INVESTIGATIVE reporters William Bell and William Vittery pressed the Government on the big issue dear to the heart of all children - the amount of homework they should be getting.

They were rewarded with a scoop when ministers promised to produce a policy guideline for primary school pupils this autumn.

The budding Jeremy Paxmans, both aged nine, quizzed the Department for Education on the thorny issue of how much homework primary pupils should be set and refused to be fobbed off with "no comments".

Working as part of a newspaper project set at Threshfield School, the two Williams interviewed their classmates and headteacher Helen Jarvis before contacting the Education Department.

They were rewarded when civil servants revealed they would be setting a homework policy in September.

Mrs Jarvis told the Herald: "Some of the children wrote about the Spice Girls and others the Teletubbies but William and William decided to get involved in the great homework debate.

"I suggested they contact the DofE for a quote but they struggled to find anyone who would comment but eventually found someone who said that a draft policy would be sent to schools in the spring and a definitive policy sent out in September. Until then the amount of homework is for the teachers to decide.

"At Threshfield we have been doing homework for at least six years since I came but we have had to increase the amount to half an hour with English and Maths work for Year four pupils. If children can work with their parents on a one to one basis they can really get a lot out of homework."

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