05/03/2012 05:10 GMT

Michael Gove Scraps Homework Guidelines

Headteachers will be given greater freedom over how much homework to set after Michael Gove announced he would be scrapping government guidelines.

Under Labour, teachers were encouraged to set up to 2.5 hours per night for 14 to 16-year-olds and half an hour a night for pupils aged seven to 11. But following parent complaints about limited family time and opportunities for sport, the Department for Education is getting rid of compulsory homework.

The decision on whether to set homework at all will rest with headteachers, rather than with teaching staff as before.

A Department for Education spokesperson said homework was "part and parcel" of a good education.

"We trust head teachers to set the homework policy for their school. They know their pupils best and should be free to make these decisions without having to adhere to unnecessary bureaucratic guidance."

A former headteacher, Chris McGovern, who is chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, told The Sunday Telegraph: “The danger is that schools will use this as an excuse to dilute the amount of homework.

“Guidance for children who are coming from more deprived backgrounds is probably more important.”