By Louise Walsh
A young Meath student with autism has written to all the country's politicians asking them to "let kids have the time to be kids" by banning homework.
Determined Finn Savino (9) from Clonmellon penned the email to all TDs and the Department of Education stating eight reasons why after-school lessons should be scrapped to create more family time.
He is making good on a promise to his fourth class Clonmellon NS friends who voted him onto the student council on a mandate to get homework abolished and create a more inclusive system for children with disabilities.
In the open email to all TDs, especially his local representatives Shane Cassells, Peadar Toibin and Damien English and Education Minister Richard Bruton, he says homework is 'bad' because 'children spend around six hours of school every day and are probably tired afterwards, so an extra hour of homework is extremely unfair.
"Homework takes away quality time with friends and family and active time is also taken away which is putting children's health at risk," he argues.
"School work should be done at school and not at home.
"Homework causes stress and teachers are teaching less because they have to correct homework
"Home life is meant to be fun and homework is certainly not fun for a lot of children. Let kids have the time to be kids."
Finn says he has been getting great support from his friends.
"All the students agree with me. I especially think homework is bad for those with special needs, like me, who are really exhausted when they come home in the evenings."
Mum Grainne Finucane says: "Finn has autism and comes home from school exhausted as the social interaction and sensory experience of it completely drains him.
"He strongly believes that school work belongs in school and home time should be just for family, friends and fun.
"He also thinks kids end up staying in and sitting too much because of homework and his is concerned about their health, particularly since the ad campaign about chairs can kill came out to promote more activity.
"He only moved to Clonmellon NS this year and the first we heard of him being elected onto the council was when the other kids were congratulating him at the school gates.
"He told us that he campaigned on being nicer to students with special needs and no homework and that he wants to make sure he keeps his promises. He wrote the email to all the politicians and the Department of Education all by himself and just asked his dad to spell check it.
"He only sent the email on Sunday evening but has received a few acknowledgements to date and one invite to the Dail for himself and his class," she concluded.