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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-10917: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 August 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what consideration it has given to the link between homework and attainment.

Answered by: John Swinney 11 September 2017

The Scottish Government's view is that homework, when provided at the appropriate level and in an appropriate way, can help to reinforce and support learning, and can help to involve parents with their child’s progress.

A school's approach to homework should be considered in the context of the research and guidance available, the school's wider strategies to improve attainment, learning in the home and family learning. School work assigned to pupils to take home should take account of the individual needs of the child, the views of parents and the need for all children to have a healthy balance of play, activity and learning opportunities. Schools should take an evidence-based approach to the setting of homework and broader efforts to support learning at home. Decisions should be based on teachers' professional judgement and knowledge of their own pupils' learning needs and parents should be fully consulted about any major changes to homework policy across the school.

The Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006 recognises the vital role that parents and other carers play in their child’s learning and development. The statutory guidance accompanying the Act states that parents should receive information and support to help develop their child’s learning at home and in the community. This should include appropriate information and support in relation to homework.

As part of the Scottish Attainment Challenge the Scottish Government is providing funding to the Education Endowment Foundation to develop a learning and teaching toolkit adapted for the Scottish context. The toolkit presents accessible summaries of the global educational research on 34 different educational approaches, and is available at:

The toolkit includes summaries on the cost and impact of homework in both primary and secondary.