Kids 'must do more homework'

WHITE working-class children must do homework in school to help them catch up their peers from other ethnic groups, MPs say today.

Their report raises the alarm over a wide – and growing - gap which sees poorer white pupils skip more lessons and achieve poorer results at GCSE.

It highlights research suggesting white youngsters do far less homework than pupils from Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi and other ethnic backgrounds.

And it urges watchdog Ofsted to lean on schools to ensure “space and time” is set aside at the end of the day for pupils who have “nowhere to work at home”.

The report reads: “One possible response to this is providing time at the end of the school day for children to complete homework.

“The current trend towards longer school days presents an opportunity for schools…which may particularly benefit white working class children.”

According to research, quoted by the Commons education select committee, the average white working-class child does homework on just 2.54 evenings per week.

That is significantly less than other ethnic groups, including Black Africans (3.13), Pakistanis (3.13) and Indians (3.29).

The number of poorer white children who do homework on three or more evenings per week (49.3 per cent) - is also significantly lower than Black Africans (66.8 per cent), Pakistanis (68.5 per cent) and Indians (70.4 per cent).

Yet evidence from the USA suggested that increasing the length of the school day can add two months’ extra progress to pupils’ attainment over the course of a year.

And that benefit was even greater for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, who gained an additional half a months’ progress.

Yesterday, the chief inspector of schools called for parents to be fined if they miss parents’ evenings, fail to read with their children or allow homework to go undone.

Controversially, Sir Michael Wilshaw accused white working-class families of no longer valuing education as a way to improve their family's prospects.

Launching the report, Graham Stuart, the committee’s Conservative chairman, said it was crucial that the best teachers and leaders were given incentives to work in “the most challenging schools”.

He said: “Poor white British children now come out of our schools with worse qualifications than equally poor children in any other major ethnic group.

“They do less homework and are more likely to miss school than other groups.

“We don’t know how much of the under performance is due to poor attitudes to school, a lack of work ethic or weak parenting.”

Just 32 per cent of poor white children achieve five good GCSEs including English and mathematics, much lower than black Caribbean (42 per cent) and Indian (61 per cent).

Comments (11)

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8:33am Wed 18 Jun 14

charliebrown1 says...

dont tar all white kids with the same brush
dont tar all white kids with the same brush charliebrown1
  • Score: -3

10:53am Wed 18 Jun 14

hasanopinion says...

The government care not about the children but statistics. Unfortunately mr education man statistics show that more and more children are being labled as adhd because frankly they are bored. Children are not designed to sit in a classroom for hours on end. God knows even now at 32 I could not cope with the expectations that children are faced with everyday. The number of adults i know that "doodle" whilst having telephone conversations or cannot sit and watch a full television program without making mental lists of jobs that need to be done is unreal. Children fidget not because theres something wrong with them but because they are being made to stay in school longer read earlier and sit still. Children should be outside enjoying childhood, experiencing life and spending time with their parents. They learn more from field trips, experiments and other hands on experiences than any text book. The government know this, the teachers know this parents know this. When my children come home from school they cannot recall anything they've done. Unless its swimming, cooking, P.e, a trip out of school, even a bug hunt in the school grounds. These are the things that capture children's attention and enthusiasm. If the government want to match the achievements of children in private schools match the quality of education not the quanity!!!
The government care not about the children but statistics. Unfortunately mr education man statistics show that more and more children are being labled as adhd because frankly they are bored. Children are not designed to sit in a classroom for hours on end. God knows even now at 32 I could not cope with the expectations that children are faced with everyday. The number of adults i know that "doodle" whilst having telephone conversations or cannot sit and watch a full television program without making mental lists of jobs that need to be done is unreal. Children fidget not because theres something wrong with them but because they are being made to stay in school longer read earlier and sit still. Children should be outside enjoying childhood, experiencing life and spending time with their parents. They learn more from field trips, experiments and other hands on experiences than any text book. The government know this, the teachers know this parents know this. When my children come home from school they cannot recall anything they've done. Unless its swimming, cooking, P.e, a trip out of school, even a bug hunt in the school grounds. These are the things that capture children's attention and enthusiasm. If the government want to match the achievements of children in private schools match the quality of education not the quanity!!! hasanopinion
  • Score: -18

1:15pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Voice-of-reality says...

Children need to have classrooms where they sit in rows on hardbacked chairs, and are attired in uniform. None of this group table nonsense. The teacher, to be addressed as Doctor/Sir/Madam/Mis
s should be at the front and the class should sit in silence. The ADHD child - who, in a majority of cases actually has nothing wrong and is little more than a delinquent who just wants attention needs, when fidgetting, to be placed in a corner or to be made to run around the school's quad or cloister.
Disciplined learning and a purposeful working regime - the result, a nation of well adjusted young men and women fir for purpose.
Children need to have classrooms where they sit in rows on hardbacked chairs, and are attired in uniform. None of this group table nonsense. The teacher, to be addressed as Doctor/Sir/Madam/Mis s should be at the front and the class should sit in silence. The ADHD child - who, in a majority of cases actually has nothing wrong and is little more than a delinquent who just wants attention needs, when fidgetting, to be placed in a corner or to be made to run around the school's quad or cloister. Disciplined learning and a purposeful working regime - the result, a nation of well adjusted young men and women fir for purpose. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 15

1:26pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Voice-of-reality says...

As for homework, I suggest a return to the approach whereby those in Year 7 (first year of secondary school to older readers) have 3 subjects of homework per night of 30 minutes in duration each, rising to 60 minutes for each of 3 subjects per night by year 9 (third year).
Of course for GCSE and A-level one expects more with at least 90 minutes for each of the subject and a solid 5 subjects of homework for a weekend. 4 1/2 hours of homework per night by the age of 15 is a solid basis and, assuming they work at home from 4pm onwards and have half an hour for a family meal they will finish each evening by 9.00 - none of this 'lounging on street corners'.
Homework finished by c.9.00 , (obviously the dullards may take a little longer – but they will throughout life so they need to get used to it), the child has time for a relaxing cup of tea, a bath, and a chance to catch the news headlines before bed at 10.30. A solid 81/2 hours sleep till 7am .School by 8.30, assembly, and lessons from 9 – a solid and productive school day. day. Routine, rigour, and hard work.
As for homework, I suggest a return to the approach whereby those in Year 7 (first year of secondary school to older readers) have 3 subjects of homework per night of 30 minutes in duration each, rising to 60 minutes for each of 3 subjects per night by year 9 (third year). Of course for GCSE and A-level one expects more with at least 90 minutes for each of the subject and a solid 5 subjects of homework for a weekend. 4 1/2 hours of homework per night by the age of 15 is a solid basis and, assuming they work at home from 4pm onwards and have half an hour for a family meal they will finish each evening by 9.00 - none of this 'lounging on street corners'. Homework finished by c.9.00 , (obviously the dullards may take a little longer – but they will throughout life so they need to get used to it), the child has time for a relaxing cup of tea, a bath, and a chance to catch the news headlines before bed at 10.30. A solid 81/2 hours sleep till 7am .School by 8.30, assembly, and lessons from 9 – a solid and productive school day. day. Routine, rigour, and hard work. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 16

1:29pm Wed 18 Jun 14

hasanopinion says...

We'd have a nation of robots unable to make decisions of their own because they've spent their whole lives following orders and had their personalities sucked right out of them by the very people who are supposed to guide them through the most important years of their lives! No thanks my children have ambition and I would rather they had the drive and personality not to let anyone bring them down and to achieve their goals!!
We'd have a nation of robots unable to make decisions of their own because they've spent their whole lives following orders and had their personalities sucked right out of them by the very people who are supposed to guide them through the most important years of their lives! No thanks my children have ambition and I would rather they had the drive and personality not to let anyone bring them down and to achieve their goals!! hasanopinion
  • Score: -16

1:32pm Wed 18 Jun 14

hasanopinion says...

If you have children you really need to go hug them
If you have children you really need to go hug them hasanopinion
  • Score: -5

1:47pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Voice-of-reality says...

Structure is not robotic - it is a building block of purpose. What you fail to grasp is that for ambition to flourish and be realised, one needs discipline and perseverance. Through instilling discipline and the ability to undertake sustained work by themselves (rather than frittering away time with 'yoof down the park' or expecting to be spoon fed) one allows the child to develop the key life skills that they need for a prosperous and fulfilled life. Homework should be taxing and rigorous . The problem is that too many people expect 'ambition' to be rewarded without effort.
There is plenty of ability within the structure outlined above for the child to show their own creativity and personality - but it also ensures that their characters are formed and that they work in a purposeful manner. That is exactly what the private schools achieve - of course children should be hugged - approximately ten times per term during term time - when dropping them off and collecting them - and repeatedly during the holidays whilst on family day trips and excursions.
Structure is not robotic - it is a building block of purpose. What you fail to grasp is that for ambition to flourish and be realised, one needs discipline and perseverance. Through instilling discipline and the ability to undertake sustained work by themselves (rather than frittering away time with 'yoof down the park' or expecting to be spoon fed) one allows the child to develop the key life skills that they need for a prosperous and fulfilled life. Homework should be taxing and rigorous . The problem is that too many people expect 'ambition' to be rewarded without effort. There is plenty of ability within the structure outlined above for the child to show their own creativity and personality - but it also ensures that their characters are formed and that they work in a purposeful manner. That is exactly what the private schools achieve - of course children should be hugged - approximately ten times per term during term time - when dropping them off and collecting them - and repeatedly during the holidays whilst on family day trips and excursions. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 23

2:18pm Wed 18 Jun 14

hasanopinion says...

My children have never and will never be "spoon fed" they want something they at the ages of 6 8 and 13 know it is not just handed to them. They do have routine but home life is just that its not a school. I teach them life skills and watch them flourish. My children by the time they go to university will know how to fend for themselves cook meals and clean up after themselves. I dont walk around doing the things that are expected of them because they are too busy tied to a desk doing homework. I dont bark orders at them I dont need to they respect that im not a maid I am their mother their guiding hand, I listen to them and talk about their worries, about how to handle certain aspects of school and social life. Their homework if they have some is done all in good time so that they can then enjoy family time. Balance is the key to happy well adjusted children And therefore adults. The victorian days are long gone. It is okay to see and heaven forbid HEAR children too! Oh and they are in bed and asleep well before 10.30 too!!
My children have never and will never be "spoon fed" they want something they at the ages of 6 8 and 13 know it is not just handed to them. They do have routine but home life is just that its not a school. I teach them life skills and watch them flourish. My children by the time they go to university will know how to fend for themselves cook meals and clean up after themselves. I dont walk around doing the things that are expected of them because they are too busy tied to a desk doing homework. I dont bark orders at them I dont need to they respect that im not a maid I am their mother their guiding hand, I listen to them and talk about their worries, about how to handle certain aspects of school and social life. Their homework if they have some is done all in good time so that they can then enjoy family time. Balance is the key to happy well adjusted children And therefore adults. The victorian days are long gone. It is okay to see and heaven forbid HEAR children too! Oh and they are in bed and asleep well before 10.30 too!! hasanopinion
  • Score: -15

2:28pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Voice-of-reality says...

Interestingly, though you note the importance of them being able to cook and clean, at no stage in your post do you actually allude to the idea that they will have the academic ability or skills needed to attend university. That you include the phrase 'homework IF they have some' - is preciely the problem - there should never be a question of the eldest not having homework. In an earlier post you suggested that the state sector needs to learn from the private and yet, when the realities of the private sector are presented, there is aln almost audible cry of disguist.
Interestingly, though you note the importance of them being able to cook and clean, at no stage in your post do you actually allude to the idea that they will have the academic ability or skills needed to attend university. That you include the phrase 'homework IF they have some' - is preciely the problem - there should never be a question of the eldest not having homework. In an earlier post you suggested that the state sector needs to learn from the private and yet, when the realities of the private sector are presented, there is aln almost audible cry of disguist. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 20

3:07pm Wed 18 Jun 14

hasanopinion says...

My children do have accademic abilities to achieve university staus should they decide thats what they want to do. My daughter was reading at 3 years she achieves the highest levels accross all her academic studies. She at the age of 8 has aspirations of becoming a teacher and travelling the world. My eldest daughter plans on studying agriculture, is an army cadet which she most certainly wouldn't have time for if she had four hours solid homework and does extra curricular activities in her sports activities too. My son is in his first year of school but is well on course for achieving his academic goals. All of which are achieved without caning them or forcing them to write essays every night!
My children do have accademic abilities to achieve university staus should they decide thats what they want to do. My daughter was reading at 3 years she achieves the highest levels accross all her academic studies. She at the age of 8 has aspirations of becoming a teacher and travelling the world. My eldest daughter plans on studying agriculture, is an army cadet which she most certainly wouldn't have time for if she had four hours solid homework and does extra curricular activities in her sports activities too. My son is in his first year of school but is well on course for achieving his academic goals. All of which are achieved without caning them or forcing them to write essays every night! hasanopinion
  • Score: -1

3:17pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Voice-of-reality says...

Then they are a credit to you. Nevertheless, army cadet status and rugger, along of course with county representation and such like can be achieved on top of four hours of homework each night and are the type of hours that most of the 'professions' will expect especially in the early years. I would never suggest caning or essays each night - the removal of tuck and exeats tends to be far more effective for minor infractions, and the fear of rustification for more serious breaches is never taken lightly - as Seymour (one of Godric's friends) found out to his peril - poor lamb - it was only a little snuff. But I digress. I wish your wards well in their endeavours - agrciulture and estate management - an excellent choice. We are quite lost now that Hodges has retired - never knew his first name - but he is missed.
Then they are a credit to you. Nevertheless, army cadet status and rugger, along of course with county representation and such like can be achieved on top of four hours of homework each night and are the type of hours that most of the 'professions' will expect especially in the early years. I would never suggest caning or essays each night - the removal of tuck and exeats tends to be far more effective for minor infractions, and the fear of rustification for more serious breaches is never taken lightly - as Seymour (one of Godric's friends) found out to his peril - poor lamb - it was only a little snuff. But I digress. I wish your wards well in their endeavours - agrciulture and estate management - an excellent choice. We are quite lost now that Hodges has retired - never knew his first name - but he is missed. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 4

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