Simon Cowell remarks won't help 'hard-working teachers'

Talent show judge sparks controversy after saying he wants his son to leave school aged 10 and that homework should be banned

simon cowell

Music mogul Simon Cowell has been criticised for saying he wants his five-year-old son to leave school when he's ten.

The Britain’s Got Talent judge also said he thinks homework should be banned and that pupils are put under “too much pressure to over-achieve”.

But his comments were slammed by Robert Halfon MP, chair of the Commons education select committee, who said they were “not a great plus for hard-working teachers”, the Sun has reported.


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Mr Cowell was speaking to American broadcaster NBC when he said of his son Eric, aged 5: “Listen if I can get him out at 10 to come and work for me then I would.

"I was better off out of school than I was in. But I didn’t have that major stress about homework, because I would just throw it away.

“A healthy, happy kid is more important than an over-educated, stressed kid.”

Bur Mr Halfon said “Not everyone can be like Simon Cowell. It’s really important that someone like him sets a good example.

“Many children from lower incomes and disadvantaged backgrounds depend on school. The school is the place that gives them some comfort, support, friendships and, even meals.

“I think he’s got to be very careful to not encourage kids the wrong way. It’s not a great plus for hard-working teachers.”

Simon, 59, left secondary school Dover College in Kent after completing his O-Levels and didn't attend sixth form.

He went on to gain a sociology qualification at Windsor Technical College, Berks.

He also told NBC: "I saw a documentary recently where apparently the most academic kids in the world now are from Finland.

“The reason is they stopped homework and the education minister said there is way too much stress on kids.

"They have to be kids, they have to enjoy themselves and enjoy school. I see kids today (who have) too much pressure on them to over-achieve.

“Everyone is taught they have got to achieve everything immediately or you are going to be a failure.

“I disagree with that and if you are like me – not academically smart – but you want to work hard, I believed in the apprenticeship way of working. So I would never put Eric under that pressure.

“I always wish I had kept my school reports as they were hilariously bad and I used to change them before I gave them to my mum to read."

Back in 2013, then education secretary Michael Gove branded Mr Cowell as “irresponsible and stupid” for the comments he made about it being better to be “useless and get lucky” than work hard at school.

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