Catholic students work overtime
According to the Executive Director of Brisbane Catholic Education, most Catholic secondary students would spend up to two hours per evening on homework, more than what is recommended by the Queensland Government's new guidelines.
David Hutton made the comments following the release yeterday of the Beattie Government's new homework guidelines aimed at achieving a balance between study, family life, sport and recreation.
Premier Peter Beattie ordered the homework review in August 2004 after parents showed overwhelming support for a call by principals and education researchers for the Government to scrap standardised homework for children from Prep to Year 9.
The Courier Mail reports that Mr Hutton said the Catholic sector left homework up to schools and communities to decide.
"Figures are always rubbery with homework because what takes one child half an hour will take another 10 minutes and another 60 minutes," he said.
Mr Hutton said that by the early years of secondary school, most Catholic students would be doing around 90 minutes to two hours of homework a night, more than the five hours a week set down in the Government guidelines.
Queensland Council of Parents and Citizens Associations president Wanda Lambert admitted that parents were divided over the issue of homework hours but has welcomed the new guidelines, saying it was important that schools consulted with their local communities in drawing up a policy.
"Some don't want any homework, saying it causes too many problems between children and parents," Mrs Lambert said.
"Some think a little bit of homework is okay, while others want more.
"There was such a diverse range of opinion among our members that we could not get a consensus other than it should not interfere with family life.
"As long as homework is suitable to the age group and abilities of students, and high schools co-ordinate homework so that homework for eight subjects is not given on the one night then there should not be too many problems."
John Roulston, executive director of Independent Schools Queensland said a good rule of thumb was that homework should be assigned on the basis of 10 minutes for each grade level up until senior school.
Education Minister Rod Welford said while the guidelines suggested that some independent schools set more, the total hours of homework varied from school to school and the differences were not great when the entire week was taken into account.
Parents split on issue (Courier Mail 18/7/06)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Brisbane
Queensland Council of Parents and Friends Associations
Independent Schools Queensland
Queensland Catholic Education welcomes $60m Budget boost (CathNews 7/6/06)
18 Jul 2006