At Gymea Bay Public, parents are being surveyed about their attitudes towards homework, reasonable tasks for homework, how much homework is enough and what a school policy on homework should include.
A recent OECD report found that students in Australia's private schools do two hours' more homework each week than their public school peers but their results were are no better once socio-economic advantage was taken into consideration.
The NSW Department of Education allows schools to decide their own homework policies and unlike other states, does not have recommend times for homework, although it does suggest that homework not be given in kindergarten.
In Victoria, schools are told the early primary years (prep to year 4) should not be given more than 30 minutes a day and none on weekends, while older primary students should be given no more than 45 minutes homework a day.
In a research document attached to its homework policy, the NSW department points to evidence that says homework in primary school does not necessarily improve results.
"Most researchers conclude that for primary students, there is no evidence that homework lifts academic performance," the document says.
Education academic Mike Horsley, who co-wrote the book Reforming Homework, said there was a "fair degree of difference" in how parents and teachers valued homework.
"For some parents, homework presents specific challenges in the modern lifestyles, so with the changes in the workplace and living arrangements, more traditional types of homework presents challenges and in some cases these challenges have turned into a fair bit of family conflict," Professor Horsley said.
"There is a fair bit of research that says homework doesn't have a great contribution to learning as measured by standardised tests but that does not mean we should abandon homework.
"We argued in our book that homework should be reformed and be much more aligned to how learning should occur."
The French president Francois Hollande has said he wants to ban homework for children aged under 11 but Professor Horsley said he would not support this.
"We say in our book that we should not ban homework because it is important for kids to get themselves organised and manage their own learning, but if it is hours and hours of drill and practice, then we would not support that," he said.
Morning & Afternoon Newsletter
Alexandra Smith is the State Political Editor and a former Education Editor at the Sydney Morning Herald
This policy statement sets out requirements for schools in relation to the development of homework policies. The implementation section includes purposes and principles, main types of homework and expectations for parents and caregivers, teachers and students.
1. Objectives - Policy statement
Schools, in consultation with their communities, are required to develop a school homework policy relevant to the needs of their students.
School homework policies must be communicated to staff, students, parents and caregivers, particularly at the time of student enrolment.
Homework will be educationally beneficial and will meet the realistic expectations of students, teachers, parents and caregivers.
2. Audience and applicability
Homework is a valuable part of schooling. It allows for practising, extending and consolidating work done in class. Homework provides training for students in planning and organising time and develops a range of skills in identifying and using information resources. Additionally, it establishes habits of study, concentration and self-discipline.
4. Responsibilities and delegations
The principal is responsible for developing and implementing a school homework policy.
5. Monitoring, evaluation and reporting requirements
The Director, Early Learning and Primary Education and the Director, Secondary Education will monitor the implementation of this policy and will report, as required, to the Executive.
Leader, Primary Curriculum (02) 9266 8473.
Leader, Secondary Curriculum (02) 9244 5697.