Most homework is 'completely pointless', education expert argues

Current teacher Tom Bennett claims students will be forced to undertake 'back breaking' homework under new Ofsted regime

Rose Troup Buchanan
Saturday 03 January 2015 16:04 GMT
Is homework pointless? One expert thinks so
Is homework pointless? One expert thinks so (Rex images)

A new Ofsted regime will encourage “completely pointless” homework for students, a teacher and education expert has claimed.

Tom Bennett, writing in the Times Educational Supplement, claims students will be forced to undertake “back breaking” after school tasks with little educational value.

Mr Bennett, director of the ResearchEd conference, alleges that children’s post-school workload will be increased by teachers in order to prove they are meeting the new targets set by Ofsted, in which progress will be measured though schoolbooks and homework.

He told The Independent the reaction had been "overwhelmingly supportive."

Continuing: "I'm not anti homework- it can be a useful tool - but too often it's an exercise in back covering, or box ticking, with no real thought for the educational outcome."

The Essex philosophy and religious studies teacher, one of two British teachers recently nominated for a Global Teacher Prize, wrote: “I have no problem with setting challenging homework but I do disagree with the pickpocketing of family life to serve the requirements of a school’s homework timetable.”

His comments come shortly after as OECD think tank report that indicated British schoolchildren were getting more homework than children in Finland, Germany, Sweden and Austria.

But UK children lag behind pupils in Russia, Singapore and Shanghai in China, who spend the longest on homework.

The think tank found that Polish, Irish and Italian children all spent longer hours at the kitchen table doing homework than British pupils.

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