Philip Morant School and College in Colchester has become the first state school to scrap homework in Britain.

Traditionally, homework is seen as an opportunity for students to consolidate or extend their learning and it is expected to be completed, by schools and parents/carers alike.

The new scheme is optional, however there will be rewards for completed ‘appropriate’ tasks which are selected in place of homework. The school’s Principal Catherine Hutley hopes the ban will give teachers extra time to plan higher quality lessons and that the approach will give pupils ‘greater responsibility for their own learning’.

She said: “The job of a teacher is impossible. There are not enough hours in the day for a teacher to teach, set homework, mark homework, and plan their lessons.

“It is a move away from a more traditional approach but we would not do anything which would hinder the progress of our children.

“We want it to be the number one priority so teachers can plan for students’ individual needs and keep on top of their progress on a daily basis.”

There has been a mixed reaction from parents of pupils at the school. However Ms Hutley is convinced students will benefit from the change.

Independent boarding school Cheltenham Ladies’ College announced plans last year to get rid of homework in response to an “epidemic” of mental health problems. In 2013, Jane Austen College said pupils would be expected to complete all their work during timetabled hours and extended the school day to 5pm.

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