A headteacher at Britain’s first secondary school to ban homework has made a startling claim about the move.philmThe new policy has been introduced at the 1,650-pupil Philip Morant School and College in Colchester, Essex. Principal Catherine Hutley hopes her teachers can work on delivering inspiring lessons instead of spending hours setting and marking homework.

The school’s head says there are not enough hours in the day for her teachers to complete all of their work. So she has announced a blanket ban on homework to give staff time to plan “precise” lessons. It is believed to be the first time a state school has scrapped homework without extending school hours.

Out-of-school-hours learning will still be encouraged through the school’s website with prizes offered to the most dedicated students. The head is convinced students will benefit but parents have raised concerns about the impact of the policy.

Reaction to the move has been mixed among the parents of pupils affected by the change.  The mum of one 15-year-old pupil said her daughter “couldn’t believe her ears” when she heard the news. She said: “My daughter has never been a big fan of homework so she’s really chuffed about the new policy. But I’ve told her that it doesn’t meant she’s off the hook as I am going to make sure she’s still studying for a couple of nights each week.”