Gary Lineker has a brilliant suggestion to help children in the UK

Gary Lineker
Fréa Lockley

On 24 September, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner announced Labour’s new policy for a National Education Service. The news gave hope to teachers, parents and children across England. But Rayner wasn’t the only one delivering great news for education. Because footballing legend Gary Lineker also took down Tory-led education policies that value statistics and results over people. And he’s absolutely right.

Spot on, Mr Lineker

Lineker put out a tweet that many parents, teachers and children know is absolutely spot on:

Many people agreed with him. Some pointed out that in Finland and Germany, for example, kids have little or no homework. And in these countries, children also fly academically:

But Piers Morgan thought he knew better:

But Morgan really shouldn’t have taken a pop at Lineker. Because the return takedown was brilliant:

And many others agreed with Lineker too:

Because the truth is, many people dispute the educational value of homework. Homework places more pressure on teachers and children. And more than a third of parents think it should be scrapped in primary schools.

More play. Less stress.

There’s a crisis in teacher recruitment and retention. In January, a report revealed that too many teachers are at breaking point. And those teachers surveyed explained that this can also affect the children they teach. Many people don’t see the long hours that all teachers work to plan and mark. Cutting homework is one of the simplest ways to help with this.

Tory cuts have also been relentless. And schools now need to fund 1% of the recent teachers’ pay award. But some schools simply don’t have the money to do this, which adds even more pressure.

And this affects children too. A report by Barnardo’s found that, by the age of 16, school is the biggest cause of stress for 83% of children. The new GCSE exams – introduced by this Conservative government – have caused an epidemic of “stress and serious anxiety” for young people.

So Lineker is absolutely right. Neither teachers nor children need homework. And if there is homework, it should encourage creativity and independent thought, not satisfy Ofsted marking targets. Teachers’ time is too precious and children need a proper childhood. So let’s hope that a Labour-led government will really start to listen to parents, children and teachers.

As for Morgan, he needs to accept that he lost this shootout. Lineker 3: Morgan 0.

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Fréa Lockley