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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 December, 2004, 12:00 GMT
Head suspends homework shirkers
Pupil writing
No pupils have been suspended this week
Pupils who miss three homework assignments in a row are facing suspension under a crackdown launched by a head teacher.

Lesley Lawson sent home 25 children in a week from Fort Hill Community School in Basingstoke, Hampshire.

Pupils who refuse to do their homework are put in a separate room and if they continue to miss assignments are sent home for two days.

Mrs Lawson said those not bothering to hand in work were "missing out".

'Serious sanction'

During the first week of the regime, introduced last month, 360 homework assignments were not handed in and 25 pupils were suspended.

In the second week only six children were sent home. None have been so far this week.

Mrs Lawson told BBC News: "We have a system of supporting children who are struggling with homework, but there were still a significant number of children refusing to complete theirs.

Lesley Lawson
It might seem draconian, but it seems to be working
Lesley Lawson, head teacher

"Suspension is a serious sanction. We don't send children home willy-nilly.

"But they have to have a good reason for not doing homework."

She added: "If pupils don't do homework, their classroom studies suffer.

"It also disrupts teachers, who have to spend the first 10 minutes of a lesson dealing with disciplining them.

"Most parents have been supportive of the scheme. We have to get them on our side, telling the children to do the homework.

"It might seem draconian to suspend pupils, but it seems to be working so far."

Research suggests that regular homework has the same benefit as an extra year's schooling.

Mrs Lawson is hoping to continue the pilot scheme at the 600-pupil school next term.

The school council, which includes representatives from each form group, is due to discuss the plans.

Homework drive targets parents
12 Nov 04 |  Scotland
Homework causes family arguments
10 Feb 04 |  Education
Pupils 'stressed' by homework
07 Oct 03 |  Education

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