From the forums

9th March 2012 at 00:00

Gove's decision to scrap homework guidelines

Delegating to headteachers the amount of homework being set in their schools can only be a good thing (unless, of course, Ofsted guidelines require minimum amounts).


So there are guidelines that mean headteachers can set X amount of homework or whatever homework they like. Has this man: A) Too much spare time? B) Run out of real policies? C) Become desperate for publicity? Regardless of what Labour, Govey or our headteacher say, our pupils have long since made all homework a voluntary activity.


As you rightly indicate, the key word is and always was "guidelines". All he had to do - if he were desperate to do something to keep his face in the spotlight - was say: "They're only guidelines, heads have always been able to do what they think best."


It's only another item that the Department for Education can add to the "we've reduced bureaucracy" list. Well done them. I think the next item will be the School (Length of String) Regulations 1997 Act, which every headteacher will be glad to see the back of.


The plain fact, of course, is that the DfE has done no such thing. My favourite so far has been "Heads don't need to fill in that long self-evaluation form for Ofsted" (But they'd be off their heads if they didn't).


I thought it was "Heads don't have to fill in our specific time-wasting load of nonsense. If they particularly want to come up with their own brand of time-consuming nonsense then that's fine, too. Time-wasting nonsense is still mandatory."


Personally, I'm still dancing a jig after the "you can confiscate phones and search bags" pronouncement. Since getting Gove's permission, I have gone phone-confiscating and bag-searching crazy in my copious free time. I was equally delighted by the advice about no-touching policies and common-sense rules about touching pupils.


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