SCOTLAND should scrap homework for primary school pupils to prevent it “intruding on family and leisure time”, the Scottish Greens have said.

The renewed call has been made in response to a major consultation on Scottish education, which has been billed the “biggest ever listening” exercise by the Scottish Government.

Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth said the National Discussion, which reached 38,000 people including 26,000 pupils and students, provided a “starting point” for looking to the future. One of the key themes identified was “cultivating joy and the love of learning”.

The Scottish Greens said previous research showed homework in primary school can have a detrimental effect on learning due to younger children’s lack of motivation for additional learning out of school hours.

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Ross Greer, the party’s education spokesperson, said research has also suggested homework can worsen inequality as it disadvantages children whose home environment makes completing it difficult.

He said: “Children learn in every area of their lives, not just when they are in the classroom.

“As this new report highlights, we need to re-ignite the joy of learning amongst young people, but that's hard to do when schoolwork follows them home and intrudes on their family and leisure time.

“Homework in primary school has little if any proven benefit and there is clear evidence that it can be unhelpful and counterproductive, often resulting in negative feelings towards schools and learning from a young age.”

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The Greens previously pledged to ban homework for primary schools in their 2021 election manifesto.

Greer added: “We should be giving children time to have fun, to play, to take part in after-school activities and clubs. If teachers feel that the only way to get through the work required is to issue some of it as homework, then the curriculum needs to be de-cluttered.

“Primary teachers have called for that for some time and this is our opportunity to deliver what they need.

“Sticking with homework because that’s what we’ve always done would fail our children and young people. We need to think big and be bold with reforms to our education system and this is our opportunity to do so.”

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Launching the National Discussion report, Education Secretary Gilruth said: “The engagement was wide-ranging and encompassed views that can too often be overlooked.

“The central message of the report, that all learners in Scotland matter, will now be the guiding vision that underpins our programme of education reform.”

She added: “This vision is the starting point as we look to the future. The challenge for all of us in Scottish education now is to work together to make this vision a reality."

But Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Willie Rennie said: “This report provides some stark evidence of the problems with additional support needs, casualisation of the teaching workforce, the failure to deliver a cut in class contact time and the desperate need for parity of esteem between the academic and the vocational.

“However, there have been years of endless consultations, working groups and reviews so it is now time for the government to deliver.”