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Volume 485: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment his Department has made of the amount of homework appropriate to be assigned to (a) infants and (b) juniors at primary school. (245910)

Homework is not compulsory, but the Government considers that there is an enormous advantage in children spending regular periods of time on different learning activities devised by schools as part of a homework programme which supports the work they do in class.

Recommended times for homework in schools are based on good practice and set out in the Department's guidance “Homework: Guidelines for Primary Schools and Secondary Schools”. The guidance recommends that a sensible programme of homework activities for children in years 1 and 2 should be about one hour a week. Between years 3 and 4 this should increase to about one hour and 30 minutes a week, and to about 30 minutes a day at years 5 and 6. While we expect schools to have regard to the guidance they should also consider any particular circumstances of their pupils in determining how much time for homework is appropriate for their pupils at each stage.