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A Year of Books
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Children 'should not be forced to do homework'

10th May 2010

A children's author has called for schools to scrap homework, as it 'pollutes' pupils' home life.

Dr Eleanor Updale, whose books include Montmorency on the Rocks and Johnny Swanson, claimed in The Times that forcing children to do schoolwork in their own time can lead to anxiety and problems with their family.

She also suggested that a task which would take 30 minutes in the classroom can take three times longer in the home and sees children 'nagged, shouted, bullied and bribed' to complete it.

'Modern families are short of shared time. To pollute their homes with the values and anxieties of the classroom is a mistake,' the expert added.

Dr Updale, who is a Royal Literary Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London, also said children can only learn to read for pleasure if they are given time to enjoy the activity, not if they are coerced.

Last month, an article in the Daily Telegraph argued that parents should attempt to instill a love of the classics in their children by showing them that books are still relevant to modern life.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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