|You are in: Talking Point|
Monday, 10 December, 2001, 10:07 GMT
How much homework help would you give your children?
Euan Blair - eldest son of the Prime Minister - received help with his homework after his mother Cherie asked a No 10 official to help with information for a school debate. Was she just acting like any other mother keen to help her child?
In a move likely to be envied by pupils across the land, the official in this case then decided to contact the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to see whether they could help.
Who would you chose to help with your homework? Do you give extra help to your children and provide them with information just as Mrs Blair sought to do? Was she just acting like any other mother keen to help her child?
This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.
Surely the main object of homework is for the teacher to gauge how much the child has understood in class. If the parent does the work for the child or 'helps' too much, it is to the detriment of that child. The teacher will assume that the pupil has fully understood the work.
Lydia, Warwickshire, England
Couldn't Cherie or Tony help their little darling themselves?? Or are they really so stupid???
As a sixth form student myself, I see nothing wrong with any parent - be it Cherie Blair or anyone else - being concerned enough to seek further information in order to help their child. If it helps Euan and his classmates to learn more about the world in which we live, then fair play to them.
John L, UK
Would you consider it an unfair advantage if, one day, I help my daughter with her French homework? I would find it very silly not to help her!
One of the reasons such projects are set are that students learn how to research, to find the sources and make the requests in order to get the information. So, while Cherie Blair was being helpful, she was also preventing Euan getting the full benefit from the assignment.
Will Faulkner, Hale, Cheshire, UK
What parent would not pull strings to help their children and why should the Blairs be any different? All the civil servant did was to provide some information, which they probably would have done for anyone who e-mailed or called them.
I don't personally see anything wrong with it. It is simply using people with whom you have connections in order to give yourself an advantage over others which anyone does if they have any sense.
As long as the official did it for free in their spare time and wasn't wasting tax payers' money then it's fine.
It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that the child gets as much out of homework as possible. This was exactly what the Blairs did. They did not give their son the answer, which would have meant he learned nothing. Instead they obtained public information for him to learn from and use. This information is in the public domain and available to any parent. Getting someone to do his homework would have been wrong but not giving a lad the chance to learn as much as possible.
Robert del Valle, USA
The only times that my parents have helped me with homework/coursework is to check through the final article to see if it sounds right. I am dyslexic and I may miss words like they, has etc.
Just as long as they did not actually do Euan's homework themselves then I don't see what all the fuss is about. In a way, it's the same as searching the Internet for the information you require.
This is really a bit of a non-story. There is no proper parent in this country that would not use every means at their disposal to help their child with their homework. Part of the secret of success in life is, not necessarily knowing all the answers, but knowing where to find them.
It's wrong to think that the education system provides enough support to get your children a good education. Parents must play an active role in their children's education. Any self-respecting parent would have done exactly the same in Mrs Blair's position. Good for her.
Donna Rossignol, UK
I don't think Cherie using her influence to get Euan those A-grades is so bad per se, but isn't the point of homework to see how kids work unaided? I never got any help with mine...
Parental involvement with homework should be minimal. Every now and then
a child may need a little help getting through a sticky algebra problem, and conversing
about the literary merits of a current reading assignment may be helpful and provide a little
insight, but for the most part, homework should be done by the student. As much as we want to
see our children succeed, there are some things they have to handle themselves.
Jack Burge, UK
Everyone is bound to say that it's a disgusting thing to do, taking advantage of being elitist but we all know that if any of these people were in Cherie Blair's position they would almost certainly do the same thing. I don't see anything wrong with it. It is simply using people with whom you have connections in order to give yourself an advantage over others, which anyone does if they have any sense.
Rhys Jaggar, England
The Blair children live in a very nice big house in London. They are surrounded by security and the comings and goings of people all the time. This could hardly be classed as normal. The fact that Cherie helped Euan with his homework just goes to show how an attempt at normality is being made, good for her. If my own daughter asked for information on a subject and I knew someone I trusted who could help I'd ask too. Give them a break, they are just normal kids in an abnormally public and visible address.
Alex Banks, UK, living in Ireland
03 Dec 01 | UK Politics
Number 10 help with Euan homework
10 Nov 01 | Mike Baker
Your concerns over coursework
02 Nov 01 | Mike Baker
Parents 'need advice over coursework'
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Other Talking Points:
Links to more Talking Point stories
|^^ Back to top
News Front Page | World | UK | UK Politics | Business | Sci/Tech | Health | Education | Entertainment | Talking Point | In Depth | AudioVideo
To BBC Sport>> | To BBC Weather>>
© MMIII | News Sources | Privacy