable time at school; why should I have given myself miserable evenings as well?

There should be a complete ban on homework in primary schools. It should be voluntary in secondary ones. No pupil should have to do actual lessons for more than five hours a day, five days a week - let teachers use their professional skills to cram everything pupils need to know into school hours by dropping religious education, gym and some non-academic subjects if need be. And let this apply to private schools as well.

When I read of the "school-homework-bed," lifestyle which the likes of Tony Blair, David Blunkett and Jack Straw want to impose on Britain's children, I'm reminded of the song "Where Did My Childhood Go?"

Let children spend their time outside school doing what interests them, be it reading, watching TV, listening to music, part-time jobs, playing sport, pursuing knowledge or pursuing the opposite sex. As for the idea that you have to succeed at school to succeed in life, that is, quite simply, a lie. Many of the people I most admire "failed" at school.


London N16