A MUM has banned her three children from doing homework because she claims it is putting too much pressure on them.

Sarah Billing's three sons Aaron, aged 9, Kaeden, aged 8, and Ronnie, aged 7, all attend Sankey Valley St James' Primary School, Dorchester Road, Great Sankey.

She believes they are being given too much homework which is causing stress and disruption at home.

The 35-year-old has now stopped all three from doing any.

"They are not doing it, it's as simple as that," said Mrs Billing.

"I'm not against homework for older children but they are too young.

"The boys are screaming because they don't want to go to school.

"Research shows that with primary school children it doesn't make a difference.

"It's taking them away from family life and it needs to stop."

Pupils at the Church of England school are expected to do around twenty minutes of homework each night.

It includes times tables, spelling practice and reading.

Children who do not complete their homework do so for 15 minutes at lunchtime during a period called 'reflection'.

Earlier this year Michael Gove, education secretary, scrapped national guidelines on how much homework should be set after pressure from parents.

It is now up to head teachers to set the amount.

Vivienne Formby, head teacher at Sankey Valley St James, said the workload is reasonable but Mrs Billing disagrees and calls 'reflection' a punishment.

They should not be punished for not doing it," she said.

"What about when children are supposed to play out with their friends.

"I want parents to be aware that homework is not compulsory.

"You do not have to sign the agreement.

"Reflection needs to stop and homework needs to be reduced."

Mrs Formby said: "We seek to do the very best for all the children in our care and we are fortunate that parents are supportive and understand.

"We have a well established homework policy which is part of the daily life of our school and clearly states that the children should not take more than 15 to 20 minutes per day to complete, as we value not only the importance of family time but also feel that it is important for parents to have an understanding of what the children are learning in school."


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