To think it is ridiculous that the school have confiscated MY phone????

(381 Posts)
Slipperyslopin Fri 15-Feb-13 16:27:30

DS (14) was going out last night with a friend to see a movie after school. He didn't know when it ended and then we couldn't find it on the website so I told him to take his phone so he could call me afterwards and I could collect him. He told me his phone wasn't charged, so I gave him my one. He is very trustworthy and careful and I knew he wouldn't lose it, besides I'm not on call at the moment so I wouldn't need it during the day, and I'd rather he had a way to contact me if needed. During school the phone turned on in his pocket (Iphones angry ) and an alert went off for an update or something. His teacher heard it and confiscated the phone as they are not allowed in school, even if off. DS then had to call me from the office to say he would use his friends phone instead. All fine, fair enough I thought. However I then found out that the school policy is to keep the phone for a fortnight. I have unpredictable shift patterns and I actually do need that phone back, it has important work contacts on and is the number I am generally contacted on by whole family as we don't have a landline atm. So I went in and explained the situation and they REFUSED to return it! They've said they're keeping it for the full 2 weeks. I told them, it's a work phone, it has confidential stuff on it, it has all my work contacts and is an emergency number for DH on his passport, and as he is in France at the moment I needed that phone back. They just kept repeating that it is policy and they can't return it, I even had the head teacher tell me this! Surely it's against the law! I need that phone and they WILL NOT return it to me! What should I do? Can I get some form of legal action done here? This feels a hell of a lot like theft to me. I'm so beyond angry at them, any advice?

KatoPotato Fri 15-Feb-13 16:28:46

wtf? YANBU!

sneezingwakesthebaby Fri 15-Feb-13 16:30:11

WTAF?! No advice sorry but they are taking that way too far! I know some parents would lie to get their kids phone back but surely they could have let you prove it? I'm shocked.

Annunziata Fri 15-Feb-13 16:31:00

YANBU, but I bet every second parent turns up and claims it is their work phone and they desperately need it back.

rotavirusrita Fri 15-Feb-13 16:31:00

I would refuse to leave the office until they gave it to me. Needs to be escalated quickly to head/ chair of governers etc

Bejeena Fri 15-Feb-13 16:31:02

I am sure you have enough proff that the phone is yours, receipt, serial number etc. I would speak to the head again and tell him that you will be talking to the police, and if he still refuses to budge call the police and see if they can help.

Cortana Fri 15-Feb-13 16:31:33


They can't keep your property. I can understand some parents might use excuses like this to swing the lead in regard to school rules, but surely if they gave the the phone you could show the contacts and prove it is a work phone.

Could you ring non emergency police line for some advice? Would that be silly?

Storm the heads office and demand it back.

Bejeena Fri 15-Feb-13 16:31:43

proff? I mean proof!

Otherwise could your work help in any way?

Have you tried the non-emergency police line?

DieDeutschLehrerin Fri 15-Feb-13 16:32:05

Disclaimer this is just what I was told but at my school we were told we had to return the phones at the end of the day because it WAS classed as theft to keep it any longer so you may have some recourse to the law.

StarNoodle Fri 15-Feb-13 16:32:14

Jeez. I read the title and was ready to tell you YABU, if your child had your phone at school and it was confiscated that's fair enough. But I am shocked that they won't return it to YOU, after explaining the situation with work contacts etc! I have no idea what to advise...

Icantstopeatinglol Fri 15-Feb-13 16:32:17

Yanbu! That's ridiculous! I'd phone the police and report it as theft! School policy isn't actually a law! Jeez they need to get over themselves, I'd be fuming!
Hope you get it sorted asap.

DesiderataHollow Fri 15-Feb-13 16:32:32

If they refuse to give your property back you must next involve the police.

Bejeena Fri 15-Feb-13 16:32:33

I don't think calling the police (obviously not 999) is silly in this case.

BramblyHedge Fri 15-Feb-13 16:32:41

Could you offer to swap it for your sons phone?

Purple2012 Fri 15-Feb-13 16:32:43

It is not theft. The definition of theft is the intention to permanently deprive. They are returning it in 2 weeks so there is no theft.

I don't know what else you can do. I'm sure loads of parents will try and get phones back saying it's theirs.

EchoBitch Fri 15-Feb-13 16:33:02

What rota said.
I'd just sit down and wait till they gave me it.

Cassarick Fri 15-Feb-13 16:33:04

So what would you be doing now re work, DH, etc. etc. if your son had lost it or had it stolen.

You knew the school rules, and you broke them.

BackforGood Fri 15-Feb-13 16:33:07

I think you were wrong to lend your work phone to your ds in the first place. To quote your own OP it's a work phone, it has confidential stuff on it, it has all my work contacts and is an emergency number for DH on his passport, and as he is in France at the moment. So why would you think it OK to lend it to anyone else ? confused

sparkle12mar08 Fri 15-Feb-13 16:33:12

I wouldn't have left the office until it was returned, and I would have called the police if they continued to refuse...

lalabaloo Fri 15-Feb-13 16:33:23

That is absolutely ridiculous, I don't think they are even allowed to keep it for a fortnight if it is a child's, I would refuse to leave without it and if necessary call the police

Bring along his phone and ask tell them to swap it for yours?

After all confiscation is supposed to be a punishment for the child not the parent!

If no joy, then I'd be calling the non emergency number for advice.

mumblechum1 Fri 15-Feb-13 16:33:30

I'd tell them that unless it is returned immediately you are reporting the head personally to the police.

Is it half term next week where you are?

notapizzaeater Fri 15-Feb-13 16:33:35

No sure of legalities of them keeping it but a mum near us actually phoned the non emergency police number to report her daughters phone being stolen by the school, the school gave it her back ...

How was your son going to call you if he had your phone and you have no landline?

diddl Fri 15-Feb-13 16:33:57

I really don´t see how they can hold personal property for 2wks tbh.

Have you signed a contract to enable them to do this?

Surely they have no legal standing?

rotavirusrita Fri 15-Feb-13 16:34:00

Acually thinking about it is school still open? Take a flask of tea and a book and refuse to move until you get it back

usualsuspect Fri 15-Feb-13 16:34:26

I would refuse to budge until it was handed over.

Mawgatron Fri 15-Feb-13 16:34:35

Can't you swap child's phone for yours at the office? At our school they confiscate it until the end of the day, unless it is a third offence and then they step it up to longer. Seems harsh to keep it 2 weeks!

EchoBitch Fri 15-Feb-13 16:34:40

And who pays if it gets damaged whilst in their 'care',and who's to say they won't have a good old snoop through it?

I wouldn't take no for an answer,they have no right to withold your property.

PeazlyPops Fri 15-Feb-13 16:34:59


Passmethecrisps Fri 15-Feb-13 16:36:29

A fortnight? Really? Our policy is until the end of the school day for a first offense. Second time the parent needs to come and collect it.

Whoever owns the phone I think a fortnight is really excessive. It almost finished ours off to have them taken until the end of the day!

Seriously, I wouldn't often suggest this but I think you need to take this further. If you need the phone for work could you involve your employer? Seems ridiculous but might be worth a go

Totally over the top, even if it was your sons phone IMO. I would refuse to leave the premises until they returned it to me.

13Iggis Fri 15-Feb-13 16:37:20

Had the school made you aware of this policy in advance? I can't imagine your ds hasn't heard about it happening to others if they enforce this policy.
I think the fortnight thing is ridiculous, but I do think they were right to confiscate it - it did go off in class interupting the lesson (you should have deleted any alarms/alerts due to go off surely).
I have never heard of a school having such a policy, is it a state school? If so, there will be some kind of education department locally you could complain to.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Fri 15-Feb-13 16:37:36

Yeah I think I'd be threatening to call the police at this moment. You only gave it to him because he would need it later and his didn't work. He doesn't regularly go to school with an expensive valuable phone in his pocket. Go and see the head again and show them all the contacts etc in the phone. Ask them if they really think a child would have all that information in their phone. And then ask them who the bloody hell they think they are talking to a parent like that? I can't imagine any of the staff at my dc's school behaving in such a manner. Oh and if they persist in keeping the property of a parent, ask them if they're happy to provide cover when the phone keeps ringing asking for you.

crumpet Fri 15-Feb-13 16:37:39

A solution for next time would be to arrange for your son to use his friend's phone if needed in an emergency.

On this occasion he broke the school rules by taking in the phone, and did so without fully checking what the consequences would be. A fortnight is extreme, I agree, but you'll know for another time.

And my employer would have a strong view on my allowing a work phone to be used in this way.

TaggieCampbellBlack Fri 15-Feb-13 16:37:45

YANBU an I think I'd do the police.

I was all ready yo say YABU and it's DSs fault etc but 2 weeks is ridiculous. I'd not be happy with school keeping my childs phone for more than a day.

NoraSpect Fri 15-Feb-13 16:38:04

Jeez, YADNBU! Go to the school and don't budge until you get it.

ginmakesitallok Fri 15-Feb-13 16:38:09

Yabu to give a phone with confidential info on it to your son, sackable offence in my work. But, they are being unreasonable not giving it back to you.

EuroShagmore Fri 15-Feb-13 16:38:49

Stage a sit in and call the police (non-emergency). That is ridiculous.

hippoherostandinghere Fri 15-Feb-13 16:40:08

Good point made above, how would he call you if you don't have a landline. Have you another mobile?

LeChatRouge Fri 15-Feb-13 16:40:37

She could have charged his mobile whilst he was out.

chickensarmpit Fri 15-Feb-13 16:40:44

How pathetic of the school. They exist to educate our children, not to police them. I assume that if a teacher is caught with a phone, that is stolen for two weeks too? Call the police and report the theft.

When is it half term?

EchoBitch Fri 15-Feb-13 16:41:02

Please let us know what happens OP.

TimberTot Fri 15-Feb-13 16:41:45

Take your ds's phone in and request that they swap them over ?

Tell them that you understand the rule and that ds must be punished by loss of his phone for a fortnight but they won't achieve that by keeping your phone so they need to have his phone for the punishment to be effective.

Surely in the cold light of day that seems reasonable to them.

Slipperyslopin Fri 15-Feb-13 16:41:55

I like the idea of swapping it for his phone, I mean that is sort of following rules isn't it?

LeChatRouge Fri 15-Feb-13 16:42:10

Hopefully she's down at the school now singing 'we shall, we shall not be moved'.

Slipperyslopin Fri 15-Feb-13 16:42:36

Oh and son was going to call his phone, which would by the have been charged x

I thought half term was this week...I may be wrong <scratches head>

CheeseandPickledOnion Fri 15-Feb-13 16:45:08

I presume she would have been charging his phone while he was out so that he could call her on that?

YANBU. Phone 101 and report as theft.

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Fri 15-Feb-13 16:45:32

I would have called the police, from the school. Fucking ridiculous idiots.

flaggybannel Fri 15-Feb-13 16:46:28

my friend had a similar situation (but wasnt a work phone) they refused to budge on the issue. They confiscated on the friday and the policy was two whole school days so she didnt see her phone again until the following tuesday. I personally thought it was theft.

My ds had his phone confiscated in year 10, same school, phone came back 2 days later with no credit and call logs deleted. Also some music deleted. We couldnt prove it but it certainly seemed to have been tampered with- and used! I really dont know what we would of done if it had been returned damaged/broken. How could we of proved it was in working order before confiscation?

Goldmandra Fri 15-Feb-13 16:47:38

I would just tell them to hand over your property or you will call the police right there and then.

Two weeks?


I can see that they need to stop pupils using them in lessons but this is well beyond reason.

MrsTomHardy Fri 15-Feb-13 16:48:57

My sons school always give the phones back at end of the day....

I think the police need to be involved.

Passmethecrisps Fri 15-Feb-13 16:49:49

For the record I despise phones going off in class and confiscate readily.
I am not sure how the phone tuned itself on either - mine has never done this.


They were 100% correct to confiscate but the time span is completely daft.

I also didn't think of the employer's response - bad idea of mine to involve employer. Ignore that.

Was this policy made clear to you and your child?

If so, you shouldn't have loaned him the phone.

Bunbaker Fri 15-Feb-13 16:51:55

I'm also confused at how easily phones get switched on accidentally.

Surely the way to get round this is to:
a) Have the data connection switched off until you need to use it
b) Have the sound switched off.

Bearbehind Fri 15-Feb-13 16:52:14

That is terrible, who do they think they are?

Trouble is, won't the school be closed now for half term so you're screwed for a week anyway?

Wolfiefan Fri 15-Feb-13 16:52:17

I have an iPhone. It has NEVER turned itself on.
They are not allowed phones but you gave him a phone and told him to take it in? Really.

sweetestB Fri 15-Feb-13 16:52:40

Op, you knew school's policy is not to have phone in school even if it's turned off, so even if your son or his friend were taking their own phones to school, they would be doing the wrong thing.
It was also very irresponsible of you to give your work phone to him regardless the circumstances
He could have left his phone charging at home during school and come collect it before cinema
What kind of cinema or movie is this that you can't find info online?
Your son can go to a cinema with a friend but can't use a public phone?

CloudsAndTrees Fri 15-Feb-13 16:53:00

They shouldn't have kept the phone, and I 100% agree they need to give it back.

But you shouldn't be giving you child a phone that has confidential stuff about other people on it, and I have no idea how an iPhone would turn itself on in a pocket confused

stoatie Fri 15-Feb-13 16:53:04


If I thought credit had been used I would have contacted phone company - they can track when phone used etc and if it was after the phone had been confiscated then school would have had a lot of questions to answer.

When DD1 had her first phone (and stolen off her at school - hence one reason why schools ban them) I was able to contact phone company to a) put stop on phone B) say when she last legitimately use phone so she wasn't charged (it was contract with small call allowance) . It turned out the little treasure that stole it (she knew who but wouldn't go to police because DD feared the bullying that would follow!) had certainly been active on phone!!

CabbageLeaves Fri 15-Feb-13 16:53:18

I think confiscating and making a parent one in to grovel collect it is making their point. To refuse to hand over is wrong. (Unless your son is a repeat offender in which case they should stamp on it grin )

Dawndonna Fri 15-Feb-13 16:54:34

It is not legal for them to keep your property.

sweetestB Fri 15-Feb-13 16:54:42

I say - Fishy.....

GloriaPritchett Fri 15-Feb-13 16:55:44

I'd be delighted if the school kept my DC's phone for two weeks. It'd be bliss grin

ByTheWay1 Fri 15-Feb-13 16:55:51

School policy is no phones at all, yet you told him to take a phone and gave yours to him.....?!? I take it you did not know the policy? Or did you deliberately make your child break the rules??

School is wrong to keep the phone that long... but you are wrong too..

Bearbehind Fri 15-Feb-13 16:56:19

I-phones are a nightmare for turning back on if you are not used to them. You can press the on/ off button for a short time and screen goes black and it looks like its off but the damn things springs back into life after a while. This has happened to me on a flight before.

To actually switch it off you have to hold the top button until the swipe thing comes up on the screen then switch it off with that.

TheFallenNinja Fri 15-Feb-13 16:56:36

Did you speak to one of the grown ups there or just the numpty on the reception?

NatashaBee Fri 15-Feb-13 16:57:21

I was all set to tell you how unreasonable you were being, till i read the actual post. I would send them a letter asking politely for it to be returned, and let them know that you'll be calling the police if your property isn't returned by the following morning.

I have to say though... I'm not sure that an iphone can turn on in a pocket. You have to press the button really hard.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 15-Feb-13 16:57:32

The school are being unnecessarily strict and should return the phone.
But you gave your son a work phone with confidential stuff on it? That was wrong of you in so many ways. It would be a disciplinary matter in most circumstances.

Slipperyslopin Fri 15-Feb-13 16:57:41

I don't know why it turned on, may have been DS playing with it and left it on then lying to me. But I gave it to him because the area we're in can be a bit iffy and I was worried about him, it was also morning and I was rushing so just handed to him without thinking it through really.

DinglebertWangledack Fri 15-Feb-13 16:57:44

2 weeks is silly even if it was your son's phone. I hope you've marched back up there to demand the return of your property especially as their reasoning for keeping it is pure bollocks. Policy? Please. They are being unreasonable.

Personally I think it is kind of crazy that they aren't allowed phones at school (although I completely agree with temporarily (until end of day) confiscating if it comes out of a bag or makes a distracting noise. What about kids who have to go somewhere after school and need a phone to arrange for a ride/contact parent during weekend away/have health concerns and need emergency phone.

I think the two week suspension makes more sense if the student is a repeat offender and keeps ignoring the rules. I'm guessing OP's ds wasn't...? At our schools we have the end of day, then parent collect, then taken away for a period of time which I think is a fair system. I have seen the VP return phones to a kid who has a good reason, is contrite and willing to write an essay. I have also seen him turn down a kid because they keep breaking the rule.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 15-Feb-13 16:58:50

Why don't you ask your work to phone the school and insist on the return of their property?

DieDeutschLehrerin Fri 15-Feb-13 16:59:22

Ok, having looked here
It's not theft and it's up to the school how they deal with confiscated property.
Providing it is stored securely and they have acted legally in taking it in the first place, then the school and teachers are protected by law.
However, according to this website
The length of time the item is kept should be 'proportionate', so you could argue that one with them. Personally I would try the swap but it does seem as if the school has acted legally.

featherbag Fri 15-Feb-13 16:59:33

YANBU, I hope you're sitting in the office refusing to move and threatening to call the police.

flaggybannel Fri 15-Feb-13 16:59:42

"stoatie" - thanks, i didnt know that. There was suppossed to be £5 worth of credit left on it too (pre- pay)

My ds was more enraged about the music at the time, we were just relieved to get it back in one piece

GeetTallBird Fri 15-Feb-13 16:59:52

My iPhone does that all the time, it's turned onto silent with the side button but if it wants to make a noise it just DOES. There's an issue with the side sound on-off button on older models, trust me. Lots of threads on this on the apple website.
I hope you got your phone back by now?

sweetestB Fri 15-Feb-13 16:59:56

OP is now making a fool of herself, explaining why she let her child brake the rules with her own work phone full of important stuff in it.

GloriaPritchett Fri 15-Feb-13 17:00:01

Presumably the OP would be in deep shit if she told her work what she'd done.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 15-Feb-13 17:01:45

If he played with it then left it on, he is to blame. Presumably he knows the school policy?

You really should have thought about it properly, and drummed it into him that it needs to stay off, and be on silent if you are convinced that iPhones really do switch themselves on (which they don't).

It's also well worth drumming into your child that if they are going be trusted to go out to the cinema alone, than they also have responsibility for making sure their phone is charged. I would be very very cross with my ds in your situation.

Remotecontrolduck Fri 15-Feb-13 17:03:10

You need to stand in the office and demand it is given back. Literally, just not move until they've given it back. I'm not one for being dramatic but call the non emergency police. They have no authority to do this, what the actual fuck?

As an aside? No phones at all in school? For a secondary school? I've never heard of this. I'm all for it being off and texting in lessons gets it taken away until the end of the day but NO phones? Surely they cannot dictate that you cannot use one on the way to and from school?! Especially when students travel in miles probably and transport is unreliable?

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 15-Feb-13 17:03:21

The school should have a written policy that sets out the rules and the consequences for breaking them. My school holds phones for 24 hours the first couple of times, and the child can pick it up, then a parent has to come in and sign for it. So they could point out that the rules are clear, and that the responsibility is yours.
There ought to be room for flexibility though, I'm surprised the head turned you down.

BarbarianMum Fri 15-Feb-13 17:04:05

So you gave your very important work phone full of confidential information to your son to take to school even though he is not allowed a mobile at school and it went off in class and now the school have confiscated it in line with a policy that you undoubtedly had agreed to up to this point.

Struggling to find any sympathy tbh

sweetestB Fri 15-Feb-13 17:04:08

What is wrong with using a public phone anyway?
isn't what people used to do all the time before mobile phones?

Does your work know what's happened OP?

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 15-Feb-13 17:05:13

TBH there aren't that many public phones around any more.

Slipperyslopin Fri 15-Feb-13 17:06:01

I agree that I acted stupidly, but from experience DS has allways been trustworthy and reliable. I assumed he's be the same in this situation. I'm just posting this and will then be on my way with his phone to the school to ask for a swap. They'll still be open I presume at 5 past 5? [confused}

Remotecontrolduck Fri 15-Feb-13 17:06:43

Second what was said about not many public phones around now, and a hell of a lot don't take cash either!! I'm shock the school are being like this. What a nightmare

sweetestB Fri 15-Feb-13 17:06:55

I see public phones all the time everywhere
And people actually using them

StuntGirl Fri 15-Feb-13 17:07:47

Have you ever heard of the data protection act OP? If you deal with confidential information you will have signed something at work about it. And yet you gave your phone with confidential info to your son to take into school.

Aside from the fact you broke the rules at school despite knowing they weren't allowed phones, that fact ^ alone would get you fired in a lot of companies.

Perhaps you both need to learn a lesson from this.

Remotecontrolduck Fri 15-Feb-13 17:08:25

Definitely not here i'm afraid, and not a single one takes cash!

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 15-Feb-13 17:08:38

It's the work phone bit that I'm finding hard to understand. I'm a teacher, I often use my camera to take photos in school, but I remove the card and leave it in school to avoid taking images of children off the premises. Likewise confidential information has to stay confidential, even to the extent of having an encrypted memory stick for records and such.
How can you just hand over a work phone with all that entails to a teenager who may well play with it and access or tamper with the contents? Accidently or not.

sweetestB Fri 15-Feb-13 17:08:38

Also OP your son may be trustworthy but thieves aren't.

IAmLouisWalsh Fri 15-Feb-13 17:09:22

Good luck standing and demanding. We would lock up around OP and leave...

IAmLouisWalsh Fri 15-Feb-13 17:10:13

And we are shut by 4.30 on a Friday

Slipperyslopin Fri 15-Feb-13 17:10:53

Ok, when I say work phone I mean, "phone that has contacts from people at work which I use to call work colleages" not one that has been given to me by them and the confidential stuff is just emails from the company about work, which I was iffy about the school seeing :/

sweetestB Fri 15-Feb-13 17:11:09

Why didn't she go before now if she is off work?

squeaver Fri 15-Feb-13 17:12:41

5 past 5 on the Friday before half-term? You'll be lucky.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 15-Feb-13 17:12:53

Our office shuts at 4.30 too, we are still in the building, often until 6pm, but no one answers the door.
Did you phone ahead OP?

Remotecontrolduck Fri 15-Feb-13 17:15:23

You have made a fuck up OP by lending him the phone, but we all have unfortunately, you're just finding out harder than most. The fact there is no flexibilty in the system would rile me.

I'm still amazed that Secondaries ban phones at all!

rotavirusrita Fri 15-Feb-13 17:15:47

It depends what work stuff you mean phone has contact numbers on and emails come through to it.... So not exactly confiential but very important.
but op pls just go down to school rather than posting on here.

Roseformeplease Fri 15-Feb-13 17:18:14

I am really not sure about this. The school has no right to keep your phone at all, as far as I know, but I am in Scotland not England. Will someone legal help?

garlicbreeze Fri 15-Feb-13 17:19:08

I say call police, insist you need the phone this weekend, hope they have to recall the head to open up & recover stolen property. That'll show the overbearing twerp!

Do it, OP. Good luck grin

Roseformeplease Fri 15-Feb-13 17:19:33

Reading the OP she has been in but was told No.

Couldn't you just ask for your SIM & memory cards back?

yabu! your ds should have kept his phone charged. Lending yours to him was a mistake.... That said, two weeks is an awful lot to keep it for!

MardyBraWouldDoEddieRedmayne Fri 15-Feb-13 17:29:03

OP made a mistake
But the school is overreacting and being unreasonable.
Why do some people have to gloat about it?

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 15-Feb-13 17:35:15

All the school has done is what there policy states-
confiscated a pupil's phone for the length of time that they have stated ion their policy.

If it is a work phone and not a phone that you use for work maybe you should be more worried about breaking the data protection act.

Abra1d Fri 15-Feb-13 17:36:00

Agree, Mardy.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 15-Feb-13 17:36:32

Not gloating, it's the idea of confidential information not been taken seriously that bothered me. But thanks to drip feeding we now know that it isn't really a work phone and that the confidential info isn't really that serious, so it's much less of an issue.
School are being difficult, but I wonder how pleasantly the OP asked in the first place, or if she just stormed in and made the office staff get bolshie. Also whether her DS has form for messing around on his phone in school.
o, it shouldn't make a difference, but it often does.

StuntGirl Fri 15-Feb-13 17:39:58

Work emails accessible on a phone would still be counted as against the data protection policy in most workplaces rules. Your own fault I'm afraid.

Viviennemary Fri 15-Feb-13 17:42:02

It's theft. They are retaining the phone unlawfully. It is your phone. I'd inform the head, the police and the LA. Or at least threaten to. Or contact your local paper. They won't like that!

Yfronts Fri 15-Feb-13 17:45:00

IT's theft. They are keeping your phone and not your sons. Ring the police and the LEA.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 15-Feb-13 17:45:10

The rules were put in place for numerous reasons, from lesson disruption to cyber bullying. Most secondaries have similar rules about the consequences of misusing phones on school premises, and it was in the boy's possession.
I'd be surprised if the local papers and the police felt it was noteworthy, but of course the OP is at liberty to try.

sweetestB Fri 15-Feb-13 17:48:27

School is applying its policy
Why should OP get special treatment jus because it is her phone?
She was the one encouraging rule breaking in the first place
Ah maybe her boy is more o precious than everybody else's

Goldmandra Fri 15-Feb-13 17:49:12

The fact that it is a school policy does not make it lawful or proportionate.

sweetestB Fri 15-Feb-13 17:50:59

But was the rule OP agreed by enrolling her child at that school

rotavirusrita Fri 15-Feb-13 17:53:00

The world ( or is it just mumsnet) is full of jobsworths. The school and the OP are all adults. Why couldnt the school after the OP has explained what happened sort it out amicably... Maybe with a different punishment for the child and giving the phone back to the grown up?

usualsuspect Fri 15-Feb-13 17:53:05

Oh fgs sweetest,give the OP a break.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 15-Feb-13 17:53:46

Well, let's see what the outcome is, then you can petition the High Court to have all schools change policy.

Goldmandra Fri 15-Feb-13 17:54:43

Enrolling your child in a school does not give the staff carte blanche to steal items from them.

The actions of the school must be reasonable. This is not.

My DD's school has a similar policy and I crossed that line out on the behaviour contract. I crossed out nothing else as all their other policies are lawful and proportionate.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 15-Feb-13 17:54:51

That's what I wondered, rotavirusrita. But perhaps the OP started off by being furious...

usualsuspect Fri 15-Feb-13 17:54:59

It's a ridiculous policy,I would kick up a fuss if it was my child's phone let alone mine.

Goldmandra Fri 15-Feb-13 17:56:59

It is theft regardless of whether the OP was polite to the staff.

Not that I am defending parents who behave aggressively towards school staff. That is simply a different issue.

In our school the parents and the kid sign the agreement stating the policy so they are aware.

Did you sign an agreement with your child?

I'm surprised anyone is agreeing with you. It's a good rule, have you any idea how disruptive it is to deal with children 'accidentally' turning their technologies on during lessons?

Your kid deprived others from learning by turning the phone on - if there's no consequence to that then 30 of them will turn them on. That's why they have the rule.

I'm sure you or your kid will have been told this rule or he/you will have signed a behaviour contract.

Frankly I think you're a numpty for not knowing this and lending your kid your phone.

The only person I have sympathy for is the kids who didn't learn or tuned out while your kid was having his phone confiscated.

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 15-Feb-13 17:57:28


No one has stolen anything from anyone.

The OP's Ds should not have had a phone in school.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 15-Feb-13 17:57:57

Parents kick up a fuss when their child has been filmed by bullies, or had nasty texts sent to them in school, or when lessons are continuously disrupted by phones.
Cyber bullying often requires phone misuse in school time.

garlicbreeze Fri 15-Feb-13 18:04:49

Private agreements do not override the law, no matter how many people signed them. The school's retained OP's property without permission, even refusing to give it back when asked. The school is in the wrong.

I could put up a notice saying I was entitled to all the money belonging to anyone that comes in my house. When I took yours and said "rules are rules", would you just go "all right then"?

Goldmandra Fri 15-Feb-13 18:05:07

No one has stolen anything from anyone.

They are withholding property which belongs to someone else. That is stealing.

I agree that if the school rules state that phones are not allowed in school the OP's son should not have had it there. That doesn't justify the school taking any action they see fit, particularly as it was not his phone.

The school's reaction should be proportionate and all the teenagers I know would feel like their hand had been cut off if they lost the phone for just one night.

Two weeks is ridiculous and schools who treat parents with this little respect will find it hard to work in partnership with them in the future.

sweetestB Fri 15-Feb-13 18:06:10

Maybe it isn't the first time OP's son has being caught using phone at school, that is why is 2 weeks confiscation perhaps

Slipperyslopin Fri 15-Feb-13 18:06:10

Ok, just returned, want to sort of firstly say that when I first went in I was expecting them to hand it over once I'd explained as I felt this was perfectly reasonable and I respected that the punishment was fair enough but would have to be changed in these circumstances, so I didn't start off by shouting smile I went there and luckily the deputy head and some office staff were still there. I politely explained that I would be willing to give them DS's phone in exchange and deputy was lovely about it, agreed imediately and was about to do it but the office staff were having a bit of a whispered muttery conversation behind him and finally blurted out that the head wouldn't be happy at all. But deputy was great and said he'd explain and all would be fine, even went and apologised for all this and offered to let me remove and take home battery and sim card from Ds's phone if I was worried about people going through it (i wasnt with his phone, just with mine, but agreed) so all is good now. Not sure how head with react when told but ah well. Thanks to those who suggested that smile

rotavirusrita Fri 15-Feb-13 18:08:06

Thank goodness for that......common sense reigns !

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 15-Feb-13 18:08:06

So the OP and other concerned parents can challenge the school policy and get it changed. That sounds reasonable.
I wonder if the office was open and she got it back, and what she'll do next if it's locked up over half term and her work are trying to contact her. I hope she updates to let us know.

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 15-Feb-13 18:09:04

It is still not theft as was explained upthread.

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 15-Feb-13 18:09:51

Oh good. I'm glad it worked out. Now to change things for the future?

sweetestB Fri 15-Feb-13 18:13:13

How about school challenging parents attitude in being a bad example by not encouraging their children to play by the rules and even helping them break it?

Jinsei Fri 15-Feb-13 18:14:40

Glad you got it back OP. Lessons learned all round, hopefully!

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 15-Feb-13 18:19:52

congrats OP.

Sounds like an excellent solution and a more effective one to take the kid's phone than the parent's.

Personally I think making parents come sign for the phone in person is a pretty good one usually, especially if it is only at a certain time of day (say for half an hour after school ends). Most parents will make it crystal clear to their kid that they don't appreciate having to do so.

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 15-Feb-13 18:30:33

I feel sorry for the recption staff TBH they have to deal with all kinds of aggro from parents collecting phones.

Rosa Fri 15-Feb-13 18:31:46

Honestly how petty of the school......

Rosa Fri 15-Feb-13 18:33:06

Opps page was open on posts before you got it back... Well done deputy

Boney, in our school front desk aren't the ones that deal with phones.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Fri 15-Feb-13 18:34:53

Offer to swap it with your son's phone

LittleChimneyDroppings Fri 15-Feb-13 18:36:31

The world ( or is it just mumsnet) is full of jobsworths

There certainly seems to be a lot of them around tonight.

Cortana Fri 15-Feb-13 18:37:29

"It is still not theft as was explained upthread."

So, if I took your purse, then explained I was going to give you it back in two weeks you wouldn't call the police on me? After all, it's not theft as I have intention of returning the item.

Glad it's all sorted.

CaptainVonTrapp Fri 15-Feb-13 18:38:28

I love an aibu with a swift and just outcome!

Feenie Fri 15-Feb-13 18:39:41

So, if I took your purse, then explained I was going to give you it back in two weeks you wouldn't call the police on me? After all, it's not theft as I have intention of returning the item.

Yes. But then I would probably call the police if you tried to enforce my wearing of a school uniform aswell. hmm


BoneyBackJefferson Fri 15-Feb-13 18:41:28

niether are ours but they are first in the firing line for the parents that turn up.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Fri 15-Feb-13 18:41:36

Oh, sorry, missed the fact that you have it back!!

CaptainVonTrapp Fri 15-Feb-13 18:41:44

Absolutely Cortana! Anything beyond the end of the school day seems dispoportionate to me.

Just how long would they have to 'confiscate' it for people to consider it theft?! A year? two?

Enfyshedd Fri 15-Feb-13 18:42:17

Feenie - So by your logic, police, firefighters, etc shouldn't have to wear a uniform either hmm

CaptainVonTrapp Fri 15-Feb-13 18:43:56

You're right Feenie,forcing you to wear a uniform really isn't the same. Might want to work on a better analogy...

ShipwreckedAndComatose Fri 15-Feb-13 18:44:48

Seriously, some of you should try dealing with phones that go off in lessons to understand why schools are driven to bring in sanctions that have any sort of chance to try to stop the disruption it causes.

And some of you should meet the parents who would literally pretend the phone was their just to get it back for their precious children.

Feenie Fri 15-Feb-13 18:46:09

I'm not a policewoman or a firefighter - so having trouble with your logic there.

Children have rules enforced, and items confiscated if they break said rules. I was questioning a poster who likened a consequence of breaking a rule in school with the consequence of breaking the law as an adult.

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 15-Feb-13 18:50:53


that would be the first time that the parent tries to reclaim it after the stipulated timeframe and is refused.

IAmLouisWalsh Fri 15-Feb-13 18:51:52

If the sanction is made clear in school rules, then why object? We state any phones in school will be confiscated and must be collected by a parent. Strangely enough, it is the same ten or twenty parents who come to school every week, collect the phone and give it straight back. The ones who ring me and ask if we can keep it for a week, or who collect it and then don't give it to the child for the weekend tend not to have children who repeat offend.

We ban them because kids take photos and post them on FB in lessons, update statuses, send threatening texts, contact parents with trivial issues and generally piss about when they should be learning. And most importantly, because having a phone during exams or controlled assessments can lead to instant failure for contravening rules set by the exam board - and ultimately could lose us our right to hold public examinations.

Any child who needs to contact home can use the school phone at break or dinner - and, in extreme cases, during lesson time. 95% of the kids have them in their bags, switched off, out of sight and get caught once in a blue moon. 5% see it as 'their right'. It's a phone, not a fucking oxygen mask!

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 15-Feb-13 18:53:31


"I love an aibu with a swift and just outcome!"

Actually by the tone of some posters the school have now stolen the OP's son's phone.

KobayashiMaru Fri 15-Feb-13 18:54:47

Threads about UK schools never cease to amaze me. How utterly ridiculous. Is the head on some kind of bizarre power trip?

Cortana Fri 15-Feb-13 18:56:05

"Children have rules enforced, and items confiscated if they break said rules. I was questioning a poster who likened a consequence of breaking a rule in school with the consequence of breaking the law as an adult."


If the rule enforced by the school breaks the law the school's policy does not trump the law, it's the other way round. Asking someone to wear a uniform does not break the law, whether that's a workplace rule or one by the school. Both a workplace and a school can send you home if you do not adhere to their uniform policy. So no, it's not the same.

Feenie Fri 15-Feb-13 18:56:58

Whatever hmm

Alligatorpie Fri 15-Feb-13 18:58:59

I am surprised they let you change it. Just spoke to dh, who confiscates his students phones regularly. He said he doesn't care who owns the phone, everyone knows the policy ( confiscate for 24 hours) and pleading from a parent doesn't work.
I agree 2 weeks is excessive, but you did know the policy.

Cortana Fri 15-Feb-13 18:59:16

Best response EVER!

amillionyears Fri 15-Feb-13 19:00:26
ShipwreckedAndComatose Fri 15-Feb-13 19:01:10

<passes cortina a chillpill>

Peace and love thanks

ShipwreckedAndComatose Fri 15-Feb-13 19:01:51

Sorry...cortana blush

Didn't mean to liken you to a crappy car

CaptainVonTrapp Fri 15-Feb-13 19:02:20

Not just the schools though kobaya parents amaze me too. that people actually accept that if the school has a policy onsomething, no matter how ridiculous, it should be followed without question! Esp funny is the suggestion that if u dont like school policies u should choose a diff school! Ha ha! As if!

ShipwreckedAndComatose Fri 15-Feb-13 19:05:08

Yes, you are right.

We should just have a free for all where students and parents (and teachers) choose which rules they agree with and will follow...

Sounds like an excellent way to run a school

Cortana Fri 15-Feb-13 19:05:57

Peace and Love Ship, no offense taken. I'm more Prius than Cortina fwiw.

I am chilled smile, my capps was a tongue in cheek response to a previous poster's use of them.

Agreed Captain.

FarBetterNow Fri 15-Feb-13 19:07:13

I think it must have been a long, hard week for some people.

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 15-Feb-13 19:10:18

So Captain kobaya et al

How would you deal with mobile phones in schools?

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 15-Feb-13 19:11:11

sorry, should be a comma in there

ilovesooty Fri 15-Feb-13 19:15:50

Esp funny is the suggestion that if u dont like school policies u should choose a diff school! Ha ha! As if!

What's funny about that?

IvorHughJangova Fri 15-Feb-13 19:18:54

Cool beans op.

S'not a recordable offence of theft because there is no intention to permanently deprive on the part of the school. However, when I worked for the police I would have accepted a report from the Op because as far as I'm concerned, it's theft. Would then have been up to a more senior bod to decide whether to continue with it or drop it as it's not recordable.

Just sayin'. I don't know much but I do know my recordable offences!!

Cortana Fri 15-Feb-13 19:19:57

"How would you deal with mobile phones in schools?"

Honestly, as I parent I wouldn't let DS take it in, as a teacher I would keep until the end of the day requiring a parent to sign it out. Ensures the parents are aware that the phone is causing a distraction and inconveniences the parents in that they must come to the school and pick it up, deeply uncool to have the rentals around in high school apparently.

ilovesooty Fri 15-Feb-13 19:20:21

It seems a reasonable compromise to swap it for the boy's phone, but perhaps the OP will heed the policy in future and make her son do the same.

And if I had a personal phone with work data on it I'd be sacked. Work phones should be encrypted and only used by the designated user in order to comply with information governance requirements. I can't imagine why the OP was so stupid and irresponsible to let her son have the phone at all.

CaptainVonTrapp Fri 15-Feb-13 19:21:54

What's funny is that in many areas, 'choosing' a school just isn't possible. Either because of oversubscription, (around here you just think yourself lucky if you get any of the 5 schools off your list) but I realise that in rural areas, there simply isn't a choice.

HellesBelles396 Fri 15-Feb-13 19:25:13

bravo IamLouisWalsh - we don't want to take the damn phones - we just want to be able to do our jobs.

EvilTwins Fri 15-Feb-13 19:25:15

It's amazing anyone ever coped as a teen without a mobile phone.

They are incredibly disruptive in lessons. I have had students choose an internal exclusion over handing a phone over. Parents who defend their child's "right" to have a phone in school don't help.

In my school, phones are taken for the rest of the day for a first offense, and then after than parents have to come and collect it. I like the parents who don't find that they have "time" to do so for a day or two (or three) grin

CaptainVonTrapp Fri 15-Feb-13 19:25:42

Getting a parent to sign sounds like a really good idea. This must be really inconvenient esp at high school so I presume is effective.

wonkylegs Fri 15-Feb-13 19:26:19

Ilovesooty I think the laugh is over the opportunity to 'choose' schools. In many areas there is no actual choice just the opportunity to go to the one you've been given a place at rather than home school.

EvilTwins Fri 15-Feb-13 19:26:31

Only effective where parenting is effective. Some kids have their parents wrapped round their little fingers [states the bleeding obvious]

Startail Fri 15-Feb-13 19:29:39

I would turn up at the school desk in person and demand it was returned instantly, or I was ringing the police and having them done for theft.

I'm very glad to say the DDs school are very sensible and accept that DCs living complex lives need their phones.

You simply get detention if it's heard or seen in a lesson.

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 15-Feb-13 19:31:06

so as a teacher you would confiscate the phone "stealing it" from the student?

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 15-Feb-13 19:35:08

According to the ATL (education union) its unlawful to NOT return valuble items should the parent request so at the end of the school day, a iphone would be concidered to be a valuble item.

cory Fri 15-Feb-13 19:35:23

Dc's school have a policy whereby you have to turn your phone in to reception at the beginning of the day and collect it before you go home, thereby avoiding the problem of lessons being disrupted. If you forget to do so, then you have to face the consequences. Makes sense to me.

ravenAK Fri 15-Feb-13 19:43:29

I'd confiscate it, drop it in at the school office & leave it up to them whether to return it - as a teacher, that's my job done. Out of my hands when the kid gets it back.

Our office have a record of who's had a phone confiscated, & repeat offenders have their parents rung to collect it.

Two week confiscation seems a tad OTT to me, but as a parent in the OP's circs, I think I'd be doing as OP did - acknowledging that it was my mistake in giving ds my work phone, & then going to to swap it for ds's phone. So, all sorted in this case, & school have in fact been perfectly reasonable.

Cortana Fri 15-Feb-13 19:48:22

Yes Boney, there needs to be a balance between school rules and rights. Although if the parents were to turn up immediately I would be happy to hand the phone over.

The teacher cannot physically take the phone from the student and it has to be willingly handed over and kept safe. As the child would have willingly handed over the phone I would not consider it theft.

Once the parent (in this case the OP) requested her property back and was refused that is the point at which I would consider it theft.

I am struggling to see how anyone could not appreciate the difference between something being confiscated for the duration of a lesson or the school day and the refusal to return someone's property for two weeks.

(would like to clarify I am not a teacher, but someone asked how Captain and those who agreed with him/her thought it should be dealt with and I answered how I would from the viewpoint of parent and teacher)

3littlefrogs Fri 15-Feb-13 19:49:12

At dd's school they get detention if the phone is heard or seen. The students switch them off.

I wouldn't give dd my work phone because it is in use all the time, and it never stops ringing.

I have an old payg phone that is the back up for times when a spare phone is needed.

pooka Fri 15-Feb-13 19:54:35

Cody - our school office totted up the rough value of all theohones handed in (bearing in mind only applied to year 6s with parental permission as is primary) and came to the conclusion that insurance was a possible issue. Basically, the office staff just didn't feel comfortable being responsible for theohones and I don't blame them - they've got better things to be doing.

I imagine it would be a nightmare at secondary level.

Now the school has a don't hear don't see policy. If a child has a phone (some did if they were doing a long journey home) it must be kept out of sight and silent.

pooka Fri 15-Feb-13 19:55:18

Aargh - cory NOT Cody! grin

TheChimpParadox Fri 15-Feb-13 20:02:40

op - YANBU - however sadly this is not theft as the school do not wish to permanently deprive you of it -they will give it back after two weeks so no intention to keep it on a permanent basis.

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 15-Feb-13 20:05:45


But what if the child won't hand the phone over?
Its more disruption, for those that want to learn.

according to some on here confiscating is theft, minute, hour, day doewn't matter, posters have said that they would be "demanding" the phone back.
and according to some on here children need their phones as it is a right.

So why does a child need a phone at school?
Why does a child need an expensive phone at school?

BTW not having a go its just others haven't responded.

Rowlers Fri 15-Feb-13 20:07:11

I'm taken aback by a lot on this thread tonight!
I teach in a secondary school and we have had a phones poicy for a long time which works well; phones are allowed (how can you seriously stop them? phones can be quite useful too!) in school but must be switched off and put in bags during lessons.
Consequence if phone pings / rings in lesson = confiscated and must be collected from Head of Year at end of the day.
repeat offenders = phone must be collected by parent.
Students understand and appreciate these rules and abide by them for the most part.
On the odd occasion (and I mean very rarely these days) it's just a mild interruption as far as I'm concerned - kids look round going "oooohhh whose phone was that?" owner of phone goes bright red, admits it was theirs, apologises and puts it on my desk. End of story.
School keeping phone for two weeks is control freakery. Absurd.

TheChimpParadox Fri 15-Feb-13 20:07:14

on the other hand there is no way I would give my DS my phone !

garlicbreeze Fri 15-Feb-13 20:07:33

Good lord! Teachers really are above the law shock

This is long, but the bits relevant to this thread are in bold.

Screening, searching and confiscation


School staff can search a pupil for any item if the pupil agrees.

Headteachers and staff authorised by them have a statutory power to search pupils or their possessions, without consent, where they have reasonable grounds for suspecting that the pupil may have a prohibited item.
Prohibited items are:
• knives or weapons
• alcohol
• illegal drugs
• stolen items
• tobacco and cigarette papers
• fireworks
• pornographic images
• any article that the member of staff reasonably suspects has been, or is likely to be used:
i) to commit an offence
ii) to cause personal injury to, or damage to the property of, any person (including the pupil)

Headteachers and authorised staff can also search for any item banned by the school rules which has been identified in the rules as an item which may be searched for.


School staff can seize any prohibited item found as a result of a search. They can also seize any item, however found, which they consider harmful or detrimental to school discipline.

The power to seize and confiscate items – general

What the law allows:

• Schools’ general power to discipline, as set out in Section 91 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006, enables a member of staff to confiscate, retain or dispose of a pupil’s property as a disciplinary penalty, where reasonable to do so.

• The member of staff may use their discretion to confiscate, retain and/or destroy any item found as a result of a ‘with consent’ search so long as it is reasonable in the circumstances. Where any article is thought to be a weapon it must be passed to the police.

• Staff have a defence to any complaint or other action brought against them. The law protects members of staff from liability in any proceedings brought against them for any loss of, or damage to, any item they have confiscated provided they acted lawfully.

Statutory guidance for dealing with electronic devices

1. Where the person conducting the search finds an electronic device they may examine any data or files on the device if they think there is a good reason to do so. Following an examination, if the person has decided to return the device to the owner, or to retain or dispose of it, they may erase any data or files, if they think there is a good reason to do so.

2. The member of staff must have regard to the following guidance issued by the Secretary of State12 when determining what is a “good reason” for examining or erasing the contents of an electronic device:

• In determining a ‘good reason’ to examine or erase the data or files the staff member must reasonably suspect that the data or file on the device in question has been, or could be, used to cause harm, to disrupt teaching or break the school rules.

3. If inappropriate material is found on the device it is up to the teacher to decide whether they should delete that material, retain it as evidence (of a criminal offence or a breach of school discipline) or whether the material is of such seriousness that it requires the involvement of the police.

TheChimpParadox Fri 15-Feb-13 20:09:19

garlic -it's Friday night - half term has started -please summarize smile

Rowlers Fri 15-Feb-13 20:10:16

Couple of ways phones have been useful - i teach MFL - kids record MFL conversations on phones to practise for assessments.
Sometimes kids run out of time and don't get info copied off board - use phone to take pic and copy into book later.
I know other departments have other uses too

consonant Fri 15-Feb-13 20:11:55

I would tell them you are going to take it to the police.
There may not be an intention "to deprive permanently" but it's still not legal to take someone's stuff for a couple of weeks, even if you are going to give it back!
Tell them it's a work phone, it belongs to your company and they are calling in the lawyers over breach of confidentiality smile

garlicbreeze Fri 15-Feb-13 20:12:18

KK grin

Teachers can search pupils with or without consent. They are entitled to destroy any item found, or data on a phone, if they think it's a good idea. This statute is an automatic defence against any proceedings brought against them.

The head could have smashed up OP's phone, and the law would say OP had no case shock

consonant Fri 15-Feb-13 20:12:47

good post garlic!

consonant Fri 15-Feb-13 20:14:24

but the confiscation has to be reasonable -- and it has to be the pupil's property. This is neither IMO.

Garlic, in this case the phone is NOT the pupil's property, so does this defence still hold?

cardibach Fri 15-Feb-13 20:15:57

garlic that doesn't make teachers above the law - that is the law that binds them! And I dispute your last sentence, as there would be no good grounds fo destruction (unless the OP's son has been doing something dodgy...).

ilovesooty Fri 15-Feb-13 20:17:48

Tell them it's a work phone, it belongs to your company and they are calling in the lawyers over breach of confidentiality

It's not a work phone, and the breach of confidentiality occurred 1) when the OP put work data on a personal phone and 2) when she allowed her son to have possession of it.

CaptainVonTrapp Fri 15-Feb-13 20:18:17

Boney EvilTwins has explained that some pupils would face exclusion rather than hand a phone over. Indeed what choice would there be? A teacher is hardly going to wrestle someone for a phone if they refused.

I honestly don't think anyone on here has objected to teachers confiscating phones that have been used / gone off during lessons. Just to the school keeping them for two weeks.

garlicbreeze Fri 15-Feb-13 20:20:32

It says any item, not any item specifically belonging to the pupil.

And the teacher only has to believe there were reasonable grounds. Interfering with discipline is a reasonable ground.

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 15-Feb-13 20:22:45


"Garlic, in this case the phone is NOT the pupil's property, so does this defence still hold?"
As the pupil has the phone the school can make the reasonable assumption that the phone belongs to him.

garlicbreeze Fri 15-Feb-13 20:23:04

This just looks insane to me! Of course pupils need phones, they don't teleport into the family kitchen as soon as school's out.

Why don't schools just collect them on the way in & give them back at the end of the day?

(Mind you, even then the staff could go through them all, deleting data and destroying devices at will.)

I really hope somebody tests this in court.

ravenAK Fri 15-Feb-13 20:24:56

Actually, I'd imagine the 2 week thing is pretty counter-productive.

If one of my students' phones beeps in a lesson (like Rowlers I find this to be rare - most of our kids know where the off switch is.) then I just hold out my hand. Kid places phone in hand, it goes on desk, they get it back from office at end of day.

There is no disruption to the lesson - I don't even need to stop talking to the rest of the class.

Occasionally someone tries to argue, at which point I remind them that failing to follow an instruction from teaching staff escalates the situation to 'red card' - removal from classroom to Isolation Unit for rest of day, parents contacted etc etc. Generally this is enough to persuade them that the path of least resistance is to just hand it over!

If they knew they wouldn't be seeing their phone for a fortnight, a lot more of them would end up refusing to comply, with the attendant disruption of someone having to 'red card' them off to Iso.

I also don't agree that a 2 week confiscation is reasonable. I need my DD to have her phone because things change on an irregular basis, as both Mum and MIL are ill and I've been caring for them. At least her school is okay about pupils having phones as long as they are switched off in lessons.

IAmLouisWalsh Fri 15-Feb-13 20:35:36

garlicbreeze we don't collect them and hand them back because there might be 1,500 kids, all with 'special reasons' for having phones. How the hell would we do that every day?

No child at my school needs a phone during school hours. They all carry them but know the consequences if they are caught with them.

We have had a number of instances of porn on phones which is the only time we would check them.

I have said that when I win the lottery, I will happily sit with a sledgehammer and smash up confiscated phones. THAT might be a deterrent.

IAmLouisWalsh I agree my DD doesn't need her phone during lessons, but I need her to be able to check her phone during breaks as things change pretty fast at present. AS I stated earlier, both MIL and mum are ill and mum in particular has been yoyoing in and out of hospital and I can't predict if I'll be at home or if I need DD to go to someone else's house.

Most kids will have momentary lapses, it's often so easy to forget to switch the phone off or at least put it on silence. At least a policy of handing a phone back at the end of the day will allow DD to check what's happening (but she's been good so far, has never had a problem).

2 week confiscations are stupid. The school needs to realise that banning phones will never work, as King Canute found out about the tide.

IAmLouisWalsh Fri 15-Feb-13 20:49:12

Fryone in those circumstances we would make sure that messages got to your daughter as a priority. I regularly get messages to pass on to kids about going 'home' to a different house etc.

LessMissAbs Fri 15-Feb-13 20:49:18

Send them an invoice for your losses, and include a letter stating that you will sue them for said losses if not paid within 14 days. Your losses could include purchase price of new phone, your time spent entering new data, any wages from shifts lost as a result of no way of contacting you or similar, any additional costs incurred by your DH in France as a result of being unable to contact you, etc.. Keep receipts.

I was going to say YABU, and that you could just go into the school in the evening to get the phone, until I realised that they you had done that, and they had actually refused to return your own property to you!

Cortana Fri 15-Feb-13 20:50:18

"But what if the child won't hand the phone over? "

I would assume that's where the child opting for Iso comes into Boney, although Garlic has really opened my eyes to how much power the school has.

Obviously I'm not against being able to take drugs, weapons and porn off children, but I had always and perhaps naively assumed that in those instances where it was deemed essential to the child's wellbeing or the wellbeing of those around them that the police would have to be called before searches were carried out. I could demand the police if a supermarket demanded to search my person before I left.

Again, I cannot stress enough that I don't think there's reason for a child to have a phone in school. As long as the school has a manned reception and in an emergency a message could be given to the child I do not see the need and can see only negatives in having mobile phones during lesson.

I was more concerned about disproportionate punishment that went outside of the law and hid behind policy. Can now see this is the tip of the iceberg.

Lora1982 Fri 15-Feb-13 20:52:31

He had a phone in school and thats not allowed. Offer to give them your sons phone. But id still call the police.

VerlaineChasedRimbauds Fri 15-Feb-13 20:53:53

But, FryOneFatManic, before mobile phones (I'm old, me) the sort of situations you describe still occurred. In these cases of family crises the obvious answer is to phone the school and for them to pass on a message. Similarly, if the pupil needs to contact the school in an emergency, they ask the school for permission to use a school phone.

I do think the school insisting on holding on to a parent's phone for 2 weeks is quite extreme but presumably the rules were clear. If I had been the head in this instance I would have quietly made an exception and hoped that word didn't get round. But I do understand that this exception being made could quite easily open up the floodgates of "it's my Mum's work phone, there's confidential information, she has to have it back".

I think it is really daft to lend your child a phone for school if the rule is "no phones in school".

TooMuchRain Fri 15-Feb-13 20:53:59

as King Canute found out about the tide

he knew, that was his point

chickensarmpit Fri 15-Feb-13 20:59:37

What are the rules on staff having private phones in the work place?

Feenie Fri 15-Feb-13 21:02:46

What has that got to do with children having phones?

EvilTwins Fri 15-Feb-13 21:03:30

In my school, mobile phones have been used to:
Video fights and post straight onto Facebook and YouTube
Take photos which are then use to bully other students
Call parents DURING lessons because kids think they are being dealt with unfairly

I could go on...

Obviously these are fairly rare , but they still go on. I have no idea why parents feel it it important, let alone a "right" for secondary age kids to have a phone at school. When I starts teaching in 1997, it was very rare for students to have a mobile, and they all coped.

As for the "but I need him/her to be able to check their phone at break.." argument, rubbish. My children are 6 and therefore have no phones. However, on the few occasions I've needed to make last minute changes in arrangements, I have called their school and the message has got through.

Feenie Fri 15-Feb-13 21:05:16

I've had a child play his 18 year old sister's sex video to other Y5s. hmm

And cyber bullying galore, of course.

EvilTwins Fri 15-Feb-13 21:05:43

As for staff, I have a mobile phone, but it stays in my bag in my office. I wouldn't dream of having it in my classroom.

But a school can't get a message to a pupil once they have left the premises. This has happened recently, I had to try and contact DD once she had already begun to walk home, which is why I want her to have a phone on her. She's 12.5, so if older it wouldn't be a problem if she got home and was there alone for a little while. But at present, while I have a backup place for her to go if I'm not there, things don't always happen in time for a message to be passed on in school.

Okay, it's one of these things and she's good at sticking to the rules about the phones, so far so good. (And yes, I know King Canute was trying to prove a point, it was a random thought that popped into my head at the time.)

I think a reasonable compromise at this time is if the school accepts swapping the phones, so they have the OP's son's phone confiscated and give the OP's phone back.

chickensarmpit Fri 15-Feb-13 21:06:54

Everything. My sons teacher has his phone permanently stuck to his ear during lesson. Then again he does have a pregnant wife but what's good for the goose...

EvilTwins Fri 15-Feb-13 21:08:46

I'm quite shocked by that, chickens, and would assume it's not normal. Highly unprofessional in my view.

IAmLouisWalsh Fri 15-Feb-13 21:11:06

fryone in your DDs case I would advise her to hand in her phone and collect it at the end of the day. In individual cases that can be managed.

chickens if that is the case then you need to speak to the school. My phone has gone off once in class, to much hilarity. I locked my bag in the cupboard and gave the keys to the teacher next door, telling him to only give them back at lunchtime. The class approved.

IAmLouisWalsh Fri 15-Feb-13 21:12:00

Although I would take exception to the idea that children should be able to do everything that teachers can do. I wear make up to school, children don't. There are rules.

mrsbunnylove Fri 15-Feb-13 21:12:42

i have up to three mobile phones, belonging to me, on my desk at any one time. i have elderly parents in poor health so i need to be ready for an urgent call but anyone who called me other than in an emergency would find i couldn't talk to them. pupils have theirs in their pockets or bags, unless they're naughty and have them under the desk for continuous texting.

pupils can use their phones for research or to photograph their best work to show their mums, or if there are lots of notes on the board some pupils like to photograph those...

chickensarmpit Fri 15-Feb-13 21:14:56

My son takes his phone to school. During his first week in high school, his nan and I both received calls of reception informing us that they didn't know if my child had gotten onto the school bus. He had told them that that he couldn't find his buss pass, so they rang around my relatives to see if it was ok to lend him money. Then they sent him off on his merry way. The bus had already left! His was sobbing when we found him. Now he has a phone and that won't happen ever again. He's 11 .

chickensarmpit Fri 15-Feb-13 21:16:38

I only know about the teachers phone because he has a yoda ring tune. My son thinks its amazing

Lucky for us, DD's school is reasonable. Phones okay as long as off during lessons, and DD sticks to that. So far it is fine.

Hulababy Fri 15-Feb-13 21:30:46

I work in a school. We have to have our phones in a locked cabinet, outside of the actual classrooms. They must be turned off or on silent. We may use them in the staff room in break times, or in classrooms before/after school if there are no children around. My locker is in the shared storeroom adjoining my classroom.

A school in our LEA in the Autumn was given a notice to improve after a member of staff was observed receiving a call on a personal mobile phone. The school failed its inspection and given the notice to improve as a result of this single child protection/safeguarding issue.

However re the confiscation of children's phones - I don't agree with it. The school should make provisions for children to have a phone in school in some form - either a system to hand in/out at start and end of day, children to keep in a locked locker, etc.

nitsparty Fri 15-Feb-13 21:32:37

this can't be legal! If you park your car in the wrong place in their car park could they keep your car for two weeks? go to the police, then find out who writes the education news on the local paper.

Hulababy Fri 15-Feb-13 21:32:49

DD will have a mobile phone for starting secondary school. She will be traveling on public transport, possibly by herself. I want her to be able to contact me if she needs to, and vice versa.

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 15-Feb-13 21:35:21


"Obviously I'm not against being able to take drugs, weapons and porn off children"

EvilTwins sums most of it up with

"In my school, mobile phones have been used to:
Video fights and post straight onto Facebook and YouTube
Take photos which are then use to bully other students
Call parents DURING lessons because kids think they are being dealt with unfairly"

add sexting and you have all bar drugs.

Cortana Fri 15-Feb-13 21:41:08

I agree Boney, I agree that teachers should be able to confiscate phones. I do not agree that keeping them for two weeks as opposed to having them handed back to parents at the end of the day solves any of the problems Eviltwins listed.

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 15-Feb-13 21:43:23


Depending on where you park they could tow it and impound it, requiring futher fees to release it, or extreme cases have it destroyed.


Hopefully it will be a basic phone with limited functions.

TBH, I wish that they made a phone that just made phonecalls, no text, no photos, no mp3/radio function.

changeforthebetter Fri 15-Feb-13 21:58:49

Rowlers? There was. A lovely session on my training about using Qcodes in MFL - meanwhile, back on planet inner-city/challenging intake-land mostly I'd like to get kids to engage with their learning rather than their energy drink and to protect the quieter ones from bullying by text, FB or whatever medium. I take phones off kids if they are on in the lesson (school policy anyway) and bollocks to the "it just switches itself on, miss" argument. Get it sorted out.

stuffthenonsense Fri 15-Feb-13 22:02:38

My daughters go to a school which has a no phones policy, however, for any school trips THEY want PUPILS mobile numbers to be able to contact them (secondary obviously). Bunch of hypocrites, how can anybody be expected to respect those rules that the school itself intentionally breaks?

Hulababy Fri 15-Feb-13 22:04:51

BoneyBackJefferson - actually it won't be. It will be a smartphone for various reasons. Dh and myself have discussed the matter a great deal and made this decision for a whole raft of reasons. It will be monitored and we will continue to teach DD about responsible and safe use of mobile technology.

EvilTwins Fri 15-Feb-13 22:07:26

Oh FFS. Not having a phone in a classroom is vastly different to being asked to take it on a trip. I doubt a child would get lost in a classroom thus necessitating a teacher calling their mobile to discover their whereabouts.

It astounds me that so many MNers are up in arms about this. How in earth did we all manage as teens in the days before mobiles?

Hulababy Fri 15-Feb-13 22:10:20

EvilTwins - I did not need to travel on public transport for longer distances at the age of 11. My friends lived within short distances from my own home so we traveled less when out and about.

Remotecontrolduck Fri 15-Feb-13 22:11:12

Well things change don't they. Just because phones weren't around then, doesn't mean they shouldn't play a part in life now.

It's a phone, they are useful, not the devil in plastic casing. Control freakery to be taking it away for two weeks. Collection at the end of the day if it is being used or by parents for repeat offenders.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Fri 15-Feb-13 22:21:58

My secondary school DC have phones (although not expensive ones). They are allowed to have them in school but switched off/on silent during lessons.

DCs school is a rural one 10 miles away from home, (and much furhter for many other DC). If they stay late for an activity no-one answers the switchboard phone after 4.00 pm so it is impossible to get a message to them if there is a problem. I actually think this is wrong and there should be a manned phone in school until all activites have finished.

At my school staff phones have to be locked away during lessons for safeguarding purposes.

EvilTwins Fri 15-Feb-13 22:25:14

I travelled to school on a public bus from the age of 11. Both my parents worked. I coped. When I started teaching in 1997 a mobile phone was a rarity. I remember one girl responding "why in earth would I need one?" when asked by a friend if she was going to ask for one for Christmas. My point is that it seems to have become a necessity over the last 10-15 years, when in fact, no one NEEDS to be contactable all the time. Kids come to school with phones and with the view that they NEED them, that their parents might NEED to contact them at any given point, and they can be incredibly disruptive in the classroom. They are no more a necessity thansn iPod or gameboy in lessons. FWIW, DH works somewhere he is not allowed mobile devices at all. He has to leave his iPhone, BlackBerry (supplied by work (he's a contractor)) and laptop at home. If I need to get hold of him in the day, I have to call the switchboard. All this hysteria about school children NEEDING mobile phones is rubbish.

cricketballs Fri 15-Feb-13 22:36:37

Hulababy - you may not have travelled far but many of us did before mobiles were invented and we and md our parents coped!

Phones and the fallout from them are a nightmare! It is not just the gossiping/bullying aspect but I have had students in the middle of a lesson "its my mum phoning about tea tonight"

How am I expected to teach a lesson when this happens? Unless there is a clear consequence to using a phone in lessons then students will continue to to flout the rules. My own DS had his mobile go off during a lesson, his school's policy was to confiscate and have a parent collect it - it took me 2 weeks to get round to picking it up and guess what...he never broke the rule again grin

I too have to call DP through the switchboard if he's at work, but there's a problem. He has to be in at work by 9am, and the board doesn't open until 9:30 am. And if he's on late, again I can't get in touch with him after 5:30 as the switchboard is closed. So in emergencies I can't contact him then. Stupid policy.

And it the same at DD's school. If she's doing an after school activity, I can't reach her via the school I have to contact her mobile as their switchboard is shut.

Policies need to be sensible.

annh Fri 15-Feb-13 22:45:59

I do think there is a great hysteria about people needing mobile phones these days and a tendency to say that we all managed perfectly well years ago without them. That's all fine up to a point but we all operate very differently nowadays. Thirty years ago (when I were a child, well, no I was already 18) we made arrangements for Saturday night well in advance and had to stick to them because once everyone had left home and were on the bus or train or walking there was no chance to change arrangements or the meeting place or time or whatever. Today, if you don't have a mobile you risk never meeting up with anyone!

EvilTwins Fri 15-Feb-13 22:49:40

I think the problem is that mobile phones have made us all lazy. We are so used to being able to contact people at the drop of a hat that we panic when we can't / think we can't. I remember my mum telling me when I was younger that she used to worry about my dad, who drove a motorbike to and from work- on the odd occasion he was late, she had no way of getting hold of him. In those days, though, that's just the way it was. Nowadays, we would think it outrageous.

Hulababy Fri 15-Feb-13 22:54:16

Yes - but things are different now; times have moved up; new technology is available, etc.

As said already - I will continue to teach my DD about safe use of mobile technology, this will continue to include appropriate use. Many children ARE capable of sensible and appropriate use. Even though there are increasing instances of misuse, these are still the minority - a significant minority, yes, but still a minority. Most children are sensible and considerate ime.

And yes - I have worked in schools for several years, including secondary school. I maintain a strong interest in the use of ICT and mobile technology both inside and outside of work. I attend various courses and training events. I am not naive, I just believe in education as being the best route rather than banning things for my DD. I will monitor always, especially as my DD grows older and is more vunerable to such things, and will act accordingly.

I agree tht phones should always be off in class. Ideally they should have to be in a locker and not in lessons at all, or handed in securely at the start of each day. I still think a two week confiscation is too much. I think there are better ways personally. Parents having to go in can work better I think. But there are always going to be some children who will break rules - these need to be targeted rather than blanket polices, ime/imo.

Hulababy Fri 15-Feb-13 22:57:02

I also work where phones have to be locked away and off/silent. Calls go to the office and the office staff come over and pass on any messages.

When I worked in a prison they had to be signed in/out and left in a secure store at the main entrance. However, I did have a phone in my office with a direct line.

I wouldn't leave my phone at home as I like to have my phone when I am travelling, especially by car. Incase of accidents or delays it makes life much easier, and surely that is the purpose of a mobile phone - they are more convenient, they make life easier.

So yes - nobody really NEEDS a mobile phone - but they don't half make life more convenient on the whole.

lisad123everybodydancenow Fri 15-Feb-13 23:39:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BOF Sat 16-Feb-13 00:05:41

Blimey, this thread reads like an episode of The Good Wife - lots of MNers are clearly frustrated legal eagles grin.

AllThreeWays Sat 16-Feb-13 00:31:03

I am in Australia so may be different.
We had a policy like this at the school where I teach, it has recently been changed because it is illegal, and is theft.
Personal belongings must be returned at the end of the day, otherwise it is theft.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 16-Feb-13 01:19:42

I'm now fondly remembering the days when people didnt believe they had an absolute right to be able to contact me 24 hours a day no matter what

MidniteScribbler Sat 16-Feb-13 01:52:32

OP you missed a valuable teaching opportunity for your son. HE should have been the one to go in to the school, apologise and offer his phone in exchange for yours.

Mimishimi Sat 16-Feb-13 02:32:44

I think you should try and arrange for a phone swap - your son's phone Goes into detention and you get yours back. YANBU but I can see their POV too.

Astelia Sat 16-Feb-13 05:10:28

Our DDs' school have a no phones in lessons policy and if one goes off it is removed and returned by their HOY at the end of the day. They do have lockers to keep them in so they don't need to keep them in their pockets.

Removing a phone for more than a day becomes a safety issue as students need to be able to contact parents about getting home if they are travelling on public transport or going out at weekends or in the evening. I know they weren't available years ago but as a parent I find they reduce my stress levels and make organisation much easier.

Glad it all got sorted OP, I know rules have to be obeyed but as an experienced teacher I know it is appreciated by parents and students when a bit of leeway is given by the school.

cuillereasoupe Sat 16-Feb-13 08:02:33

I would suspect that the two weeks confiscation kicks in for repeat offenders. I'd be having a word with my son about that, and I don't believe it switched itself on either.

I also wonder if confiscating something for two weeks is theft, why isn't confiscating something until the end of the lesson?

lljkk Sat 16-Feb-13 08:29:05

good points, CuilleR.

I think I am on the fence about OP's AIBU, but glad she resolved it amicably.

LividDil Sat 16-Feb-13 09:05:15

It is really not a good idea to lend a work phone, with confidential stuff on it, to anyone. And is probably not allowed by your employer. And if the "stuff" includes third party personal data I'd have additional concerns.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 16-Feb-13 09:16:20

CuilleR I agree.

In my experience, sometimes parents are too quick to believe their children do no wrong.

I also agree that it's a bad idea to lend out a work phone

Floggingmolly Sat 16-Feb-13 09:42:44

He broke a rule, and confiscation of the phone was the (known, presumably?) consequence. Why would the school give a shiny shite who the phone actually belonged to, and why does it matter to anyone except you?

blondefriend Sat 16-Feb-13 09:43:12

The issue here is not the confiscation. All schools will have a mobile phone policy that, in this case, the OP's son broke. However the level of confiscation seems to very from school to school. My school requires a parent to come in during school hours to collect it. Sometimes that happens within hours but other parents can't get in for weeks. If the OP's school has a written policy that indicates a 2 week exclusion then I'm afraid you don't have a leg to stand on. You will have signed a contract at the beginning of your son's education at the school that you will abide my the school's rules and policies and that will stand in this case. It's a bit annoying that it occurred just before half term and that they weren't flexible under the circumstances but maybe they have had other parents making similar excuses in the past and it has become an issue. I'm lucky, in my school the parents generally side with the teachers. I confiscated an ipod just before the holidays once and the parents had to leave work early and lose the associated pay in order to collect it for their child before a long flight. They were cross with him not me.

cuillereasoupe Sat 16-Feb-13 09:46:17

jeez, could the child not fly without an ipod? hmm

DizzyHoneyBee Sat 16-Feb-13 09:54:25

YANBU but you knew that phones were not allowed and let him take it anyway?
I would question a high school not allowing phones though.

Millais Sat 16-Feb-13 10:20:22

My dcs aren't allowed phones at school. If you have a specific reason to disagree with this you can write in and ask for a change to the rule for your child. On the rare occasions my dcs have needed a phone (going out after school, travelling to a sports fixture and needing collecting) I have written a letter, phone is handed into the office and collected at the end of the day.

They only have very basic phones as we know a lot of teens who have been mugged for their smart phones.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 16-Feb-13 13:57:18


Who will teach the other pupils safe use of technology?
and you won't be there in lessons when she gets bored and texts her friends or goes on facebook.

Goldmandra Sat 16-Feb-13 14:03:22

Confiscating phones is a behaviour management strategy.

It is important that pupils are aware of a deterrent to having their phones on during lessons so that their learning and that of their classmates is not disrupted.

As with any other behaviour management strategy it is sensible to use the minimum level of deterrent necessary to prevent the unwanted behaviour.

Confiscating the phone removes the problem immediately and inconveniences and embarrasses the pupil. This should be enough of a deterrent to keep lesson disruption to a minimum so their is no reason for them to be kept beyond the end of the school day.

For repeat offenders this could be escalated to requiring the parent to collect or keeping the phone for an extra 24 hours.

Confiscation for two weeks is like giving out ten detentions for one missed homework. It would probably work in that the pupils would remember in future but they would feel angry and resentful for a long time - not helpful for learning or fostering a positive attitude towards discipline.

Any headteacher who decided they are going to keep pupils' phones for two weeks is on a bit of a power trip and has given little thought as to the effect of their policy on their relationship with their pupils or their parents.

cuillereasoupe Sat 16-Feb-13 14:55:42

Confiscation for two weeks is like giving out ten detentions for one missed homework.

Which is why I suspect this isn't a first offence.

Goldmandra Sat 16-Feb-13 14:59:27

Which is why I suspect this isn't a first offence.

It would be at my DD's school.

DeWe Sat 16-Feb-13 17:56:57

Be thankful. One local school confiscates phones until July shock. That's first offence, and they will randomly search bags to check for phones and confiscate them.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 16-Feb-13 18:19:52

If this two week rule is not going to help the handing over of phones, why doesn't it stop the pupils bringing the phones in in the forst place?

EvilTwins Sat 16-Feb-13 18:34:02

Because an awful lot of kids and their parents think that having a phone is a human right. Which is fine if the kids can keep their phones off and in their bags. Thing is, it becomes a habit- research in the Times (I think it was anyway) suggested that the average smartphone owner checks their phone, out of habit, once every six minutes. Teenagers genuinely believe they can't manage without doing so, and parents who insist that their child NEEDS a phone don't help. Like others have said, I have had kids get their phones out in lessons to check if their mum has sent them a text or to see if there is an update on their poorly grandmother or pregnant aunt or whatever, and they think this is perfectly justified.

maisiejoe123 Sat 16-Feb-13 18:52:25

Oh Evil, how I agree with you. This obsession with checking your phone, next time all of you are on the tube or a bus -look around, bet there are 50% plus people peering at their phones.

This sense of entitlement to have the phone on, fgs - if you are a pupil and your parents need to contact you in an emergency they will ring the school and someone will come and get you. Otherwise everytime the mobile rings the pupil will be checking to see if it is an 'emergency'. Its more likely to be one of their friends texting them.

Ban them from schools. My DS is at boarding school. Last year during an exam his phone went off. He said he had forgotten to turn it off. If this was a real exam he would have been asked to leave the room and the exam would be cancelled for him. He wasnt allowed home over the weekend and spent the time litter picking. His phone was taken away for 2 weeks and we have backed the school and put the fear of God into him. He wont do it again. The consequences of him doing what he did before arent worth thinking about!

And what on earth were you doing giving a phone with confidential info to your son who clearly couldnt be trusted to manage it correctly!

thebody Sat 16-Feb-13 19:02:52

Phones should be off in school if course and confiscated until the end if the day if heard.

I don't think you were right to give your child a phone with confidential work details in.

My dd does need her phone at school as she is suffering withPTSD
And calls me at lunch time or when she feels she needs to.

I can't imagine any school holding into a phone for 2 weeks? I would also involve the police.

Floggingmolly Sat 16-Feb-13 19:07:33

Involve the police? hmm. In an ideal world they'd give him a clip round the ear for wasting police time.

EvilTwins Sat 16-Feb-13 19:10:07

thebody - whilst I sympathise with your DD, I disagree that she needs her phone. In the olden days (ie when we were all at school), what would a child in such a situation have done? Been given permission to use a school phone, that's what.

I honestly cannot think of a single situation in which a child needs access to their own phone during the school day.

For example, a child at my school has life threatening asthma. If she has the merest hint of an attack, the procedure is well known and well practised - first get a first aider, second send someone to get her older brother, third, call her mum.

Another example - one of our sixth form girls has a baby. If there are any issues with him, his nursery or the girls' foster carer calls the sixth form office and somone goes to find her.

A further example - school play the week before half term. By lunchtime on the day of the tech/dress rehearsals, we knew we wouldn't be finished by the end of the school day, so we sent a message to the school office and they called parents on our behalf.

Another one... a Yr 10 boy began to exhibit signs of stress and his mother was worried. She sent him to school as normal but called the doctor to get an appointment. She then called school reception, and a member of staff came to get him from my lesson to attend for his mum to pick him up.

Kids don't need phones in school.

maisiejoe123 Sat 16-Feb-13 19:11:52

Oh here we go... People saying of course phones should not be used in school - apart from my child of course who has a reason.... No wonder there is such an issue with phones.

If the body - your DD has such an issue and it is urgent she can call you using the school phone.

maisiejoe123 Sat 16-Feb-13 19:16:56

And involve the police - fgs - I am sure they have better things to do than this. I bet you will never lend your DS your phone again. The consequences (which are sadly lacking when something goes wrong these days) will ensure that you think twice next time

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Sat 16-Feb-13 19:30:48

How would you deal with mobile phones in schools?

- Confiscate until the end of the day (parents informed and have to retrieve the phone)
- 3 strikes = Lunch time detention
- 5 strikes = After school detention
- 10 strikes = Your child is on report
- More than 10 and I'm bringing back corporal punishment as it's obvious that your child needs that little bit extra motivation to remember wink

IloveJudgeJudy Sat 16-Feb-13 19:36:23

maisie your case is different as your DS is at boarding school.

Evil I know that you are a teacher and I usually agree with your point of view, but I can't in this case. I see what you're saying about people being able to cope without mobile phones. I'm older than you and when I was at school if you said you would meet someone under the clock at 8pm then you had to be there. THings are much more fluid nowadays.

I think that the OP swapping her son's phone with hers for the two weeks was perfectly reasonable in this case. You say that your DC is/are 6. He/she is not a teenager. Please come back and speak when your actual DC are teenagers as I think you will have a different point of view then.

IloveJudgeJudy Sat 16-Feb-13 19:39:46

I've just seen some further posts with people saying that parents can contact the school office who will get a message to them. I bet that if everyone who now contacts their offspring by mobile, started to ring the office the office would be flooded with messages.

To do without mobile phones would mean turning back the clock. That is not going to happen.

I agree that DC should haev their phones off during the day at school. They definitely do not need them to be on at any time during school time. They can be off and at the bottom of their bag. That's what my DC's school does. If they are caught with a phone I'm not sure what the sanction is as it hasn't happened to my DC, nor their friends, I don't think as i would know what the sanctions are.

Floggingmolly Sat 16-Feb-13 19:44:05

the office would be flooded with messages
Not all actually needing to be passed on, surely?
I was never once, in my entire school career, contacted by anybody outside the chocolate building, during school hours. I have had no reason to attempt to contact my own children directly either. Just because we're used to doing something doesn't make it necessary

EvilTwins Sat 16-Feb-13 19:47:18

JudgeJudy - I agree that swapping the phone was the most sensible option here, and the school in question is certainly more heavy handed than my own, where the rule is that phones are kept off and in bags during lessons and if seen/heard are confiscated until the end of the day (first time) or until a parent can come and sign for it (after the first time)

My problem really is with kids (and parents) who think that they are fully entitled to check their phones during lessons - for texts/missed calls/whatever. A mobile phone is not a necessity. I do not have my phone with me in lessons. If my children (they're twins, btw, hence DC who are 6) are ill, their school has to call my school office and a message is brought to me. I taught at the school when pg, and even then didn't feel the need to keep the phone with me.

It's all got a bit out of proportion, IMO, and too many parents feel that their children must have their phones with them at all times.

As a teacher, though, I can say that the proportion of times a phone has been a positive thing against phones as a negative is about 1:10. Lost phones, stolen phones, phones being used to bully, phones being used to video fights, phones being used for sexting etc etc - far more common than a phone being used for an essential/life saving reason.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 16-Feb-13 19:47:28

I agree wholeheatedly with evil there is no reason for pupils to have phones in school. the reason for this thread is because the OP and her son decided that their needs out wieght everybody elses.


If parents had to contact their children through the office then maybe they would think alittle more about what they need to tell their kids.

thebody Sat 16-Feb-13 19:52:39

My dd was involved in a fatal crash abroad that also involved most of her teachers ( the ones that survived) and all of her friends.

They have all been receiving help and most are not only physically injured but suffering from PTSD.

Excuse me if I suggest you have no idea what she or we have been through and if she needs to hear my voice in the day or a reassuring text then she does. The school fully support us.

EvilTwins Sat 16-Feb-13 19:53:56

I don't deny that she needs to contact you - my point is that she doesn't need a mobile for that. Given that you have the support of the school, they would, presumably, be happy for her to use any phone within school to contact you whenever she needs to.

ChristmasJubilee Sat 16-Feb-13 19:56:04

YABU phones are not allowed in school. He broke the rules, they confiscated it. If it was that important you shouldn't have given it to him in the first place.

maisiejoe123 Sat 16-Feb-13 19:56:51

Boney - I think you have summed it up. Parents are fully behind not using mobiles inappropriately - apart from when their DD/DS is caught with it ringing during lessons and for them it is different!

And if parents insist on calling the school office... Well what on earth happened before the explosion of mobiles. Only call the office in an emergency and dont have a sense of entitlement for your children to be made an exception...

What if a teacher started checking their texts, taking calls etc during the lesson. No - I didnt think so...

maisiejoe123 Sat 16-Feb-13 19:58:23

I agree with Evil. The school are supporting you. Your DD can use the school phone. She doesnt HAVE to have a mobile to contact you should she need to.

Bubblegum78 Sat 16-Feb-13 19:59:47

It's not legally enforceable.

Go back tell them you have taken advice on this matter and it is not legally enforceable.
You are happy to substitute if for your sons phone and if they do not return it you will report it stolen to the police.

If they still do not return it call the non emergency police number in their front lobby.

nailak Sat 16-Feb-13 20:04:25

evil we wouldnt have permission to use school phone, we would use reverse charges, or the scam that we figured out to get free calls on school payphone

that of course depended on the school having phone boxes

thebody Sat 16-Feb-13 20:05:11

I am afraid it's a bit more complicated than that really ladies.

The crash involved many children and most are still injured so all need support. It wouldn't be feasible to 'use the office phone'

She couldn't get me when she was trapped for hours with other injured and unfortunately a dead teacher so she obviously has issues about contact. Anyway bowing out now as hijacked.

Op I think the school are stepping over the mark

Floggingmolly Sat 16-Feb-13 20:06:29

Op, do you really believe that your phone "turned itself on for an update" in your son's pocket? Because I've had an iPhone for the last 5 years and this is most assuredly not one of their features.

ravenAK Sat 16-Feb-13 20:06:30

FWIW, our school is lucky enough to have very sporadic phone reception.

As soon as I leave & start walking up the hill, my own phone leaps into life & at least 6 texts appear, mostly from the dc's school (nit outbreak, second hand uniform sale, lollipop lady's off sick etc etc).

All members of the wider school community know that if you attempt to send a text in from outside, the chances of it being seen whilst the recipient is on the premises are slimmish. There are bits of the grounds/one or two top floor classrooms where users of some networks can wave a phone in the air & get a bar or two...

...but everyone knows that if you actually need to contact your pupil dc or teacher spouse, & you need to guarantee they'll get the message, you ring the office & the office send a runner.

No-one, to my knowledge, has ever missed a vital message for lack of a functioning mobile.

They aren't necessary. Equally, they aren't the devil's plaything either - you just need a sensible policy, & everyone switches off.

cloutiedumpling Sat 16-Feb-13 20:11:57

I agree that kids may not need phones at school but what about after the end of the school day? As I understand it, this kid was not going home and would be using the phone to contact his mum later in the evening. Most public phone boxes have disappeared with the growth of mobile phones, meaning that a mobile phone is perhaps more important to people. If schools had lockers for every pupil this problem could perhaps be avoided to some extent - the pupils could put the phones in their lockers and only access them at dinner breaks or after school.

maisiejoe123 Sat 16-Feb-13 20:13:06

If you dont want to risk a phone being 'stolen' from you - then just dont allow it to go into the school. Then you wont risk it being turned on by accident, turned on unexpectedly, fault on the phone that FORCED it to start to ring etc etc.

If you really really need to get a message to your child and it is urgent then leave a message with the school office. When sadly many years ago I had a family tragedy I got the message when I was in class within mins of my mother calling.

ravenAK Sat 16-Feb-13 20:17:40

Yes, I agree they might need them on the way home (or special circs like thebody's dd).

We allow them & they cause very little bother - the kids keep them in the bottom of their bags, switched off. Very occasionally one will go off because its owner has forgotten, & our weird reception has flickered momentarily into life, whereupon they are confiscated without fuss.

But if you do get your phone taken off you & parents take a few days getting into school to collect it, urgent parental messages would still get through. You just might have to curtail your social life a bit after school...

maisiejoe123 Sat 16-Feb-13 20:18:22

Just chipping in here. All schools, day or boarding have an issue. The kids are obsessed with them and the dreaded BBM.

My DS's school tried to take them away before school and then give them back at the end of the day. It was a complete nightmare. Boys put in fake, or cheap phones and kept the real one, they claimed they were damaged, they were lost etc etc. Some were never claimed back....

So, shock horror, they allowed the boys to take responsibility for the phones themselves. If they went off in lessons they were taken away for 1 week, if they went off in an exam (well my son had the shock of his life and will never do it again). All parents and boys signed to say they agreed to the rules. Of course in a family emergency you would call the school office and a runner would be sent to the class.

There is NO reason to have full access to our children whilst they are at school. If you really want to do this then perhaps Home Education is the best option!

thebody Sat 16-Feb-13 20:29:24

Sorry maisy perhaps you know more than the school psychiatrist then.

If my dd had been home educated she wouldn't have been in the fatal school trip.

I find your remarks very upsetting.

Enough now for me.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 16-Feb-13 21:09:38

Thebody, I am sorry for your dd's experience, that must be beyond distressing xx

I think backing a way from his thread would be right for you now.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 16-Feb-13 21:10:03

'Away' and 'this'

Snazzynewyear Sat 16-Feb-13 21:28:34

Firstly, I don't believe the 'it just switched itself on' story any more than anyone else except the OP does. Having got a phone with him, it was too tempting not to use it, it seems.

Secondly - and I don't think this has been mentioned yet - the problem actually stemmed from the son having been careless and not charged his phone. If the OP had said either 'that's a shame, because as I won't know when to pick you up, now you won't be able to go / now you will have to walk home and suffer the attendant risks' he would have learned the consequences. As it was, the OP took on herself all the consequences and inconvenience of him not bothering to charge his phone. Perhaps next time she should make sure he carries the can from the start!

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 16-Feb-13 21:32:42

Totally agree!

thebody Sat 16-Feb-13 22:04:07

Thanks ship xx

I agree that kids may not need phones at school but what about after the end of the school day? As I understand it, this kid was not going home and would be using the phone to contact his mum later in the evening. Most public phone boxes have disappeared with the growth of mobile phones, meaning that a mobile phone is perhaps more important to people. If schools had lockers for every pupil this problem could perhaps be avoided to some extent - the pupils could put the phones in their lockers and only access them at dinner breaks or after school.

I agree with cloutiedumpling about children needing to have their phones available before/after school.

Phone boxes have disappeared with astonishing rapidity around here, yesterday I saw the new paving where the latest phone box has been taken away. I think there's only one left in the whole of our town centre, and I'm not even sure about that.

I still think a sensible policy of children having their phones available, perhaps in a locker, but switched off suring lessons is the best compromise.

There's absolutely no point in reminiscing about what happened years ago, because that world has long disappeared and we have to learn how to live in the present with all the new technology.

HopingItllBeOK Sat 16-Feb-13 23:15:48

As more people have got mobile phones, the need for public phone boxes has dropped and so the number of them has decreased leading to more people getting mobile phones because there are no phone boxes in their area. Simple cause and effect.

I'm a little on the fence about the need for children to have phones in secondary schools. DS2 has a mobile phone. 2 days a week he has sports training after school, on the premises. By the time he finishes the office has closed so there is no option for him to use the school phone to ring home or for me to leave an urgent message for him. On one of the sports club days his step-dad picks him up from the baths over the road to take him to football training as there isn't time to get home and back out again. Quite often DP gets held up at work (breakdown trade so very unpredictable) so is running late or can't get out at all so DS's mobile is needed to let him know that either DP is running late but will be there so he should wait but no need to worry, or that DP can't make it so DS should walk home.

Without taking a mobile into school DS would either end up missing his football training twice a month because DP was late but DS had no way of knowing that so started walking home and by the time DP has trawled the streets and found him it is too late to make training, or he would be hanging around in a swimming pool car park for half an hour when DP wasn't coming before then trudging home.

Because of that I would take a dim view of a school banning any phones in school at all. That said, DS knows that his phone must be off during school hours and that if it goes off, I will fully support the school if they confiscate it. DS doesn't need it during school hours, but he does sometimes need it at home time or afterwards when doing after school activities in school.

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 16-Feb-13 23:35:27

What Snazzy said

And you were completely ridiculous to lend your work phone to anyone at all as it is so important (and a sackable offence for both me and my DH, though we work for different companies)

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 16-Feb-13 23:37:36

And some of the examples given of why children "need" a mobile in school make me wander why it was ok to have to manage these inconveniences in the pre-mobile days, but now it is vital for both children and parents to be completely contactable at all time

Wowserz129 Sat 16-Feb-13 23:49:13

They sound loopy! What a load of crap! For a start who do they think they are to take a phone for 2 weeks in the first place! And second to not give it back when you explained it's yours.

Tell them you will call the police!

nailak Sun 17-Feb-13 00:03:37

because there were phone boxes in the premobile days.

Mrscupcake23 Sun 17-Feb-13 00:12:28

I know children do not need phones but now it is a way of life. I am not allowed my phone at work but I always have a sneaky look at it. If my teenagers don't have their phones or pick them up I ground them so would not want the school taking them away.

The body sorry to hear about your daughter and sorry about some people's attitudes on here if speaking to you helps her get through this awful time then yes she does need her phone.

I always know when my almost 17yr old is eating lunch (and has his phone) because I get a string of texts. I love hearing from him during the day, he tells me all sorts of stuff he wouldn't otherwise tell me and is much more chatty that way. He also drives to school occasionally and I like him to call before he leaves as he is a new driver and I'm sure school wouldn't love it if he came and used their phone every day he drives. He has never had his phone taken away though for using it in class, he has however had it taken away by us because of poor grades, so he obviously doesn't 'need' it.

So our experience with him and a phone and school has been a positive one.

TheChimpParadox Sun 17-Feb-13 07:44:58

Technology and the way of life has moved on incredibly over the last 10 - 15 years so we can't really have the attitude of 'well managed in my day '.

Do we all really need computers at home ? If we work at home yes but other than that ? - I would hate to me without my computer - but I have to manage my time on it - children need to learn to mange their time on phones hence having the guidelines set down by the school.

Technology is here - embrace it and work with it and learn how to use it sensibly. grin

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 17-Feb-13 08:06:38

Generally I agree that mobiles are a normal part of life now, but I still don't reckon there's anything really wrong with DC having to wait a bit for a parent to come and pick them up and not bring in constant touch, for example. (Child of a father who routinely forgot to collect her from various places here!)

Besides, phone boxes were never a reliable method of communication (broken vandalised, just wouldn't take the 20p given for the purpose of making a phone call...) and unless the other person had a mobile or was with their landline you couldn't get hold of them anyway.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 17-Feb-13 08:45:30


"Technology is here - embrace it and work with it and learn how to use it sensibly."

If I didn't have to deal with the fall out from pupils who don't use it sensibly then I would agree.
But pupils do not use it sensibly, and that is why schools have rules in place.

TheChimpParadox Sun 17-Feb-13 08:54:39

Boney - that's why I also said

''children need to learn to mange their time on phones hence having the guidelines set down by the school''

ByTheWay1 Sun 17-Feb-13 08:58:02

Mobiles are a part of some people's life - I don't own one.. I have a land line with an answer phone, I have a landline phone at work, if I am out and about I don't want to be contacted anyhow. I have never had an emergency when an hour or 2 would have made a blind bit of difference - maybe just lucky, maybe people know I don't have a mobile, so manage to cope without me.

People also turn up ON TIME when meeting me - or cancel things WITH NOTICE because they know I don't have one.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 17-Feb-13 09:18:03


How are the kids going to do this when the parents can't even organise picking them up from school?

Or ground them because they haven't picked their phone up in the morning.

The majority of bullying that I deal with in school is from BBM or facebook both accessible from smart phones. How can teachers successfully deal with that when parents are effectively encouraging it?

Mrscupcake23 Sun 17-Feb-13 10:19:26

Most people do have mobile phones its a way of life. If my children didn't take their phones in they would be in the minority. I realise its a pain for teachers but you are never going to stop it. Bet the teachers all have mobiles. My two have never had their phones took of them. So cannot have used them in lessons my dd has been badly bullied on fb but that was at home not school time.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 17-Feb-13 11:40:37

Bet the teachers all have mobiles.

Why is this even part of the discussion?
I also have a car
a motorbike
a surf board
and a long board
does this give your child an automatic right to have them as well?

hackmum Sun 17-Feb-13 12:02:10

All this stuff about whether it's the OP's fault for lending her phone to her DS blah blah blah is neither here nor there. It's her phone, she needs it for work, the school have no right to confiscate it. End of.

Feenie Sun 17-Feb-13 12:38:51

Except they apparently do have a right.

Dominodonkey Sun 17-Feb-13 13:11:39

"It's her phone, she needs it for work, the school have no right to confiscate it. End of."

Oh I forgot that saying 'End of' means the argument is won...

If it is so important then she should not have lent it to her irresponsible son.

The OP deliberately encouraged him to break a clear school rule and then moaned when a school policy was followed. I have no sympathy whatsoever. However, I do think the Deputy Head was sensible to allow the exchange, though he was under no obligation to do so.

Those moaning about bossy schools and school 'stealing' their precious children's phones are obviously completely ignorant of the realities of the classroom and the time that is wasted if policies are not strict and fully enforced. 2 weeks does seem a little excessive though.

Mrscupcake23 Sun 17-Feb-13 13:14:10

Glad the op got her phone back quite rightly so. I meant to say teachers probably do not leave their phones at home. They have them at school.

Feenie Sun 17-Feb-13 13:14:45

So fucking what?

Dominodonkey Sun 17-Feb-13 13:17:56

"I meant to say teachers probably do not leave their phones at home. They have them at school."

Yes because teachers are adults. They also don't wear uniform and don't get detentions. They are not the same as pupils at the school.

Does that really need explaining?

EvilTwins Sun 17-Feb-13 13:22:19

I have my phone at school. It's in my handbag in my office. If I had to leave it at home or in the car or whatever, that would be fine, on account of the fact that I don't NEED it during the working day. I would consider it highly unprofessional, inappropriate and hypocritical to have my phone in the classroom with me.

End of grin (I win, yes?)

GreatUncleEddie Sun 17-Feb-13 13:34:29

Surely the op just needed to hand over her Son's phone in order to get her own back? What a fuss about nothing.

13Iggis Sun 17-Feb-13 13:47:08

Most teachers don't have an office though, Eviltwins, in the classroom in your bag is usually safest!

EvilTwins Sun 17-Feb-13 13:57:40

I disagree that most don't... Not that it's relevant really. The point is that most teachers would think it unprofessional to have a phone out, or to check it or use it during lesson times.

A lot of kids and parents seem to think it's ok for a child to check their phone in lessons.

Arisbottle Sun 17-Feb-13 14:09:39

My phone sits in my office drawer when I am teaching , it is switched off during the school day. That is the equivalent if a child having it in their locker during the school day, also switched off . If I didn't have an office it may be in my classroom desk drawer locked away, but it would be switched off which seems fair.

If someone from home needs to contact their child during the day they can phone the school, just as if my husband needed to speak to me he would phone the switchboard.

outtolunchagain Sun 17-Feb-13 14:20:16

My children's school has the same rule as Rowlers ,to be honest phones are just phones now they don't seem to cause a lot of issues at school. Their school does have quite a rural catchment though, pupils may be on bus for an hour to school and phones whilst not essential are useful.

I was amazed when my ds lost his phone at University recently how quickly it made it back to him. Ds has also found phones and handed them in ,as he said they have so much of people's lives on them now that they are just part of life .

HeathRobinson Sun 17-Feb-13 14:22:35

'That is the equivalent if a child having it in their locker'

Unfortunately, too many schools don't have lockers for their pupils.

Arisbottle Sun 17-Feb-13 14:27:12

Well if they don't have a locker , it can sit in their bag or even blazer pocket switched off. However if they are caught during the school day with it switched on, they should expect to have it confiscated until a parent can collect it.

13Iggis Sun 17-Feb-13 15:02:02

Evil - I only brought it up as you said it was unprofessional etc (in your opinion) to have it in the classroom - so I thought next thing mumsnetters might be saying 'my dc's teacher has her phone in her classroom, how unprofessional'! When many have no choice (seriously, I only know of senior management having offices).

maddy68 Sun 17-Feb-13 15:05:16

The school can keep it for as long as stated in the school policy. You and your son knew the rules chose to break them and now face the consequences. Tough in my opinion

EvilTwins Sun 17-Feb-13 15:08:15

13Iggis - we had a complaint once because a teacher had her phone on her table during parents evening and was seen to be checking it between appointments.

13Iggis Sun 17-Feb-13 15:33:02

Hope they were told to get a life! They have no idea of the personaly circumstances of the teacher, whether they were doing the parents night on a day off etc or with sick children etc. (Ok they were probably on facebook, but no-one else knows!)

Feenie Sun 17-Feb-13 15:35:55

I regularly have parents who answer the phone during a parent consultation hmm

Feenie Sun 17-Feb-13 15:36:50

Maddest ever was an Ofsted lead inspector's phone going off in the middle of an observed lesson - and he answered it!

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 17-Feb-13 16:27:00

13Iggis and Evil

My phone is on the desk during parents evening because parents complain if the appointments run late and there is no clock in the hall so it is my only clock.

Arisbottle Sun 17-Feb-13 16:29:57

If course it is wrong for a parent to answer the phone during an appointment, but even more wrong for the teacher to do so, as they are there in a purely professional capacity.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 17-Feb-13 16:34:59

"but even more wrong for the teacher to do so"

good to see different standards being applied.

EvilTwins Sun 17-Feb-13 16:38:14


We were all shock at the complaint, particularly given that we teach in a school where quite a few parents think it is fine to call their kids when they know they're in lessons.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 17-Feb-13 16:43:06


It is rediculous what some parents complain about. I am willing to bet that those that use their phones during a parental consultation would kick up a fuss if the teacher said "sorry, but your time is up."

I may try it the next time a parent thinks that their right to answer the phone is more important than my -or the parents following them- time. smile

Arisbottle Sun 17-Feb-13 16:55:12

Why should there not be different standards. If I answered my phone during a doctor's appointment it would be rude . If my doctor answered his phone during my appointment I would be livid and would make a complaint. Why should there be different standards for teachers and teachers.

EvilTwins Sun 17-Feb-13 17:18:38

Personally, Aris, I think it's rude on both counts.

Arisbottle Sun 17-Feb-13 17:22:59

Of course it us rude on both counts but for me it is worse if the doctor does it be ause he is failing in his professional capacity.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 17-Feb-13 17:24:14


Why should there be different standards?
When you have made an appointment to see me I expect your full attention in the same way that you expect mine.
If you think so little of someone that you take a phonecall whilst they are talking to you that is extremely rude, whether it be teacher, parent, doctor or judge.

ilovesooty Sun 17-Feb-13 17:27:06

Pupils who take phone calls in lessons are preventing the teacher working effectively in his/her professional capacity. I fail to see how a teacher taking personal calls is worse. Both are unacceptable.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 17-Feb-13 17:27:16

I agree with Aris. One is bad manners, one is unprofessional behaviour. Teachers are working at parents' evenings.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 17-Feb-13 17:30:42

I agree that teachers are working at parents evenings, Fallen and Aris would you expect more time to be added on to your appointment if you answered your phone?

13Iggis Sun 17-Feb-13 17:48:58

Eh - nothing said about teachers taking calls at p.evenings - I believe the example was someone checking their phone between appointments.

EvilTwins Sun 17-Feb-13 18:03:54

Aris & Fallen - I fail to see how it is worse if the teacher answers the phone as opposed to the parent. In both cases it is extremely rude. I would be livid if a parent answered a call during our 5 minute appointment. Saying it's more OK for the parent than the teacher is extreme hypocrisy IMO.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 17-Feb-13 18:06:31

I wouldn't answer my phone during my appointments with my children's teachers, because it would be very rude. In fact, I would have my phone on silent. As a teacher, I have my phone right away, because I am working.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 17-Feb-13 18:08:06

It's not just rude for the teacher. It is unprofessional. Thats the difference. We are not there in the same capacity as parents.

EvilTwins Sun 17-Feb-13 18:15:48

Oh, I see what you mean. I also do the same - keep the phone away in both situations. This brings us back to the issue of checking the phone as habit though - I honestly think this is the case with a lot of schoolchildren. It's such an ingrained habit, they believe they can't be away from it.

Arisbottle Sun 17-Feb-13 18:49:36

TFM said it better than me.

For a teacher to have their phone on in a lesson is worse than for a pupil because you are supposed to be setting an example. A but like a politician committing a crime or fiddling their expenses is worse, they create the rules so should keep them.

My phone is always away at work because I am aware that I can't help but check it.

maisiejoe123 Sun 17-Feb-13 18:50:02

How many times has there been a REAL emergency for anyone? Of course there is the tragic 'there has been an accident'. That has happened to me once over 50 years. Those sorts of incidents can be covered by someone calling the school and a runner being sent.

No one- kids or teachers should have their phone on unless it is literally life and death. If we allow everyone to decide what is urgent and what isnt the phones will be going every 5 mins.

A little while ago I went to a parents briefing. The loud woman in front of me was constantly on her phone queuing to see each teacher. Not only was she messing up the people who were speaking to the teacher but it is very very rude!

So when her time came (she was in front of me) she wasnt ready to complete her conversation. She put her hand up to the teacher to I presume say she would be another minute! I think she want trying to wrap it up -difficult to tell as she was speaking a different language. Anyway, the teacher stood up, pointed to me and I then sat down...

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 17-Feb-13 19:34:21


More to the point how many parents would directly contact their children if it was a real emergency?
If the message is that I can't pick you up from school tonight surely that should go through the office?

blondefriend Sun 17-Feb-13 20:14:01

I have answered my phone in a lesson. My ds has been very poorly in the past and I needed to field calls from childcare. In many cases I have had to make a quick get away, in one case in order to get to the hospital as he had been transferred by ambulance after a 999 call. I always apologized to the class and explained the circumstances.

TBH if a pupil's phone rings in my lesson, I usually raise my eyebrows as the rest of the class go "ooohhh" and the student in question goes bright red and turns it off very quickly. I will confiscate a phone being used inappropriately but actually encourage their use to take photos of experiments that the students are enthused about. As I said before my students and parents are very good and I will treat my students with respect and they give me the same in return. I'm a very lucky teacher and threads like this remind me how much.

Mrscupcake23 Sun 17-Feb-13 21:04:35

You sound lovely blondefriend, I wish there were a few more teachers like you.

cricketballs Sun 17-Feb-13 21:30:13

Why has this thread turned into "if teachers have phones then so should their

Arisbottle Sun 17-Feb-13 22:09:27

Because a growing number of people seem to think that pupils and students are equal and therefore the same rules should apply.

Having said that, teachers should set an example and should not be hypocrticial. I could not confiscate a phone if I was using mine in class.

Feenie Sun 17-Feb-13 22:16:16

What about jewellery? I've had a parent complain that her 10 year old should be allowed to wear dangly earrings if I can wear my wedding/engagement rings silly cow.

Remotecontrolduck Sun 17-Feb-13 23:34:14

I like blondefriend's attitude, a sensible approach to phones in lessons and no doubt your students respect you as a teacher. I don't believe being so hardline about a bloody mobile phone is worth it. No, you don't NEED one, but there's lot of things in life you don't NEED, yet make life that bit better and easier.

Just take them off persistent, disruptive offenders. Job done.

Arisbottle Mon 18-Feb-13 00:06:36

I agree blondefriend has a sensible attitude but schools have to have black and white rules. Whilst in my lessons I am sure that pupils could use phones sensibly that could be because I am a senior member of staff with strong discipline. I have also been quite lucky in my classes. However there are staff who do not yet have such strong discipline and classes that offer a greater level of challenge than many of mine. If pupils come into my room and get used to using a phone it makes life more difficult for less established and experienced members off staff or for those staff who have more difficult classes.

13Iggis Mon 18-Feb-13 08:21:33

I get the idea of taking them off "persistent, disruptive offenders" but in a secondary school one child's mobile might got off in Maths, French, English, History - all in one day, yet no one teacher would remove it as only once in their class..? If your child's lessons were being interrupted regularly by phones (and think, maybe 30 children, so even if each child's only goes off once each week..) I'm sure you would expect teachers to do something about it.
This is all not connected to the legitmate use of phones to take photos of work, research facts, use as calculators, stopwatches etc, which many teachers now do.

hackmum Mon 18-Feb-13 08:31:48

Domino: "Oh I forgot that saying 'End of' means the argument is won...

If it is so important then she should not have lent it to her irresponsible son.

The OP deliberately encouraged him to break a clear school rule and then moaned when a school policy was followed."

Well, in this case the argument was won. Sometimes issues discussed on here can be morally complicated, but this one really wasn't - morally and legally, the school had no right to keep the OP's phone. It's very very simple.

Of course some people refuse to see that, because they like nothing better than sitting in judgement about other people's parenting from their own lofty perspective of moral superiority. It must be nice for them to know that their own parenting is so perfect. I feel sorry for their kids, though.

BoneyBackJefferson Mon 18-Feb-13 09:36:25

The arguement was "won" when the OP surrendered her son's phone to the school. It was in the end a compromise both sides got what they wanted.

as for being judgemental "I feel sorry for their kids, though." is a nice bit of hypocrisy.

notimetotidy Tue 19-Feb-13 09:48:34

Have you got your phone back?

notimetotidy Tue 19-Feb-13 09:49:22

Sorry, missed the bit where she gave her son's phone in! Sorry.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now