In NSW, a note from your parents can get you out of school homework forever

Photo Kristian Dowling/Getty Images

In a move that will have children across New South Wales rejoicing and reaching for the X-Box instead, primary school students are being allowed to opt out of homework if their parents approve.

Fairfax Media reports that Cambridge Park Public School in Sydney has written to parents saying “the school recognises that parents are best placed to make decisions about whether or not their children have the capacity or time to complete homework”.

The school letter argues that “homework provides students with an opportunity to practice classroom learning and develop self-management and study skills”, but Fairfax notes than a number of primary schools in the state are allowing children to be excused from homework provided they have parental permission, while others are reviewing homework policies.

The NSW Department of Education lets individual schools set homework policies but doesn’t recommend specific amounts. Other states such as Victoria recommend 30 minutes a day to year 4 and 45 minutes after that.

But NSW education officials point to research that shows “there is no evidence that homework lifts academic performance” in primary school students.

That aligns with an OECD report which found private school students in Australia complete up to two hours more homework a week than their public counterparts, to no effect once socio-economic advantage was taken into account.

There’s more on the issue here.

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