Primary schools should stop giving pupils homework, the Scottish Greens have said.
The party will this week launch its Scottish Parliament election manifesto with a call to reduce demands on younger children at home so that they can spend more time socialising as the Covid lockdown eases.
In details reported by the Daily Record, the Greens argue that many pupils have been left isolated from their friends because of repeated school closures over the past year, with their social development suffering as a result.
Scottish election 2021: Parties' education policies at the start of the campaign
Background: What does effective homework look like?
International: What happened when a school made homework optional?
Ross Greer, the Greens' education spokesperson, said: "Too often we see homework issued because that’s the way it's always been, so that's the way we expect it to be today. In reality, research has found that this often isn’t helping children’s learning and can, in fact, be deeply unhelpful.
Scottish election 2021: Primary school homework 'can be deeply unhelpful'
"After a year full of remote working from home, the last thing children and families need once schools reopen is to bring even more work home. We know from research that this creates a negative association with school and learning from a young age."
Primary school homework adds to the workload of overstretched teachers, is of limited educational benefit & could be widening the attainment gap— Ross Greer (@Ross_Greer) April 12, 2021
The @scottishgreens will scrap it, giving children time to catch up on play & socialising#VoteScottishGreenshttps://t.co/CQAi0nYkfD
Mr Greer added: "Moving on from a year of restrictions on meeting friends and playing together, we need to ensure that children are free to go outdoors and socialise, rather than stuck inside completing homework which isn’t actually helping them.
"This is no criticism of overworked teachers, who are regularly pressured to issue homework which only creates an additional workload burden for them. Ending homework in primary schools benefits everyone: pupil, family and teacher."