The secret to better Sats: an hour’s extra homework a night

The Sunday Times is reporting that a school that clashed with parents after introducing an hour of compulsory homework for primary age pupils every day has seen a 10% improvement in its results…

The school – Minehead Middle School in Somerset – is reported to have taken the decision to introduce the homework because it believed its SATs results failed to keep pace with what it saw as improvements in teaching quality.

£25,000 a year is set aside to pay teaching assistants to mark the extra homework.

Headteacher Paul Rushforth is quoted as saying: 

“When we looked at what we could do to raise standards, we decided the children needed more school… We first suggested extending the school day by an hour, but some parents reacted as if we were kidnapping the children. Teachers were not overly delighted by the prospect either.”

“Minehead is a seaside town with all the issues typical of coastal communities. We have . . . a lot of children who are not special needs but who are below average and it is precisely these children that need to do their homework. If we don’t concentrate on them, they will be getting Ds and Es in their GCSEs later on, instead of passes.”

More at: The secret to better Sats: an hour’s extra homework a night (subscription may be required)


I know many readers have concerns about homework – especially at primary – but does Mr Rushforth make a strong argument in its favour here? 

Is it the very kind of children he is discussing who might be lacking aspiration who most need this kind of help to catch up with those where parental support and a culture of achievement might be more forthcoming?

Please let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter…


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