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Ban on homework: WA primary schools impose “no homework” policy

A quiet revolution is unfolding in some WA primary school classrooms, as principals’ move to put a blanket ban on homework.

Official “no homework policies” are  in place at four schools in the western state. Though a sharp break with the education status quo, teachers say the time is better spent with family or in recreational activities.

But education policy expert Glenn Savage says ditching homework altogether is a step too far. As long as the work set is relevant and a reinforcing mechanism of the classroom curriculum, homework should not be circumscribed into extinction.

It is superfluous homework that needs to be weeded out. Not homework altogether, he says.

“People put themselves on one side of the fence or the other with this debate,” explains Savage.

“This is the wrong way to look at the problem. We need a debate about what quality and effective homework actually looks like. This kind of homework needs to be embedded across all schools.”

“But one of the most important things the research says is that teachers need to follow up on homework. If kids are given homework and it’s disconnected and the students put effort into it and it’s never followed up on, that’s really a disincentive.”

“It disengages young people and it’s annoying.”

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