To ban or not ban mobile phones in schools - the debate continues
Back in June, Amanda Spielman, Ofsted Chief Inspector, supported schools who ban mobile phones, stating that their use in the classroom was "dubious" and that technology was to blame for "low-level disruption". This appeared to be supported by an LSE study which indicated that the banning of smartphones in schools boosted results. You can read more in our previous blog.
These comments and findings would suggest that a ban would be a positive action, although this is only seemingly supported in principle by the DfE.
In a recent speech at the Confederation of Schools Trusts conference, Damian Hinds, Secretary of State for Education, made reference to the recent ban in France. In his speech he stated that he believes "that kids in schools should not be on their phones", adding "I strongly support schools that ban phones. But when people asked me if I was going to follow the example of France and impose a national ban – I said no".
This leaves schools with the option to make the decision based on their own school experiences.
As reported in the Telegraph recently, schools are taking a number of different actions, from banning phones from school premises, having children hand in phones on arrival at school, "invisibility" polices and so on, supported by acceptable usage polices from both the students and parents.
However, taking a different approach is as school in Folkestone. Just last week, Kent Online reported that Folkestone School for Girls is not banning phones as they find them to be "valuable learning resources". The headteacher added "We do not have an endless list of dos and don'ts and trust and respect our girls to make informed and intelligent decisions about their own behaviour"
Have your say: Should mobile phones be banned in schools?Do you think a ban would be beneficial in your school, or do you think that allowing children to have them in school can be useful for learning? Please use the comments section below to share your thoughts and experiences, or simply answer the question, should mobile phones be banned in schools.
You can now also take part on our mobile phone survey - all responses are anonymous. Click here to complete the short questionnaire
Children are nicer, more engaged and better people when not on technology so BAN phones completely during the school day WITH serious consequences when rule is flouted. Educate on self control at all times/zero tolerance on bullying esp on social mediaPosted: over 4 years by Dianne - parent
Perhaps parents should only provide children with old fashioned phone call/text phones only during the week? The accident incidence of children on phones on way home from school and not seeing traffic may reduce as a consequence.
I think that allowing the use of phones for learning is essential for students to make progress. Schools should be teaching students how to use them properly rather than banning them as this is not fixing the issue!Posted: over 4 years by Claire Willmott, Assistant Head
I think that they shouldn't be allowed during lesson times, but they should be allowed to use during 1st break and 2nd break.Posted: over 4 years by Year 7 Student
I think not allowing pupils to use phones in schools keeps children safe. Technology can have a negative impact on mental health and it is important to have times in the day when we are 'offline'. Children will compare their digital devices and using technology belonging to the school helps to track a positive digital footprint.Posted: over 4 years by Lucy Computing Teacher
100% Ban. No need for phones in school. We managed without them. It would make pupils and teachers lives much easier.Posted: over 4 years by Garey Hull
I think young people are becoming more and more anxious when they don't have their phone attached to their hand. It's becoming a real problem in society. Banning phones during lesson times would allow young people to stop feeling so reliant on them and the break away would be healthy in my opinion. I do however, see benefits to using them for learning if done right - but just think the negatives outweigh the positives in this debate. We need to help prevent the addiction.Posted: over 4 years by Fiona, teacher
We have a policy where the pupils hand them in in during morning registration until after lunch. It's made a huge difference to them not being dependent on their phone and having to socialise. The pupils say they like it as it gives them time to think in lessons without worrying about notifications. We need to allow them to experience time without their phones so that they know how to regulate themselves.Posted: over 4 years by Helen, teacher
I accept that Mobile devices are a part of our young peoples lives and we allow their use at break times and outside of the buildings.Posted: over 4 years by Kate.K Head of Student Support
I agree that 'off-line' times in the day are valuable and that we set an example by learning without their use.
We have just introduced a system called Yondr where students have their phones locked away in a pouch from the start of P1 until the end of school. The decrease in cyber bullying and social times intruding into lessons is amazing. We brought it in to help students have a break from their online persona. Even the students have welcomed it now they are used to it!Posted: over 4 years by Rachael , Deputy Headteacher
SEND school and all pupils either arrive by taxi, or independent travelers by train, phone becomes entertainment in taxi and safety net for independent pupils. In school all pupils have lockers and keys in class. They lock phone away and keep the key. Agreement is, no phones all day (unless individual plan to see phone witnessed by staff if pupil has a particular concern and agreed with parent or carer, then locked away). Teaches the pupil responsibility for phone and builds up trust, but phone is not a distraction. Issues with trust then key handed in until trust is re-established. Seems to work well.Posted: over 4 years by Pete, Vice Principal
Completely share Helen's experience. We have this year implemented a mobile ban through the school day and the students themselves have been so positive - they are enjoying socialising in the physical world rather than the virtual!Posted: over 4 years by Stuart, Head of Secondary
Ban, Ban, Ban. Phones are the main problem at schools students receiving texts messages and calls from other students, family and friends during the school day. If the student is a independent traveller i can understand a parents concern but students become easy targets for muggings and assaults.Posted: over 4 years by Sarah, Leicester
no mobile phones ...not even parents can control what children esp teens access..in school even greater risk besides pranksters can do more pranks....so NOPosted: over 4 years by chris teacher