I have not read Michael Barber's research paper mentioned in the article "Booster effect of after-hours effort" (TES, January 17). But I suspect that not many politicians have read it either.
The warning by the authors of the report that "the size of its sample means that its findings cannot be considered conclusive" is not exactly what politicians want to hear - why let a few facts get in the way of a stampede to be the first party to launch a "more homework" crusade?
May I suggest an alternative vote-winner? Research carried out in this household, taking at least five minutes on Sunday morning, suggests that if you take a sample of 14 secondary schools (the same as the number used in the research) it can be shown that "successful" schools are to be found predominantly in leafy suburbs.
So the answer is simple - plant more trees.
PAM RUTTER 23 Chantry Road Moseley Birmingham