Gloucestershire

Cheltenham Ladies' College pupils told homework end 'not imminent'

Cheltenham Ladies' College, Gloucestershire Image copyright Google
Image caption Eve Jardine-Young said the headline about homework being banned "was not entirely accurate"

The head of Cheltenham Ladies' College has had to "break the news" to pupils that the "end of homework is not quite as imminent" as they might have hoped.

It follows media coverage claiming the institution is banning "prep" - a public school term for homework - to "save pupils from depression".

Principal Eve Jardine-Young said: "The headline about homework being banned was not entirely accurate."

She said it was being looked at as part of an "overall review of learning".

Claims the prestigious independent school was considering scrapping homework were made in The Times after an interview Ms Jardine-Young gave to the newspaper.

Although the principal admits the girls' school is looking into the "daily" prep being handed out to its 850 students, she said it was not abolishing "traditional homework".

'Victorian approach'

"It's about stepping back and asking what is homework for, what is the effectiveness of the prep?," she said.

"It's an important debate to have but it's complex and it's very easy to turn it into a binary issue of 'yes or no' on homework."

In October, the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) reported that the college's set homework was "appropriate and stimulating".

But Ms Jardine-Young said the regimented "Victorian approach to homework" needed to be reviewed to make it "relevant for the 21st Century learner".

"It's about transforming and evolving from that Victorian model of the past," she said.

"It's a really important issue for all schools; the potential young boys and girls have just cannot be maximised if they are unhappy or really stressed about things in life.

"There's a lot of complexity on this so we're involving parents in that discussion and it's really crucial that the pupils themselves have a voice."

The school caters for day pupils and boarders aged between 11 and 18.

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