Poland Bans Homework in Primary Schools

Simon Lewis
2 min readApr 30, 2024
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In a surprising move, the Polish government recently decided to ban homework for primary school students. This move has definitely stirred up a lot of feelings and opinions, not only in Poland but worldwide. It really gets you thinking about Ireland and how we talk about things for so long and still do nothing about it. So why did Poland decide to go down this path, and what can we in Ireland learn from it?

For a long time, there’s been a big debate about homework. On one hand, it’s seen as essential for reinforcing what kids learn at school. On the other, it’s often just a source of stress once the school day is over. Opinions on this are really split among teachers, parents, and even policymakers.

In Poland, the government ministers thought that traditional homework might be doing more harm than good. So, they’re shaking things up by trying to cut back on after-school work to give kids more time for hands-on learning and just being kids.

Here in Ireland, we’re at a bit of a crossroads when it comes to education. The news from Poland should make us stop and think about our own approach to homework. I’ve been saying for a while that we need to rethink how we handle homework in our primary schools, as have many others.

Research and lots of educational experts are pointing towards a need for homework that’s more tailored to individual kids — something that sparks their interest and meets their learning needs. Perhaps, it’s not about scrapping homework completely, but rather making it something that really contributes to their learning. Perhaps — a rebrand?

What Poland is doing is interesting to me — it’s not the ditching of traditional homework in favour of projects that is causing me to look up — it’s the fact that the government can make these changes to practice. In Ireland it’s impossible due to our weird outsourcing of education from the Department of Education.

Even so, here in Ireland, we need to take a hard look at our own homework policies. We should focus on not just cutting down the amount, but improving the quality and purpose of the homework we give.

It’s time for us to have a real talk about homework — a talk that acknowledges how complex modern education is and takes into account the varied needs of our students.



Simon Lewis

Primary school principal, podcaster and poet. 👨🏼‍🏫 Writes about the Irish primary education system. Tweets from @simonmlewis