A leader in the making

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Alex McTeer is obviously destined to be a high flyer, a mover and shaker if you will.

At the tender age of ten, when most of his classmates would throw a strop - or at least moan loudly to anyone within earshot - young Alex took his complaints to the very top. Literally.

In a move worthy of a captain of industry, a trade union firebrand or an unhappy foreign leader, young Alex made his case against homework, in writing, to the Prime Minister.

Now, at the moment, David Cameron might well be consumed by pressing matters of state, but, fair play to him, he graced Alex with a reply.

Actually, as a dad of three he may have heard some of it before and so had the answers off pat. No matter.

It has had the desired effect and Alex is dashing off his homework now to keep his weekends clear. Good time management. Great focus. Excellent drive. He will go far.

But, hold on a minute. Hasn’t Alex got a bit of a point?

Homework in primary school is a relatively recent development. Back in the day, you went to school, you learned your stuff, you went home to play. There was no such thing as parents’ evenings either. A report at the end of the year was it.

What you need is balance, surely? Kids learn a lot through play when they are very young. As they grow, they need time to relax, use their imagination, learn how to socialise, develop interests and pursue hobbies.

All of these things are part of their education, helping to create happy, healthy and well-rounded children.

As wise parents know, being too pushy can turn off even the most enthusiastic student.

Alex’s parents played a bit of a blinder, though, in encouraging him to put pen to paper.

Their son obviously set about the task with some enthusiasm. He no doubt laboured over the composition of this important letter. He will have checked his spelling and considered his grammar in composing his example of persuasive writing. More than one draft will have been produced until he was happy with the result.Homework, then. With a purpose.