Scottish election 2021: Greens pledge to scrap homework for primary school pupils

The Scottish Greens have pledged to scrap homework for primary school pupils.

The proposal is the latest in a line of Green policies designed to focus on the social development of children following the coronavirus pandemic, including a kindergarten style model.

Education spokesman Ross Greer said homework could be “deeply unhelpful”.

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The Scottish Greens are pledging to scrap homework for primary school pupils. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

He said: “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.

“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.

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“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.”

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The party has also pledged to increase the number of teachers in Scotland by 5,500.

Other education measures proposed by the Greens include plans to move the age children start formal schooling to seven, and to introduce a play-based kindergarten stage – if they are elected in May.

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They said studies show that all children younger than seven respond and develop better with play-based learning, while formal assessments in literacy and numeracy in the early years can put some children off learning.

The Liberal Democrats also support a later start to education and earlier this month led a debate on raising the school start age to seven.