It is sometimes homework which really inspires a student’s interest in a subject. The right school for your child will have high quality homework systems.
  • A good school will set homework which interests students, raises attainment and encourages independent learning. It will have systems to ensure that homework is completed.
  • All good schools will have a homework policy. Ask to see it and find out if it represents reality. 
  •  A successful school will make sure that homework is set in all subjects, and have high expectations for its completion.
  • The right school for your child will make sure that homework is marked, valued, and used to raise achievement.
  • If a school sets homework, it should have clear systems which come in to play when students do not complete the work set. For example, it might be school policy to set a detention every time homework is not completed.
  • Homework may be set, but some students might not do it. If completing homework is not the rule, this may be a cause for concern. It suggests that the school does not have a strong work ethic. 
  •  Homework should not be set for its own sake. It must be meaningful work, which should enhance learning in class.
  • Homework must be possible for all to complete, otherwise it may be demoralising for students and exclude those without particular resources at home, for example, computers. Schools should have a clear system to support students if they do not understand the homework set or lack the resources to complete it.
  • Homework should be differentiated according to ability.
  • A supportive school will often have homework clubs to support students.
  • Good schools will have a system to inform parents of homework set; through a journal, through the school website, or MLE or through the publication of homework schedules for parents.
  • At the time of writing, a small number of secondary schools are dispensing with homework in its conventional form. This in itself is not necessarily a cause for concern, but a parent must investigate the reasons for this policy and be satisfied that traditional homework is being compensated for in alternative ways.

Further Information

Open Evening

Choose a Head of Department and ask about their homework policy. Ask to see some completed homework in their display of students’work.


Many prospectuses contain the school’s homework policy. This is a good sign, but you must ensure at first hand that the policy is enacted.

School Publications

Phone the school and ask if they send out information to parents about homework, or communicate with parents about homework electronically.  Ask if you can be sent the information they have distributed to parents during the last term. Ask if you can be sent a homework timetable for Year 7 students. This will show you whether the school has an overview of the homework being set.


Ask the student showing you round about homework, how much they get and what happens to them if they don’t complete it. Ask the student if they get much homework they do not understand. Ask them what they do if they do not understand it.


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