Homework ban proposed by councillors in Swedish city of Hallstahammar

Children in Hallstahammar may soon see the back of home study

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The Independent Online

Members of a city council in Sweden have put forward a proposal to ban homework – a suggestion that is likely to make some over-worked school-children giddy with joy if it passes.

Authorities in the central Swedish city of Hallstahammar began discussing the merits of the idea at a meeting on Monday. 

The ban was suggested by the Vänsterpartiet, or Left Party.

Its members believe that teachers should not have to assign pupils extra work, as they believe pupils should be taught comprehensively enough during school hours.  

“We think it's an interesting idea, and one that should be investigated further to see if it's possible for Hallstahammar to become the first homework-free municipality in Sweden,” Christina Aspenryd, chairman of the city's children and education board, told the TT news agency.

But Education Minister Jan Björklund of the Liberal People’s Party slammed the idea, and said homework is not an issue for councils to decide upon.

“If this proposal is passed, I will take the initiative to change school laws so that cities will not be able to butt in and affect this kind of pedagogical decision,” Björklund said according to The Local.

Sweden is well-known for its liberal approach to teaching, and is widely considered to be the nation which pioneered free schools - a system championed by British Education Secretary Michael Gove.

In 2012, Gove scrapped the guidelines for home study introduced by Labour in 1998. Instead, head teachers now decide how much homework to set - if any.

Last year, Jane Austen College in Norwich made headlines when it announced it would not require its students to complete any work in the evenings or on weekends.